According to foreign media reports, on December 16 local time, Amazon announced the antenna design of its customers to access the company's upcoming large-scale satellite constellation project project Kuiper, which aims to provide broadband Internet coverage from space. The antenna adopts phased array design and has been developed and tested this autumn.Amazon said that the antenna is only 12 inches in diameter, smaller and lighter than the traditional antenna design. Tests show that the antenna can provide a maximum throughput of up to 400Mbps. The company also pointed out that this antenna can be used to transmit 4K video from geosynchronous satellites. Geosynchronous satellite is a spacecraft located about 22000 miles (about 32000 kilometers) above the earth.However, the Amazon Kuiper satellite will be closer to the earth. In July this year, Amazon obtained the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States to launch a satellite group composed of 3236 satellites for project Kuiper. The flight altitude of the spacecraft ranges from 590 km to 630 km. With so many satellites running close to the earth, project Kuiper will send low latency broadband Internet coverage to individual users on earth. Its goal is to provide coverage to remote areas and regions that cannot access the traditional high-speed Internet.
Amazon is one of many companies focused on launching a huge space Internet constellation. It is worth noting that SpaceX's Starlink program also aims at the same goal. The program is composed of nearly 12000 satellites and will also provide broadband Internet from low to medium earth orbit. At present, SpaceX has launched nearly 1000 Starlink satellites and even started initial testing. Amazon has not yet launched any satellites, and has not disclosed what kind of rocket these satellites will be launched with.Amazon said that by reducing the size of user terminals, they can reduce hardware manufacturing costs and reduce the price point at which customers choose to join the program. The company claims that they can achieve miniaturization by superimposing micro antenna element structures together.According to the photos of SpaceX user terminal released by beta testers on reddit, the 12 inch diameter Amazon antenna is much smaller than the Starlink antenna. It is reported that in order to test SpaceX's Starlink hardware, beta testers must first pay $499 for all devices, and then pay an additional $99 a month. Amazon did not disclose the price of project Kuiper, but the company promised to invest $10 billion in the project.