At a meeting with members of the FCC International Bureau (IB), representatives of SpaceX discussed the company's third revision of its Starlink Satellite Internet constellation posture, which is currently facing opposition from many companies.In this modification, SpaceX asked the committee to allow it to reduce the elevation of the earth station and the height of the satellite, respectively, in order to reduce interference and improve safety.
However, this proposal has been scrutinized and challenged by Kuiper, Amazon satellite division, dish company and other non US registered companies, who believe that these changes will hinder their operation ability. SpaceX's latest discussion, which further elaborates on the company's security improvements to Starlink, restates previous arguments.
As is often the case in SpaceX's FCC filings, Mr. David Goldman, the company's director of satellite policy, is not stingy with his views when it comes to dealing with competitors. At a recent meeting with IB, the executive highlighted the latest changes made by spacecx to improve Starlink security. Competitors, including Amazon, claimed that the modification request made the constellation more dangerous because it could collide with satellites proposed to operate at these altitudes.
On the security side, SpaceX has made two corrective changes to improve the non mobility of the satellite. The first is to improve its manufacturing process so as to better carry out satellite testing. The second is the software update, which aims to eradicate the problem that causes the spacecraft to stop responding. According to Goldman, these changes are beginning to pay off, because of the last 723 satellites launched by SpaceX, 720 satellites are more mobile than the injection altitude. Compared with launching the satellite directly to its orbit altitude, SpaceX first sends the satellite to a lower injection altitude, then tests its operability and response, and then lifts the satellite to its orbit destination.
The company also began decommissioning its old satellites because it reiterated the argument before the FCC that the lower the altitude of the satellite, the earlier it would burn out of control in the earth's atmosphere. According to SpaceX, if it loses control of satellites, they should burn up in the atmosphere in one to five years.
Amazon's arguments against Starlink fall into three categories. The company believes that because there are more active satellites in the line of sight, the elevation angle of the earth station decreases and the beam profile becomes larger, which will increase interference after modification.
SpaceX also believes that dish's request for data is just "mashing up". He outlined before the committee that mvdds suppliers had asked SpaceX to share system information with them in the past, but after SpaceX provided information, they left the agreement requiring them to share system details as well.