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Silicon Flatirons Drone and Satellite Primer

Edward “. Smitty. ” Smith and Mike Lewis. October 4, 2017. Overview. Introduction. Different Technologies, Shared Challenges. Helpful Terms for Understanding Acronym Soup. Overview of Drones. Types and Classifications.

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Silicon Flatirons Drone and Satellite Primer

Presentation on theme: "Silicon Flatirons Drone and Satellite Primer"— Presentation transcript:


Silicon Flatirons

Drone and Satellite Primer

Edward “


” Smith and Mike Lewis

October 4, 2017Slide2



Different Technologies, Shared Challenges

Helpful Terms for Understanding Acronym SoupOverview of DronesTypes and ClassificationsUAS ApplicationsUAS Regulatory EnvironmentHAPsOverview of SatellitesBasics: How Satellites WorkOrbital Altitudes and TypesFrequency Ranges and AllocationsSatellite ServicesChallengesSlide3

Various Space/High Altitude Systems by AltitudeSlide4

UAV/HAPS Under 60,000 feetSlide5


Size Classification:

Very small UAVs

Micro or Nano UAVs

Mini UAVsSmall UAVsMedium UAVsLarge UAVsRange Classification:Very low cost close range UAVsClose range UAVsShort Range UAVsMid-range UAVsEndurance UAVsDrone Classification StandardsDepartment of Defense Classification:


AGL = Above Ground Level**MSL = Mean Sea Level



Max Gross Takeoff

Wt (lbs)Normal Op Alt




Airspeed (knots)

Group 1



<1,200 AGL*


Group 2





Group 3



<18,000 MSL**


Group 4



<18,000 MSL

Any Airspeed

Group 5



>18,000 MSL

Any AirspeedSlide7

Large UAV:

UAS Size Classification: Examples

Medium UAV:

Small UAV:

Very Small UAV:Slide8


Aircraft weighing less than 55 Pounds

Small UAS Rule: 14 CFR Part 107 (“Part 107)

Select Operational Reqs:Aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbsVisual line-of-sight (VSOL) only operationMay not operate over nonparticipantsDaylight-/civil twilight-only operationYield right of way to other aircraftMax groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots)Max altitude of 400 ft above ground level (AGL)Airspace restrictionsCarriage and External load rulesSpecial Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336)UAS Regulatory Environment

Aircraft weighing more than 55 Pounds

Section 333 Government Entities

Fly under Part 107 small UAS ruleObtain blanket public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA)Slide9



International Civil

Aviation Organization (ICAO)Standards Setting BodiesRadio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA)ASTM, InternationalUAS Regulatory Environment (cont.)Slide10

Command and Control:

27, 49, 50, 53, 72, and 75 MHz – RF frequencies for toys, etc.

2.4 GHz – Commonly used by small and hobbyist drones

5.8 GHz – Commonly used by small and hobbyist dronesL Band (portions of 960-1215 MHz) & C-Band (503-5091 MHz)Mobile NetworksAvionics:Identification Signals (ADS-B)Detect and Avoid Technologies Drone Payload Communications:A future challengeSpectrum Usage: DronesSlide11


High Altitude Platforms (HAPs)



(“atmospheric satellites”)DronesGoogle SolaraFacebook AquillaOthersBalloons Google Loon

Stratospheric AirshipsSpectrumITU actions

Pros and Cons vs. Satellites


Lower Latency

Lower link budget

Indoor coverage (possible)

Lower cost/ease of launch






Ease of replacement/upgrade


Smaller coverage area

Greater need for monitoring and control


Less well-defined regulatory spaceSlide13


Basics: How

Communications Satellites




Earth Station

Earth Station

Space Station/ Satellite

Other Satellite Applications:

Remote sensing




Earth Exploration

Space scienceSlide15

Orbital Altitudes:

