SpaceX Applies to Add Starlink Antenna to Floating Rocket Launch Pads

SpaceX has applied for sea-based Starlink satellite ground stations. The company is seeking regulatory approval to turn its ocean rocket landing sites into satellite ground stations for testing.

According to a report from Advanced Television (via Data Center Dynamics), the company has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to test Starlink antennas aboard its ocean-going rocket-landing platforms, known as autonomous spaceport drone ships (ASDS).

The company requests Special Temporary Authority to operate up to twelve SpaceX earth stations operating in the Ka-band aboard autonomous, US-flagged drone ships while embarked in US territorial waters in the North Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. SpaceX would operate no more than four earth stations per vessel under this authorization at any given time. This experiment will enable SpaceX to test antennas onboard its autonomous drone ships in the Ka-band, according to the company. The trial will last from January 1 to June 29, 2024.

SpaceX explained that the purpose of the test is to evaluate the ability of ground stations to serve as gateways in a marine environment using test traffic. The company aims to connect earth stations to its first and second generation Ka-band satellite systems. During testing, “the earth station will only receive and transmit test traffic to assess the capability of these earth stations to route and switch NGSO FSS traffic and backhaul local networks in a maritime environment.”

These experiments will not change the operation of SpaceX spacecraft. These proposed operations will not adversely affect any other authorized spectrum user, including geostationary orbit (“GSO”) satellite systems, nor terrestrial services.

SpaceX first mentioned plans to create unmanned floating landing platforms back in 2014.

At the moment, Starlink has already signed a number of agreements with shipping operators. Among container shipping companies, its clients include Fukujin Kisen, Hapag-Lloyd, Seaspan Corporation, Polembros Shipping, Columbia Shipmanagement, Costamare, Sun Enterprises, F. and Laeisz. Cruise ship firms using Starlink terminals include Ambassador, Cunard, Seabourn, Aqua Expedition, OceanGate Expeditions, Enesel, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation, Windstar Cruises, Hurtigruten, SeaDeam, and American Cruise Line.

Are you buying a Tesla? If you enjoy our content and we helped in your decision, use our referral link to get a three month trial of Full Self-Driving (FSD).
Previous Article

Tesla reverts to importing Model 3 from China into Canada

Next Article

Fisker releases Ocean OS 2.0 OTA software update, enhancing performance and energy management

You might be interested in …