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Sep 24, 2017

Leaders in small satellites form association to tackle spectrum sharing and other issues

WASHINGTON DC (September 25, 2017) - Today, leaders in the small satellite sector announced the founding of the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA). The group aims to create the conditions for a coordinated, transparent, and expedited spectrum coordination process among commercial small satellite users, government users, and other space and terrestrial users, as well as to represent the small satellite community’s views on spectrum and other policy matters.

Coordinating the use of spectrum has long been a complicated and time-consuming issue for anyone launching a satellite. Frequency use must be coordinated with numerous existing users, including government agencies, and failure to do this effectively may result in missed launches and even the possibility of shutdown of assets in space. The continuing increase in the demand for the capabilities offered by small satellites is driving rapid growth in the number of small satellites launched each year. The speed with which small satellite technologies can be brought to market is rapidly outpacing the ability of the current coordination process to manage the use of shared spectrum. CSSMA will bring together the small satellite community to collaborate with all space industry participants and government agencies to streamline the frequency coordination process.  Expedited processing and management of frequency use will greatly strengthen the US commercial space industry. 

“The CSSMA will establish a singular voice for the small satellite community and those involved in their development to speak with regulators and, in turn, give regulators the ability to speak to the group at large rather than on a case by case basis. We’ll establish rules and tools to make spectrum coordination as efficient and as expedited as it can possibly be,” said Jonathan Rosenblatt, General Counsel for Spire.

“The smallsat industry is growing at an incredible rate and new companies need to understand the operational and regulatory challenges ahead of them. There is a lot of ‘know how’ that we can share to help increase the odds of success and make this community stronger,” said Craig Scheffler, Spectrum Manager for Planet. 

Founding members include Aerospace Corporation, Astro Digital, Blue Canyon Technologies, HawkEye 360, Hogan Lovells, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Kepler Communications, KSAT, NanoRacks, Planet, RBC Signals, and Spire Global. Costs to join are as low as $500 for some membership tiers and free to observers, including regulators and government employees.  The group is open to all in the small satellite industry.

Founding membership status is available until September 30, 2017.  For more information, please see

The next CSSMA meeting will be held the day after the SmallSat Symposium on February 9th at Hogan Lovells, 4085 Campbell Ave., Suite 100, Menlo Park, CA 94025 at 8:30 AM.  If you are interested in joining, please email


CSSMA is a 501(c)(6) trade association whose mission is to create the conditions for a coordinated, transparent, and expedited spectrum coordination process among commercial small satellite users, government users, and other space and terrestrial users, and to advocate and represent the members’ views on spectrum management and other policy matters that affect the smallsat community.

CSSMA’s objectives include facilitating pre-coordination, developing, maintaining, and making available a collection of educational materials regarding spectrum management, sharing industry best practices for spectrum coordination, developing, maintaining, and making available tools and resources that will aid in pre-coordination, advocating in appropriate proceedings and venues and representing the memberships’ views on other issues that affect the smallsat community. CSSMA members are the leading players in the smallsat community.

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