(FCW) Federal agencies ranging from the Federal Communications Commission to the National Institute of Standards and Technology are pushing advances in small satellite technologies, but there is a downside for spectrum holders, according to experts.
Small satellite constellation applications are about to undergo a dramatic shift, said Bhavya Lal, research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analysis, that could cramp spectrum resources. “Up until now 80%” of small satellite applications have been for remote sensing, she said, and only 10% for communications applications. “There is an inversion coming,” she said, in which those statistics will flip, with 80% of applications focused on communications applications and 10% on sensing.
Matt Scholl, chief of computer security at NIST, urged small satellite technology developers to look beyond today’s cybersecurity algorithms to next-generation protections that take emerging quantum computing technologies into account. Today’s cipher and key management for cybersecurity is going obsolete by 2025, as quantum computing comes online.

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