Partnership between private company launching experimental satellite and amateur community?

My company, Care Weather, is looking to launch one more experimental satellite before we start into commercial operations with our radar weather satellites. We have a weird situation where we can’t use our ideal TT&C frequency for this final experimental satellite (details below) so we need to find a frequency in the 100 MHz to 1000 MHz range that we can use. Would it be possible to partner with the amateur community on this satellite and operate TT&C for this mission in amateur spectrum?

Our objective is to test the radio and other satellite software/hardware. We would be willing to open source some of our command and telemetry capabilities to provide value to the community. We also have a ground station that we could probably integrate with Satnogs to provide additional value.

I’d love to hear thoughts on whether this would be valuable to the community and feasible from a spectrum standpoint. Also, if anyone would be interested in chatting in more depth on a call, I’d love to hear your insights. Happy to answer any other questions you all have.

Thanks for the consideration!

P.S. Weird spectrum issues
We built a radio for the VHF bands designated by the ITU for short-duration satellite missions (137 MHz down and 149 MHz up). Those bands have a primary allocation for space operation which is our intended use case. However, we want to license this satellite under the FCC’s experimental license process (cost reasons) and that process requires non-interference, basically putting you in last priority. In the U.S., there happen to be multiple telecom operators, Swarm and Orbcomm, using those bands for the mobile satellite service which is a secondary allocation. Trying to prove non-interference with telecom is a nightmare. When we file a commercial license for our later satellites, we’ll take priority, so that shouldn’t be an issue. But those licenses are expensive, so we’re hoping to delay those costs while we pare down some additional risk on this experimental satellite.


As long as the downlink data is not encrypted, it should be fine.

Definitely an interesting idea, what sort of amateur payload are you planning?

Contact the IARU and there frequency coordination page


The IARU is the correct answer. But talk to them, don’t just fill out the form. I think they may have some issue coordinating if the satellite itself does not have an amateur radio function, but I’m not the expert.

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