Articles by Gerry Oberst

Nano- and Pico-Satellites

One of the lesser known results from this year’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) was a new resolution designed to improve the ITU rules for small satellites called nano- and pico-satellites. New resolution 757 calls on the ITU radiocommunication sector to examine procedures that apply to ITU processing of these small satellites and report to the […]

By | October 1, 2012

New ITU Role in the UNIDROIT Space Asset Protocol

A little more than a year ago, in our September 2011 column, we asked what is UNIDROIT and why were satellite operators saying such bad things about it? The question now is what role should the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have in overseeing a space asset registry that was adopted in UNIDROIT over the strident […]

By | September 1, 2012

Satellite Launch Liability: Reviewing the Rules

Policy makers in both the United States and the United Kingdom are examining their rules on the accident liability of launch providers and satellite operators. The U.K. Space Agency (UKSA) initiated a consultation at the end of May 2012, with comments due at the end of August, on liability provisions in the Outer Space Act […]

By | August 1, 2012

Common Heritage Satellites

One of the more interesting resolutions to come out of the ITU’s 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) was initially called the “Common Heritage” resolution. What will be the impact of Resolution COM5/11 (WRC-12) now provisionally numbered as Resolution 11 and titled “Use of satellite orbital positions and associated frequency spectrum to deliver international public telecommunication […]

By | July 1, 2012

ITU Satellite Work Between the Radio Conferences

Much of the technical background work behind the international radio regulations (RR) of the ITU is prepared in the period between world radio communication conferences by the ITU-R Study Groups. The study groups prepare draft recommendations, reports and handbooks in the radio communication sector. Further work is conducted between radio conferences by the Conference Preparatory […]

By | June 1, 2012

Satellite Sales and International Liability

International outer space treaties may not be totally suited to modern commercial practices on transfer of ownership of communications satellites. This seems to be the conclusion of a recent symposium held by the legal subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) on “Transfer of ownership of space […]

By | May 1, 2012

Legal Issues for Space Debris Removal

A recent report from from an event held at McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law discusses the increasing problems posed by space debris in satellite orbits and the legal/regulatory issues that must be faced. Guidelines for minimizing the possibility of creating space debris are in place, derived from work by the Inter-Agency Space […]

By | April 1, 2012

WRC-12 Satellite Issues

The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) opened in Geneva on Jan. 23 and ran to Feb. 17. Just before the event, the ITU released a series of news items on issues that the conference would face, including several that affect the satellite sector, but what were experts describing as the important satellite items? Julie Zoller, former […]

By | March 1, 2012

New Arbitration Rules to Resolve Satellite Disputes

New arbitration rules have recently been launched for resolution of disputes relating to outer space activities. The Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Outer Space Activities was developed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), based in The Hague. The PCA adopted the new rules last December, and soon after posted them on […]

By | February 1, 2012

European Spectrum Management

If all goes right, Europe’s new multi-annual spectrum policy should be put into place in the next few months. The Radio Spectrum Policy Program (RSPP) covers all use of spectrum, with satellite mentioned several times. This RSPP was first proposed by the European Commission in September 2010. It is styled as a “multi-annual program” to […]

By | January 1, 2012

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