Imagine having high-speed internet service on moving vehicles. Riding a car, boat, train or plane without worrying about losing internet coverage. Even better, the connectivity stays while traveling long off-road adventures in the middle of nowhere. SpaceX Starlink recently applied for approval on this kind of internet service.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) and its satellite internet service, Starlink, is popularly known to provide internet connection anywhere around the world. They do this by using a satellite system that transmits connectivity from Earth's orbit.
It is important to note that Starlink is still in its beta phase. For now, Starlink services are reportedly limited to certain countries. Check out if Starlink is available in your local area through this website.
SpaceX Starlink Internet Goes Mobile
Aside from home broadband service, Starlink recently took action to provide internet service for moving vehicles. To do so, SpaceX proposed new terminals called Earth Stations In Motion (ESIMs).
In a nutshell, ESIMs are satellite discs installed on moving vehicles. These discs should theoretically be capable of receiving internet connectivity, similar to the geostationary satellite terminals (used by traditional connections). It would provide high-speed internet connections under the coverage of the Starlink satellite system.
This new technology, however, comes with a few risks.
SpaceX Starlink Internet Gets Major Upgrade
Wccftech reported on the details for Starlink's ESIMs.
These new terminals, ESIMs, will lower their transmit power but gain a higher scan angle and higher signal gain, meaning the design might be different from the current Starlink terminal that users are aware of.
A sub-category of the ESIMs is also designed to withstand stringent environmental conditions, including high and low environmental temperatures. This should be perfect for people living in an extremely hot or cold location.
Starlink Internet ESIMs Has Radiation Hazard
Starlink proposed two categories for their new ESIMs terminals. One would be open to the general public, with radiation levels at 1.0 mW/cm² (milliwatts per square centimeters) limit, per Wccftech.
The second is for occupational use, built for big organizations or companies using the internet service in large quantities. This second category of mobile internet terminals is reported to have surface power densities at 1.57 mW/cm² and 2.12 mW/cm².
For the latter terminals, SpaceX personnel will manually install the systems at the designated location. These terminals would also feature radiation hazard warning signs. On the flip side, these terminals can reportedly stay connected longer to the orbiting satellites.
Elon Musk and Space X Starlink Filed to FCC
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) only approved power densities at 1.0 mW/cm², meaning that Starlink ESIMs both exceed regulation levels.
According to the SpaceX application, the company requested a waiver to operate its mobile Starlink terminals. It is highlighted that the FCC does not have rules for mobile satellites terminals. SpaceX argued that technical implications for the ESIMs should be different from the geostationary satellite terminals because it operates on a different system. Lastly, SpaceX emphasized that mobile platforms would be beneficial to the public interest.
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