FCC Fines Swarm Technologies $ 900,000 to launch illegal satellites in circulation

Image: Johnson Space Center (NASA)

As it appears, if the US Federal Communications Commission tells you not to do anything, you probably should not do that, especially when it comes to launching unauthorized satellites in orbit.

This is the lesson that Swarm Technologies faces, a launch being fined $ 900,000 by the FCC to launch four unauthorized satellites in January. The FCC said that the unauthorized launch and operation of the company's SpaceBEEs-teeny, small experimental satellites, occurred one month after the agency refused the application for distribution.

It is also a survey of Swarm's operations, which just tapped into its unprecedented misfored after the FCC had caught up ̵[ads1]1; was also discovered "more unauthorized weather bubble to ground station tests and unauthorized testing of satellite and ground station equipment."

"Unauthorized distribution and operation of satellites risks satellite collisions and radio frequency interference, threatening critical commercial and state satellite operations," said FCC on Thursday. "In order to settle this case, Swarm Technologies admits that it engaged in these illegal actions will conduct a five-year compliance plan and will pay a $ 900,000 civic penalty."

Image: Swarm Technologies

The satellites launched in January with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Quartz reported in March that the FCC raised concerns about satellite size, as the agency said was "below the size threshold where the detection of the Space Surveillance Network (SSN) can be considered routine."

"We accept the FCC decision as reflected in the consent document and appreciate the FCC's ongoing support for Swarm's mission," said Swarm's co-founder and CEO Sara Spangelo to Gizmodo in a statement by email. "With the recently approved FCC launch of three new Low-level swarm satellites in the last SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, we move a step closer to enabling cheap space-based connectivity anywhere in the world. "

In August, Spangelo, an alun of Google X, claimed the company Medium performance in a blog post pointing to Swarm's goal of a "future constellation of 100 satellites [that] will solve the problem of low cost global-scale connection far faster than any other provider and at a fraction of the price. "Spangelo wrote on Medium again last week that the company had distributed three satellites on SpaceX SSO-A on December 3rd, and noticed that the three were given the green light of the FCC.

For Swarm's credit, the FCC said this week that The company has not been engaged in any more shady behavior since the agency launched its investigation. But thanks to the bold distribution of illegal satellites in January, the company is now handling a fine fine and further supervision of the FCC.

[TechCrunch, Quartz]


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