SpaceX eyes StarLink to connect rocket recovery ships to the Internet

Regulatory filings suggest that SpaceX intends to use StarLink to connect its fleet of rocket recovery ships to the Internet, potentially killing a series of tests that would prove the satellite Internet network to be viable for marine use Can.

First reported by CNBC, the news came as a radio service application filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on 15 September. Such filing is routine, at which point, SpaceX works to dramatically expand the network of stationary ground stations that will serve as a network hub for all Starlink Internet services. Done through subsidiaries Space Exploration Holdings LLC and SpaceX Services Inc., SpaceX filed for more than 500 experimental licenses, Earth Station licenses and special temporary authorizations (STA, allowing temporary communications without a dedicated license) in the last 12 months Have done

Hundreds of those evils represent licenses for several hundred ground stations in the US alone, with many more dedicated to increasingly widespread use of user terminals – smaller antennas intended for individual buildings. SpaceX’s September 15 application, however, requests permission to install multiple user terminals on an active fleet of rocket recovery ships – possibly the company’s first attempt to license StarLink communications with mobile users.

SpaceX may soon connect its large fleet of recovery ships to the Internet with its own Starlink satellite constellation and user terminals. (Nassaspflight – Boccachigal)

For SpaceX itself, flexible and responsive communications services from low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations are highly desirable. The company currently relies on off-the-shelf parabolic antennas and traditional geostationary satellite Internet providers to connect a fleet of at least seven active ships used to recover Falcon boosters, Falcon fairings, and Dragon spacecraft. is.

For the broader Starlink business, maritime communications represents a fixed, large-scale captive market with at least $ 1.3 billion annually in 2019, while the industry grew by at least ~ $ 2.4 billion per year by the end of the decade Estimates The massive bandwidth, unprecedentedly low latency, and low cost mean that StarLink is exceptionally positioned to disrupt the maritime communications market, as if it were quickly one of the in-flight connectivity industries A very large figure can be formed.

In addition to the Starlink user terminals on SpaceX rocket recovery ships, this could potentially mean that those ships could broadcast live ideas brought to SpaceX’s own satellite network for a SpaceX webcast. Starlink terminals are probably too large to fit automatically on Falcon rockets. However, it is possible that the use of state-of-the-art phased antennas and the ability to literally tailor StarLink network performance to meet SpaceX’s needs could potentially allow for much higher quality live footage in SpaceX webcasts, possibly satellite. Resolving the network issue as well. Falcon booster drone connection instability during ship landing.

There would be a certain satisfactory symmetry if Starlink ensured better live views of the Falcon booster landing that effectively made the unprecedented satellite constellations possible in the first place.

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