Starlink could offer smaller antenna

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SpaceX’s Starlink has submitted an application to the FCC for permission to test a smaller antenna for its broadband-by-satellite service.

The application asks for a temporary licence to test 5 new user terminals (in California, Colorado, Texas, Utah and Washington State). These new designs will use the same uplink and downlink frequencies as a conventional dish being used by ‘beta’ testers.

The filing applications were made on May 28th.

Key differences are that the new design is square and smaller. The consensus is that with the FCC having approved lower operating orbits for some of the Starlink fleet then it could be that smaller dishes would work just as well.

However, the testing regime will want to measure and verify all the key parameters of the new concepts with the existing ‘Pizza-sized’ dish and compare and contrast the various options.


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