‘High performance’ Starlink user terminal could be on the horizon

On January 21, SpaceX filed an application with the FCC for the operation of a new, more ruggedized Starlink user terminal. The terminal would be better suited for harsh conditions, such as high heat. This joins a previous application to operate similarly ruggedized terminals on moving vehicles, such as trucks, aircraft, and ships.

This updated terminal would hopefully fix the overheating issue that some users have faced. Both the original round terminal and the updated square terminal have thermal cutoffs at 122ºF. When placed on a hot roof in the sun, that number is easier to reach than you would think

The previous application said of the ruggedized terminals:

Compared to other ESIMs SpaceX Services proposes to deploy, the HP model has been ruggedized to handle harsher environments so that, for example, it will be able to continue to operate at greater extremes of heat and cold, will have improved snow/ice melt capabilities, and will withstand a greater number of thermal cycles.

Whether these high performance terminals will become available to the general public remains in question. As the previous application said about the terminals:

SpaceX services will ensure installation of HP ESIM terminals on vehicles, vessels, and aircraft by qualified installers who have an understanding of the antenna’s radiation environment and the measured best suited to maximize protection of the general public and persons operating the vehicle and equipment.

This makes it seems likely that these will be enterprise-oriented, with specialized installation, rather than just shipping a box to a consumer, like is currently happening with Starlink customers.

The mobile terminals, once launched, could be a big success for the company. While Starlink has already proved its value to rural customers who previously lacked options for high-speed internet (the primary customer base Starlink is targeting), mobile terminals would open the service up to use on RVs, while traveling, and more.

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