According to the IEEE Spectrum (Mark Harris) the US Store-Forward start up communications firm Swarm Technologies has incurred the wrath of the US Federal Communications Commission by deliberately and knowingly launching four “Space Bee” (aka BEE – Basic Electronic Elements) spacecraft without having FCC permission to do so.  The 0.25U cubesat flat plat spacecraft with extendable antennae, with a mass of under 1kg are technically picosats,  The satellites were launched as part of the shared payload  of an Indian PSLV in January as a demonstration for a new “store-forward” Internet of Things (IoT) communications network.  However, because of concerns about their trackability – or lack their of (despite their inbuilt GPS-based position reporting system) –  the FCC denied the firm a licence – offering instead to grant licences to a later batch of larger 1U CubeSat sized BEE spacecraft.   However, permission for this later launch has now been revoked by the FCC since the launch of the “rogue” satellites.

Drawing of Space Bee (BEE) spacecraft. Courtesy: Swarm Techologies