Special Session (incl. Lunch) SS32  27 June 2022

Impact of large Satellite Constellations on Astronomical Activities

Aims and scope

Earth's exosphere is set to become more and more crowded, with tens of thousands of commercial telecommunication satellites expected to be launched in the next few years. The effect this will have on observational facilities and in general on the dark sky is a concern for professional and amateur astronomers alike. Studies have indicated that the effect is particularly significant for wide-field imaging telescopes, such as the Vera Rubin Observatory and radio-facilities, like SKAO. There are potential concerns also for high-energy astrophysics and on the problem of space debris.

The ongoing deployment of the SpaceX Starlink system and of OneWeb are likely to be closely followed by satellite constellations built by Amazon, Samsung, and many other companies around the world, and the EU is now in the early stages of developing its own system too. By the end of this decade the population of satellites in low-Earth orbit could rise from around 2,000 (the 2019 baseline) to more than 100,000. Dealing with the impact of large satellite constellations will likely be an important issue for observational astronomers for many years.


  • Impact that large satellite constellations will have on astronomical activities, examining the issue for ground- and space-based facilities across the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Mitigation measures/techniques planned/implemented by telescope facilities
  • Engagement with satellite industry operators and to discuss present and future mitigation efforts
  • Developments on the regulatory framework regarding large satellite constellations

Invited speakers

Scientific organisers

  • Sara Lucatello (EAS/INAF co-chair)
  • Robert Massey (RAS co-chair)
  • Federico Di Vruno (SKAO)
  • Tanja Masson-Zwaan (Leiden University)
  • Kumar Singarajah (ESOA)
  • Andy Williams (ESO)


Updated on Tue Jan 18 12:48:31 CET 2022