16 September 2011. ESPI was invited to present the regulatory and legal issues relevant to the implementation of small satellite programmes at an UN/Austria/ESA Symposium on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development, held in Graz.

Increasingly capable nano- and small satellites can now be developed with an infrastructure and at a cost that make them feasible and affordable for organizations such as academic institutions and research centres, which have a limited budget for space activities. The many benefits that can be derived from such activities have led to an increased interest in establishing basic capacities in space technology development, including in developing countries and countries that had previously been only users of space applications.

The United Nations, with the support of the Government of Austria and the European Space Agency organized the last in a series of three UN/Austria/ESA Symposiums on “Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development - Implementing Small Satellite Programmes: Technical, Managerial, Regulatory and Legal Issues” from 13 to 16 September 2011, held in Graz. The series of Symposia is part of the Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI), a new initiative in the framework of the United Nations Programme on space applications aiming to support capacity building in basic space technology and to promote the use of space technology and its applications for sustainable development. The invited presentation of ESPI Resident Fellow Mildred Trögeler (download here) provided an overview of the legal issues of small satellite programmes such as the registration of satellites and launching state liabilities and elaborated on problems in the regulatory field covering frequency allocation, space debris mitigation and space data policies.

Speakers of the session on regulatory and legal issues (from the left): Irmgard Marboe (University of Vienna), Rei Kawashima (UNISEC), Mildred Trögeler (ESPI) and Chuen-Chern Leo (ITU).

This Symposium brought together distinguished speakers from a number of countries involved in the planning or implementation of small satellite programmes in relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations, international or national agencies, academic institutions and industry. It proved a highly useful forum to exchange ideas and experiences that could help to identify issues relevant to the implementation of small satellite programmes and to discuss the way forward for the Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI), in particular the organisation of regional conferences and the development of an education curriculum for aerospace engineering.

- Programme
- Presentation by Mildred Trögeler

Photo credit: ESPI

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