As SpaceX Starlink services are expanding all over the world. They recently applied for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for testing the new smaller antenna for the user terminal.
Furthermore, the application filed with the FCC Office of Experimental Testing (OET) reveals some specifications on the updates.
Starlink terminals work in such a way that the ground stations located all over the globe will receive data from satellites. This enables SpaceX to provide internet all over the world. Last year in its Beta testing version, they improved the user terminals. In mid-2020 they removed the latch on the post near the base. And the ethernet wire was less obstructive. With that update itself, the user can possibly install the satellite themselves, anywhere there is an open sky.
And this update is experimental for now. Where sending and receiving antennas will have different parameters. Its concept is still the same, and the testing will take place in five new user terminals. They are located in Colorado, California, Texas, Washington, and Utah.
Starlink other testing applications
In April, SpaceX applied for FCC to test the user terminal on Starship during flight. As the Starship is being designed to operate on Mars, they are testing the Starlink in altitudes. Not on this, but the vision is to have Starlink user terminals in various locations.
Like, SpaceX filed an FCC to use the terminals on moving vehicles. As SpaceX secured a partnership with Google Cloud and the first orbital phase will be complete by year-end. Their progress with providing more flexible internet options is expanding.
For now, the Starlink user terminals can be installed on any surface like a roof or table with an open sky upwards.
Additionally, in April, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) asked for miniaturized Starlink terminals. They announced their interest as part of Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) proposals for research and development projects. Further, the details were unclear if it is to be developed by SpaceX or other research projects can work on it. But it stated as “conduct a feasibility study to assess. Develop a small form factor system that enables reliable access to the Starlink commercial internet system.”
The proposal also included a battery-powered antenna, which would make it possible to use Starlink internet anywhere. But, there are no further details on miniature antennas. However, Elon Musk gave a nod to the idea on Twitter, saying it is a “good idea”.
Below is a Scribd link, a copy of the application filed by SpaceX for the smaller antenna.