SpaceX’s Starlink broadband constellation aims to deliver high-speed internet service globally. Satellite internet is ideal for rural and remote regions where fiber-optic internet is not available or affordable. Space-based connection is also helpful when disaster strikes. During weather-related disasters, like tornadoes or hurricanes, terrestrial internet infrastructures can get damaged –making rescue efforts more challenging. First-responders always need reliable communication services to protect and rescue citizens. Starlink service can be available for rescue efforts at all times because the global satellite infrastructure will beam service to users worldwide and future satellites will be equipped with laser-links that will enable fast data transfer with no need to connect to a ground station.
The Ferreira Foundation works with U.S. Disaster Coordination, they announced plans to use SpaceX’s Starlink internet service during disaster relief operations. The foundation aims to ‘bridge the gap in a disaster’ by utilizing space-based communication and advanced technology that will be connected to a vehicle the organization uses during rescue operations. “Ferreira Foundation/U.S. Disaster Coordination has placed orders for 2 SpaceX Starlink High-Speed Satellite Internet Systems,” the foundation representatives shared. “The Rocinante (Ferreira Foundation's bus) is equipped with an advanced Multi-WAN Network System capable of combining up to 6 different Internet Connections designed for pulling in whatever data is available and sharing it with several hundred users from a single site via WiFi, Point-to-Point, and hard-wired connections. The system is capable of running many types of network services in a small low power redundant appliance including Voice, Data, and Offline services,” they said in a press release.
SpaceX’s Starlink dish antennas will work alongside the bus’ communications system. “[…] The intellectual property, equipment, and technology have been donated to Ferreira Foundation to further be developed into a full Disaster Communications System with features very useful for field and disaster usage,” the foundation said. “The system will also utilize parts of another disaster communications project which utilizes Mesh Wireless Technology for building spontaneous and disaster-resilient networks in the field. The entire project will eventually be free for others to use.” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that by the end of 2021 Starlink service will become fully-mobile, enabling users/first-responders to take the dish antenna anywhere they go. "…So you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck in motion,” he said in April. Author's note: Thanks for supporting TESMANIAN! Twitter: Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Connections designed for pulling in whatever data is available and sharing it with several hundred users from a single site via WiFi, Point-to-Point, and hard wired connections. The system is capable of running many types of network services in a small low power redundant— Ferreira Foundation (@FerreiraFoundat) May 23, 2021
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.