SpaceX’s Starlink Mobile Satellites Are Designed To Not Freeze Or Melt



An FCC application has revealed new information about SpaceX‘s mobile satellite dishes for its Starlink internet service, citing that the new hardware will be able to withstand “harsh environments.” For people in rural areas, Starlink is one of the best new internet options on the market. It uses a system of low-orbit satellites to beam down internet service where it typically isn’t available. Starlink isn’t cheap at $99/month, but it’s also considerably better than ISPs that typically have a stronghold in rural America — delivering speeds between 50 and 150Mbps along with 20-40ms latency.

As it stands today, Starlink is only designed for use at the home. Someone gets their satellite dish, sets it up on or near their house, and it’s supposed to stay there. However, Elon Musk has been teasing for months that a mobile version of the dish is coming soon. Musk said in April that a “fully mobile” version of Starlink would be available by the end of 2021, allowing users to place it on a truck or RV. Details on mobile Starlink have been virtually nonexistent since then, but now an important update has been spotted.

Related: A Starlink Terminal On A Car’s Hood Might Get You A Ticket

First reported by Ars Technica, SpaceX has published an FCC application for durable Starlink dishes that can be attached to moving vehicles. The FCC application doesn’t offer any insight for when the mobile dishes will actually launch, but it is a sign that progress is being made. SpaceX is targetting larger vehicles with these dishes, such as RVs, semi-trucks, aircraft, etc. Musk previously said Teslas and other smaller vehicles won’t work with the hardware, so don’t expect to strap a Starlink satellite to a Model S any time soon.

Reading through the FCC application, it reveals that the mobile Starlink dishes will be considerably more rugged than the ones available today. Per the application, the mobile satellite dish, “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.” That might seem like overkill, but if SpaceX expects these dishes to be placed on airplanes and semi-trucks, those protections make sense.

Compared to the home-based dishes available today, this should be a considerable improvement. Current Starlink dishes are automatically disabled if they reach a temperature of 122 degrees Farrenheit. With all of the insane heatwaves so many people have experienced this year, that’s actually resulted in some customers having their internet shut off for hours on end. With SpaceX addressing better heat control for its mobile hardware, one can only hope those improvements make their way to the home-based ones, too.

As far as the mobile service is concerned, this is a nice update for Starlink. Not only will it be a great option for families taking a long road trip, but it could also dramatically improve internet connectivity while in the air. At another point in the FCC application, SpaceX says this will, “expand the range of broadband capabilities available to moving vehicles throughout the United States and to moving vessels and aircraft worldwide.” Now that the application is submitted and the hardware sounds like it’s up for the challenge, it’s all up for SpaceX to meet the deadline Musk has been touting for the better part of the year.

Next: Is SpaceX’s Starlink A Real Threat To Traditional Broadband Providers?

Source: Ars Technica, FCC

Article Source and Credit Buy Tickets for every event – Sports, Concerts, Festivals and more

Discover more from Teslas Only

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading