Mega-Constellations at IAC 2016


Mega-Constellations will be in focus on special plenary at IAC 2016.

A special plenary dedicated to the Projection and Stability of the Orbital Debris Environment in the Light of Planned Mega-Constellation Deployments will take place on Thursday 29 September 2016 from 13:30 – 14:30 at the IAC 2016.

In early 2015, media reported plans by two companies, OneWeb Ltd. (UK) and SpaceX (USA), for the
deployment of large low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations. The OneWeb constellation is planned
to consist of 720 Satellites, to be operating at 1,200 km altitude in 18 different orbit planes, to provide
global high-speed communication. The SpaceX constellation is planned to consist of 4,000 satellites, to
be operating at 1,100 km altitude, to provide global, high-speed internet communication. Both
constellations will be deployed in high-inclination orbits.

This Plenary Event will present a panel of experts that will highlight possible effects of large constellation
deployments on the current and future orbital debris environment, on possible risks imposed on other
space missions during the operation and disposal of such constellations, and on legal aspects of large
constellation deployments in the light of existing space debris mitigation guidelines and applicable legal

The plenary will be moderated by Professor Heiner Klinkrad, former Head of ESA Space Debris Office
and currently an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Space Systems of the Technical University of
Braunschweig. The panelists will include Dr. J.-C. Liou, NASA Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris; Dr. Holger
Krag, Head of ESA Space Debris Office; Mr. Michael Lindsay, OneWeb Mission System Engineering and
Analysis Lead; and Professor Stephan Hobe, Head of Institute of Air- and Space-Law at the University of

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