Mega-Constellations: Legal Aspects

Mega-Constellations: Legal Aspects

Alberto Rueda Carazo (Université Paris-Sud XI, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7256-5.ch009

Abstract

As a reflection of the fast-paced world we currently live in, a new era in satellite technology begins to emerge. This sector, of vital importance for our day-to-day lives, is in a period of significant change, characterized by the use of large satellite constellations. These mega-constellations aim to provide, among other things, worldwide internet coverage. Since 2015, satellite internet providers such as Space X and OneWeb have been working on the idea of mega-constellations and intend to launch circa 4.000 and 882 satellites respectively, thus forcing satellite manufacturers to lower the costs drastically. However, many legal issues may arise since the vast amounts of satellites will significantly increase the risk of collision with other satellites or spacecraft.
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Background

In order to provide a complete background to the reader, this part will focus on three main aspects that will help to understand the relevance of the ITU in light of the advent of macro-constellations. These three sections are the history, the structure and the legal framework of the Union.

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