"UFOs on a stick" or satellite dishes? The first images of Starlink's terminals are already circulating

"UFOs on a stick" or satellite dishes? The first images of Starlink's terminals are already circulating

As SpaceX gets closer and closer to the launch of Starlink's global Internet coverage services, the first images of satellite dishes that will connect users to the constellation of satellites emerge.

It is true that CEO Elon Musk had previously described the appearance of the terminals, comparing them to UFOs on a stick, however, the company has not yet officially shared images of the equipment. Now, Vivien Hantusch, a student at the Peter Behrens School of Arts who often interacts with Elon Musk on Twitter, has managed to discover two photographs of the antennas in the code on the Starlink website.

In response to Vivien's discovery, the company's CEO added that the terminals have motors that allow the equipment to orient itself and find the best position. In addition, the antennas do not have an advanced installation process, just connect them and position them outside. It could be in the garden, on the roof, on a table, basically anywhere, as long as they can get a view of the sky, explained Elon Musk.

The international press advances that those who had registered to participate in the beta tests received an email that indicates that the experimental phase of the Internet service will start this summer, followed by a trial period open to the general public.

In the meantime, SpaceX will have to prove that the Starlink satellite constellation can deliver rural Internet speeds with latencies of less than 100 milliseconds to the rural United States. There is a federal fund of 16 billion dollars, over the next 10 years, designed to support the rural environment to have broadband and voice access.

The Federal Communications Commission has doubts that Elon Musk's company will be able to obtain the minimum necessary to apply for a low latency offer, but it does not exclude it from the competition. SpaceX's great challenge is to have a functional network in time to apply for funds. The technological plan will do so later this year, although the start of the access auction is scheduled for 29 October.

What is the "code of conduct" for a Starlink beta tester?

Hidden in the website code are still important details about the process of participating in the beta tests of Starlink. According to an analysis carried out by Business Insider, it was possible to find a JavaScript file that could be the basis for invitations to the experimental phase.

The document contains information about the privacy policies and terms of service, as well as an indication of the fees that users will have to pay to participate in the beta tests: an initial payment of three dollars followed by a monthly fee of two dollars.

The file also states that, in order to participate, users will have to fulfill certain requirements, such as living in the northern part of the United States or in southern Canada. In addition, they need to live in a place where they have access to open sky, otherwise the satellite dishes will not be able to establish a correct connection to the orbiting satellites.

Another important detail is the fact that beta test participants will have to sign a confidentiality agreement. [The participant] will not be able to talk about his participation in the Beta program, the document indicates, mentioning that the rule applies to sharing details in the online world, whether through social networks or public forums, but also from private accounts and restricted groups.

Confidentiality also applies to the terminal assembly process, as the company indicates that they will have to be assembled by the users themselves. Participants will also have to dedicate between 30 minutes to an hour every day to test the Internet service and give feedback to the company's employees.