Amazon announced the continuation of the Kuiper project, a competitor of the SpaceX Starlink orbital Internet provider. Next year, two prototypes of the satellite will be launched in low near -Earth orbit. Working on the experimental license of the US Federal Commission (FCC), Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2 will test communication and network technologies for the final version of the satellite.
According to Amazon, the temporary license will allow it not only to launch two prototypes, but also to check the process of the output to the orbit and the mission management methods, as well as the terminals used for the ground component of the network. The technology has already passed laboratory tests, but the orbit is necessary in order to make sure that the system will be able to work in the space environment.
In the upcoming tests, the satellite systems and subsystems, its phased antenna gratings and parabolic antennas, power and motor units, as well as special modems will be checked. In addition, the prototypes will check the method of reducing light pollution of the satellite group using the new sunscreen visor.
Satellites are planned to be launched from the cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral in Florida using RS1 missiles and the GS0 launch system created and operated by the ABL Space Systems. After the tests are completed, prototypes will make an active gathering from orbit and burn in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The Kuiper project is implemented by a subsidiary of Kuiper Systems LLC, which ultimately plans to launch a group of 3236 satellites in 98 orbital planes at an altitude of 590 to 630 km. The devices are designed to ensure a global coating of broadband Internet at a speed of up to 400 megabits per second using an inexpensive plane antenna.
Source — Amazon