SpaceX Approved to Test Next-Gen Starlink Dishes, Will Be Slightly Larger

SpaceX has been given clearance by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to begin testing its next-generation Starlink dishes, according to a report from PC Mag.

The FCC granted SpaceX a temporary license for testing a variety of “new user-terminal hardware,” while a document from the company adds that the tests will oversee the “next-generation phased array antennas” for Starlink.

“This testing will allow SpaceX to characterize the performance of these user terminals under a wide range of conditions and to measure the RF (radio frequency) density of emissions from these user terminals,” wrote SpaceX in an FCC filing.

With the clearance, SpaceX may be looking to try out larger Starlink dishes with approval applying to hardware up to a certain size.

SpaceX is looking to test as many as 200 models accounting for “multiple potential user configurations,” and they’re allowed to test models with dimensions “not to exceed 0.586 by 0.385” meters in size (23 inches by 15.1 inches), which are larger than its predecessor that measures 0.513 by 0.303 meters (20 inches by 11.9 inches), notes PCMag.

The license also lets SpaceX test the hardware in five specific locations: L.A. and Mountain View, California; Redmond, Washington; Riverton, Wyoming; and Cape Canaveral, Florida.

On Tuesday, SpaceX’s plans to delay the implementation of a Fair Use policy in North America surfaced, just as the company launched even more Starlink satellites into orbit. The next Starlink satellite launch is set for Thursday morning.