SpaceX is creating a constellation of Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit for the global deployment of wireless Internet. The company currently operates about 960 satellites out of more than 4,000 that it plans to deploy. The Starlink beta testing program is active in parts of the northern US and Canada.
By 2021, SpaceX aims to provide global Internet coverage around the world, primarily in regions of the Earth where broadband is poorly or completely unavailable. Starlink customers access the Internet via a phased array antenna, which SpaceX has nicknamed Dishy McFlatface. Since the constellation is not large enough to be able to serve multiple clients, SpaceX selects program participants by location until more satellites are deployed. SpaceX plans to begin offering the beta version of the service to more customers in late January. Those interested can register through Starlink.com to receive information on the availability of the service in their region.
A blogger named Kenneth Keiter was fortunate enough to be among the beta testers of Starlink – he purchased the hardware for $ 499 and decided to destroy it! The Starlink Kit includes a pizza-sized plate terminal, a Wi-Fi router, and a power supply and mounting hardware. Keeter has uploaded a video titled Starlink Teardown: Dishy Destroyed, which provides an insight into the internals and technologies of SpaceX’s phased array antenna.
“I sacrificed a Starlink dish, also known as Dishy to the gods of disassembly. So that you can be the first to see what’s inside and understand how it works “– he said with excitement. In the video, Mr. Keeter completely disassembled Dishy McFlatface. SpaceX says the satellite antenna terminal is equipped with more advanced technology than those used in fighter jets. The antenna is able to independently search for satellites after installation – Kenneth Keeter showed a small set of motors that allow the antenna to change orientation and find an optimal view of the sky.
SpaceX engineers recently shared how an antenna dish is capable of locating satellites in orbit: “Starlink actually knows nothing about satellites when it turns on; the grouping is constantly updated, so it is difficult to keep information about it up to date, They said. – Starlink can electronically scan the sky in milliseconds and track a satellite above it, even if it is moving at 17,500 miles per hour. When it discovers a satellite, Starlink pinpoints its position and makes a request to connect to the Internet. After that, the dish can load the schedule, which satellites to switch to next “…
During an hour-long video, Keeter disassembles the antenna piece by piece, explaining what some of the pieces are used for, until he finds a thin antenna array. Keeter demonstrates all the components of the terminal dish, as everyone can see:
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