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Rwanda files ITU for a 327320 satellite project…

The Rwanda Space Agency has just filed a request at the ITU for two satellite constellations projects called Cinnamon-217 and Cinnamon-937, with a total of 327320 satellites. The filing calls for 27 orbital “shells” which are groups of orbits at the same altitude. Cinnamon-217 will have 217 planes and Cinnamon-937… 937 planes! Cinnamon-217 is a subset of Cinnamon-937, which will have 26 shells of 36 planes with 360 satellites each. Plus an equatorial plane of 360 satellites… The altitude is around 600km and the frequencies range are 1.4GHz, 2GHz, 7-8GHz, 70GHz and 80GHz range.

As a country, Rwanda launched its first satellite in 2019, a 3U cubesats developped by local engineers supported by Japan.

Well, what can be said? Obviously, given the numbers, this can be assumed to be mainly a communication action to generate buzz and signal to the world the ambition of Rwanda. Even if at the end, this reduces to a much smaller project. It seems that Rwanda wants to surf, as other companies or countries, on the global space opportunity and take the lead on the African continent.

For the rest, the goal of such a project is unclear, probably linked to global internet access as other mega constellations project. As most of these ventures target Africa as one of their markets, it seems sensible that African countries would want to set up their own systems and benefit from being part of the game.

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