Subscribe by RSS Subscribe by RSS

Worldwide Internet for All? Unintended Consequences of New Satellite Constellations

Tue., Mar. 14, 2023 11:30 a.m. - Tue., Mar. 14, 2023 12:30 p.m.

Location: Education Auditorium

Worldwide Internet for All? 

Unintended Consequences of New Satellite Constellations


Samantha Lawler

Assistant Professor of Astronomy (Campion College)



When: Tuesday, 14 March, 2023

Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Education Auditorium


Abstract:  Starlink has launched thousands of communication satellites in the past 3 years, and already has permission to launch and operate tens of thousands more. Several other companies have similar scale megaconstellation plans, with the goal of providing for-profit satellite internet access. Current satellite deployment and operation plans ignore many externalities: the globally-visible light pollution from these satellites causes serious disruption to research astronomy and to all stargazers worldwide, and satellites contribute to significant atmospheric pollution and drastically increase the very real threat of Kessler Syndrome. This talk will focus on regulations and best engineering practices that satellite operators should be using to keep Low Earth Orbit safe and functional for future generations.

All are welcome and invited to attend !!

Bio: Samantha Lawler is a professor of astronomy at Campion College and the Department of Physics at the University of Regina. She is an orbital dynamicist, studying the Kuiper Belt and exoplanet-dust disk systems. She is deeply concerned about the proliferation of satellite streaks that she's seen in her research images from large telescopes, and the satellite light pollution she's seen with her own eyes in the night sky from her farm outside Regina. Her discoveries in the Kuiper Belt and predictions for satellite pollution have been featured by CBC, CNN, NPR, Scientific American, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Wired Magazine, and many other international news outlets.