Amazon wants to launch prototypes of Project Kuiper internet satellites by the end of 2022

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Amazon plans to launch two prototype satellites for its Project Kuiper internet service in the fourth quarter of 2022. The company is requesting a permit from the FCC to launch KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 to an altitude of 590km.

Amazon has submitted a request to the American telecom authority FCC for this, the company writes in a blog post. KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 should, among other things, enable Amazon to test the communication and network technologies that will be used in the final Internet satellites for Project Kuiper.

The two prototypes will contain “many of the technologies and subsystems that will power the production versions,” the company said. The two satellites must also use the Ka band, which consists of frequencies between 26.5 and 40GHz in the electromagnetic spectrum.

If Amazon gets a permit for the launch, the two KuiperSat satellites will be launched from Florida in late 2022 to low Earth orbit, at a final altitude of 590km. The two satellites are transported separately on RS1 rockets from ABL Space Systems.

The planned Project Kuiper test procedure. Source: Amazon

Once in space, the two satellites will connect to four customer terminals, which the company eventually plans to provide to its customers, and will be used to connect to the Internet via the Kuiper constellation. Amazon will operate these terminals from a predetermined area in Texas. The terminals will use 17.8-18.6GHz frequencies for space-to-Earth communications and 28.6-29.1GHz for Earth-to-space communications during the mission, according to information submitted by Amazon to the FCC. request provided.

The American company expects the two satellites to fly over “less than five times a day”. The tests proposed by Amazon include broadband tests on the up and down links between the satellites and the terminals. The full test procedure takes just under 11 minutes, the documents show. When the two-year test mission is completed, Amazon will perform a de-orbit and the satellites will merge into the atmosphere. This must be done within one year of the end of the mission.

Amazon has been working on offering satellite internet for some time now. The company received approval from the FCC last year to launch more than 3,200 satellites into low Earth orbit by 2029. With this, the company wants to compete with other satellite projects, such as Starlink from SpaceX, although that space company already offers its internet services commercially. Amazon plans to invest $10 billion in Project Kuiper.

Source: Amazon

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