Today, Amazon revealed the design of the antennas of its upcoming massive satellite constellation, Project Kuiper. The company has designed Project Kuiper to provide broadband internet coverage from space.
The antenna has a phased array design. It underwent development and testing. The company claims that with a diameter of just 12 inches, the antenna is “smaller and lighter than legacy antenna designs”. The company also claimed that testing showed the antenna can provide “maximum throughput of up to 400 Mbps.”
According to Amazon, the antenna can be used to stream 4K quality videos from geostationary satellites, spacecraft that are located about 22,000 miles above the Earth. Amazon Kuiper’s satellites will be much closer to Earth.
Back in July, Amazon received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites for Project Kuiper. The spacecraft was granted a flying range between 590 kilometres (366 miles) to 630 kilometres (391 miles).
Project Kuiper aims to beam low-latency, broadband internet coverage to individual users. Amazon is especially targeting to cover remote areas and regions that do not have access to traditional high-speed internet.
Amazon said that by making its user terminals smaller, it will reduce the cost of making the hardware as well as lower the price point for customers to opt into the program. This way, it was able to go small by overlaying “tiny antenna element structures” over one another.
Today, in an Amazon blog post, Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper said: “If you want to make a difference for unserved and underserved communities, you need to deliver service at a price that makes sense for customers”. “This simple fact inspired one of our key tenets for Kuiper: to invent a light, compact phased array antenna that would allow us to produce an affordable customer terminal. It’s incredible to see such a small form factor delivering this type of speed and performance.”
Amazon has not revealed anything about its price plans for Project Kuiper, but the company did vow to invest the US $ 10 billion into the program.