SpaceX Is Working To Introduce A Starlink Software Upgrade That Aims To Solve Dish ‘Thermal Shutdown’ Affecting Users In Extreme Hot Weather

Evelyn Arevalo by Evelyn Arevalo June 20, 2021

SpaceX Is Working To Introduce A Starlink Software Upgrade That Aims To Solve Dish ‘Thermal Shutdown’ Affecting Users In Extreme Hot Weather

Featured Image Source: slapmonkay via Reddit 

SpaceX is in the process of deploying the world’s most advanced satellite broadband internet infrastructure. The company is already an internet service provider, Starlink beta internet is available in some rural regions around the world to customers who pre-ordered via Starlink.com. SpaceX continues to accept orders that will be fulfilled on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.

Most Starlink beta customers are satisfied with the broadband service that SpaceX says provides internet speeds ranging from 50Mbps to 150Mbps (megabits per second) and latency from 20ms to 40ms (milliseconds). Some users report internet download speeds over 200Mbps and 400Mbps, which is quite fast! In March SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that Starlink will provide reliable internet speed of ~300Mbps with latency of ~20ms by the end of the year.

The broadband speed has been impressive for most Starlink users, especially those living in rural areas in the U.S. However, over the past week, a couple of Starlink users living in the U.S. state of Arizona have shared via Reddit that their Starlink phased-array dish antenna shutdown while they were surfing the web due to extreme hot weather conditions. The temperature in Arizona hit a record-breaking temperature of 122 degrees Fahrenheit this past week, causing the system to shutdown. These extremely hot temperatures will continue throughout the month. The Starlink App, that works alongside the hardware, informed the user [SocietyTomorrow via Reddit] that the dish ‘Overheated’ and that it went ‘offline’ due to a ‘Thermal Shutdown’ – “Starlink will reconnect after cooling down,” the information message said (screenshot of the app shown below). Last year, SpaceX Starlink engineers said the Starlink dish unit is certified to operate from 22° degrees below zero up to 104° degrees Fahrenheit. 

Image Source: Reddit another-fun-day

Another Starlink user another-fun-day, who lives in Northern Arizona, shared via Reddit that their Starlink dish also went through a thermal shutdown during the scorching temperatures last week. They reached out to SpaceX Starlink customer support to discuss the issue and they said that engineers will soon introduce a software upgrade that aims to solve the ‘Thermal Shutdown’ some users are experiencing in hot weather. “This isn't the intended behavior and it's a software issue that they are hoping to get out a fix for next week,” SpaceX customer support representative told the Starlink beta tester. “Wow. Also the support people replied minutes after I submitted the case at 8PM,” another-fun-day said, “I assume there still has to be an upper limit to the ambient temperature, but this is beyond my expectations - I was fully expecting this would be fixed in some future version of the hardware,” the beta tester wrote in the Reddit post.

 “This isn't the intended behavior and it's a software issue that they are hoping to get out a fix for next week,” SpaceX customer support representative told the Starlink beta tester. 

Reddit user DutchDaddy who is also from Northern Arizona, did not experience a thermal shutdown, despite of the extreme heat their Starlink dish provided them with high-speed internet service of 226Mbps! (Speed test results shown below) They said the dish is mounted on the roof of their house but all the electrical components of the dish are located indoors, which suggests users should search for a place where the unit will not overheat during the ongoing Arizona heat wave. We will see if the software upgrade can help with the automatic thermal shutdown for users living in areas where its very hot. When SpaceX rolled out its Starlink ‘Better Than Nothing Beta' service last year, engineers introduced a software upgrade that enabled the Starlink dish to melt snow more efficiently over the winter. Engineers recently shared that they introduce software upgrades to the satellites in space and the customer’s dish antenna/Wi-Fi router at least once a week to improve the system.

 

Image Source: Reddit DutchDaddy 

 

Featured Image Source: slapmonkay via Reddit 





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