Audacy Founder & CEO Ralph Ewig talks about the regulatory risks satellite operators need to consider, when selecting a communications solution for their mission.
About Ralph Ewig
Dr. Ralph Ewig holds three aerospace degrees (BS/MS/PhD) from the University of Washington, and an MS in Business Management for experienced leaders (MSx) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
He was a Project Engineer at Andrews Space (now Spaceflight), Partner/Chief Engineer at Holder Aerospace, Propulsion Engineer at AirLaunch, and Mission Operations Engineer at SpaceX for the first 3 flights of Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS). From there he transitioned to VP of Engineering at Aerojet Rocketdyne, and following his graduation at Stanford in 2015 took his role as founder & CEO of Audacy.
What is a Regulatory Uncertainty?
Satellite radio spectrum is allocated in three categories: FSS used in video broadcasting, MSS used in satellite phones, and ISS like Audacy’s intersatellite network. With the growing need for space data services, some operators are now experimenting with FSS/MSS spectrum for intersatellite applications. This is in violation of international treaties, and there is great uncertainty if and when these services would be recognized as legally compliant or shut down.
Optical communications are currently unregulated; however, here too growing use will necessitate regulations in the future. This again is a source of significant uncertainty around the constraints that future regulations will impose on their use. When launching a satellite, you want maximum return with minimum uncertainty. Audacy is the only intersatellite network licensed for commercial use.