The Starlink subsidiary of SpaceX is working on the design of a new ruggedized satellite dish that will be able to function normally in a range of temperatures. This is the second ruggedized Starlink dish that the business has shown off; the previous one is intended for use on vehicles, ships, and planes, whilst the more recent one is a stationary earth station that would bring internet to buildings.
In an application that was submitted on Friday, SpaceX requested authorization from the Federal Communications Commission to deploy what it refers to as “high-performance fixed earth stations” (also known as “HP terminals”). Yesterday, PCMag published an article that discussed the application.
“Compared to other user terminals SpaceX Services has been authorised to deploy, the HP model has been ruggedized to handle harsher environments so that, for example, it will be able to continue to operate at greater extremes of heat and cold, will have improved snow/ice melt capabilities, and will withstand a greater number of thermal cycles,” SpaceX told the FCC. “Compared to other user terminals SpaceX Services has been authorised to deploy, the HP model has been ruggedized to handle harsher environments so that, for example According to SpaceX, the application ought to be granted since the terminals will bring the Starlink network into “a variety of far more difficult settings.”
“If this application is approved, it will be in the public interest because it will authorise a new class of ground-based component for SpaceX’s satellite system. This component will increase the range of broadband capabilities that are available throughout the United States, particularly to those who live in harsh environments where ruggedization is appropriate… In the market for broadband services, operation under the sought blanket licence will give certain customers with a first option while also promoting competition for customers of other companies “SpaceX was the author.
Terminals will occasionally enter a state known as “thermal shutdown.”
When they reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius), the present Starlink user terminals enter a state known as “thermal shutdown,” which results in service disruptions for certain customers. The basic Starlink dishes used by people who use the Internet from their homes have an operational temperature range that extends from -30 degrees Celsius to +122 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit to +50 degrees Celsius).
It is unclear whether the newly developed ruggedized terminal is exclusively designed for customers in the corporate world or whether it will also become an option for users in the home world. The radiation hazard assessment that SpaceX performed shows that the terminals would be used in a range of customer scenarios; nonetheless, the assessment places an emphasis on corporate clients. According to the report, “Enterprise clients would significantly benefit from the deployment of certain HP terminals in occupational and controlled environments.” According to what SpaceX said, “many installations will be done in regions that are unavailable to the public. However, it is anticipated that certain HP terminals may also be placed in General Population/Uncontrolled Environments.”
Accordingly, “SpaceX Services will deploy two versions of these terminals that differ only in the software that determines their maximum duty cycle,” and the company will “ensure that the higher duty cycle is only deployed in areas that are not accessible to the general public,” according to a statement that was published by SpaceX.
It is also not quite known what the precise operational temperature range of the anticipated HP terminals will be. Today, we contacted SpaceX and requested questions regarding the working temperature of the terminal as well as its potential for use in the home. If we receive a response from SpaceX, we will update this post.