Low Earth


(LEO) – Satellites below 1,200 miles altitude (often at 300-500 miles altitude). Closest to users but 40-70 satellites are required for full coverage. Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) – Satellites 1,200 - 22,300 miles altitude. Closer to users on Earth but 10-18 satellites are required for continuous coverage. Geostationary Orbit (GEO) – Satellites at approximately 22,300 miles altitude in geosynchronous (GSO) orbit at the equator. Three satellites can cover most of the globe.High Earth Orbit (HEO) – Orbit above GEO (i.e. above 22,300 miles)Elliptical Orbit (ELI) – Also called “eccentric orbit” used for high latitude/polarOrbit Types:Semi-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) – Type of MEO orbit (approximately 12,600 miles) with a 12 hour orbit. Commonly used for Global Positioning Satellites (GPS).Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO) – Satellites that orbit at the same speed as the earth’s rotation (approx. 24 hours per orbit). NGSO (Non-Geosynchronous) – Satellites that are not in geosynchronous orbit.New Developments in LEO NGSO – Small sats (pico, nano, cubes)Satellite Orbital Altitude Classifications and Orbit TypesSlide16

Satellite CoverageSlide17



(1-2 GHz)

– Includes allocation for Mobile Satellite Services (MSS)*S-Band - (2–4 GHz) – Includes allocations for MSS, Digital Audio Radio Services (DARS)*C-Band - (4-8 GHz) – Includes allocation for Fixed Satellite Services (FSS)*Ku-Band - (12-18 GHz) – Includes allocations for FSS; Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS)*U.S. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS): DirecTV, Dish Network, Skyangel IPTVKa-Band - (17.7 - 21.2GHz and 27.5 – 31 GHz) - Includes allocations for FSS Broadband and inter-satellite links** For purpose of simplicity and relevance, not listing all allocations for these bands, just those relevant to this presentation.ITU Frequency Ranges, Allocations, and Services



and data, remote data telemetry, maritime and aeronautical


L-Band: Inmarsat (GEO),

Globalstar (LEO), Iridium (LEO), Skyterra (GEO)S-Band:




Video distribution, private networks/VSAT networks, data broadcasting, rural


, cellular backhaul

C-, Ku-, and


-Bands: Intelsat (GSO), SES (GEO),





X-Band: XTAR (GEO)



DirecTV, Dish Network,



DARS: SiriusXMSlide18


Maintains registry to coordinate world frequency uses.

Satellite filings may only be submitted to ITU by an administration of an ITU member state

Assigns priority to member state applications on a “first-come, first-served” basis.Focus has historically been on GEO slots.FCCLicenses all nongovernment satellites, regardless of size.3 Different Satellite Licensing Procedures: Part 25 – Primary vehicle for satellite licensing (particularly commercial sats); Part 5 – Experimental operations; and Part 97 – Amateur radio service satellitesFCC reforming/streamlining process for NGSOs.NTIA, State Department, DoDSatellite RegulationSlide19

FCC Grant of



Approval FCC Report and Order and FNPRM (Updating Rules for Non-Geostationary-Satellite Orbit FSS Constellations)Update, clarify, and streamline the Commission’s rules to facilitate the deployment of recently proposed NGSO FSS satellite systems. Amend the U.S. Table of Frequency Allocations to accommodate NGSO and geostationary satellite operations that are currently being authorized through waivers and to allow new satellite use of frequencies that are designated for, but underutilized by, specific types of satellite systems. Relax the NGSO milestone rules for deployment and remove international geographic coverage requirements to provide greater flexibility to NGSO FSS operators. Adopt a coordination trigger among NGSO FSS systems to govern spectrum sharing, absent voluntary coordination, which reflects current system designs and provides flexibility and equal access to spectrum. Invite comment on whether to give satellite operators more flexibility by allowing innovative new system designs that target particular areas, such as the Arctic. Recent FCC ActionSlide20

Shared ChallengesSlide21

Shared Challenges

Traffic Management

Spectrum Management

ChallengesUASID and TrackingCommunicationsSpectrum Access, Management, and SharingTraffic Management Collision Avoidance

SatellitesDebris avoidanceCommunicationsSpectrum Access, Management, and SharingMarket Access GloballySlide22

Interference and Orbital Debris

Millions of pieces of debris traveling at very high speeds

May remain in orbit for

decades or centuries

LEO view

GEO view

Polar view

Thousands of new satellites

Need to avoid interference with GEOs, other NGSOs and TerrestrialSlide23

UAS Traffic Management

Alternative needed to ATM system that does not stifle innovation or dynamic access to airspace for beyond line-of-sight flights.

Flights would be coordinated with UTM manager to establish real-time geo-fences to help other UAS and aircraft to steer clear.

Authentication and identification necessary components. Slide24


Mike Lewis


Edward “Smitty” SmithEdward.Smith@dlapiper.com