Recently, SpaceX has been working on the third modification to its Starlink satellite internet constellation. And the modifications are currently facing opposition from a host of companies. Thus, a meeting was held between the FCC’s International Bureau (IB) members and the representatives of Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) regarding the modifications.
According to sources, SpaceX has requested the Commission to allow it to reduce the elevation angles of its Earth stations and altitudes of its satellites – citing reduced interference and safety improvements for the changes, respectively.
But the proposal has received severe scrutiny, especially from Amazon’s satellite division, Kuiper, DISH Corporation, and other non-U.S. registered firms, who believe that the changes will hamper their ability to operate without constraints.
In the meeting with the FCC, Starlink’s representatives highlighted the importance of the changes, which are necessary for improving Starlink safety. On the other hand, competitors, including Amazon, have alleged that the modification request makes the constellation more dangerous. It threatens collisions with satellites that propose to operate in these altitudes.
To improve safety, SpaceX offered two corrective changes:
— The first of these is improving its manufacturing process for better satellite testing.
— The second is a software update that seeks to root out problems that cause the spacecraft to stop responding.
During its meeting with the FCC, SpaceX directly targeted Amazon’s claim of Starlink interfering with the Kuiper constellation. According to SpaceX, Amazon “seems to have given up work on its own nascent NGSO system in favor of its efforts to slow down Starlink.”
But it’s not just Amazon, SpaceX went especially hard on DISH. The company states that DISH has, “singled out SpaceX alone for its fishing expedition, even though other NGSO licensees operate with bigger beams, higher transmit power, and lower elevation angles.”