FICORA grants radio licence for Finland's first commercial satellite

Published 19.10.2017

FICORA has granted a radio licence for a satellite system created by Iceye Oy. It is the first Finnish commercial satellite system. The satellite system is comprised of two radar satellites and their earth stations, which are located in Antarctica and Svalbard.

The radar satellites capture images of, for example, ice sheet motion in the Arctic, something which is very important to, among others, shipping companies operating in the area. They can also be used for imaging oil spill affected areas, monitoring traffic flows on motorways, and determining the extent of forest damage − from space.

Radar satellites are also able to capture images in the dark and in poor weather conditions, such as during cloudy or rainy weather. Not restricted by poor visibility, darkness, rain or clouds, radar satellites can be used for offering 24-hour services in any conditions.

In the coming years, new satellites can be added to the system to provide radar images from anywhere around the globe, with a delay of only a few hours. In the future, consumers may be able to buy near-real time radar satellite images of the locations of their choice.

Rescue services such as sea rescue units can also benefit from radar satellites, as they provide crucial information for storm damage monitoring and recovery.

The result of extensive international collaboration

Satellites may cause radio interference anywhere in the world if frequency use is not agreed upon. Before the radio licence was granted, FICORA sought approval for the radio frequencies used in Iceye Oy's satellite system in accordance with the regulations the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). During the ITU process, FICORA needed to address several issues raised by other country members of the ITU concerning potential interference from the ICEYE-POC satellite system to certain existing or planned systems.

The radio licence granted by FICORA covers the Iceye Oy satellites which orbit the earth at an altitude of 550 to 580 kilometres. One orbital period takes around 1 hour 36 minutes. The Iceye satellites weigh around a hundred kilos.

For FICORA, the radio licence is the culmination of a process that has lasted nearly 1.5 years.

Further information:

Harri Jores, Radio Network Specialist, FICORA, tel. +358 295 390 445

Suvi Juurakko-Lehikoinen, Head of Fixed Radio Communication Networks, FICORA, tel. +358 295 390 446


Iceye Oy: Aubrey Lerche, press(at), iceye(at)

Key words: Spectrum , Licences , News

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