Amazon to launch, test Kuiper system

communications test sequence Amazon prototype satellites

Amazon is prepping for more extensive testing of its prototype Kuiper LEO broadband communications system, based on an application for Special Temporary Authority (STA) granted by the Federal Communications Commission last Friday.

Amazon asked for an STA of six months to conduct testing via operation of a ground station in Kapolei, Hawaii, which will provide telemetry, tracking and control to the experimental KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2, using spectrum at 19.3-19.4 GHz (space-to-Earth transmissions) and 27.5-27.6 GHz (Earth-to-space transmissions). The ground station will be co-located with planned gateway Earth stations that will support the commercial Kuiper system, Amazon said in its application.

Amazon wants to provide “high-capacity, low-latency broadband communications services to tens of millions of unserved and underserved consumers and businesses” with its Kuiper LEO system, which was given the go-ahead by the FCC in 2020 for a constellation of 3,236 satellites at various altitudes. Kuiper will be a direct competitor to LEO satellite operator Starlink.

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Picture: Amazon