PARIS — Satellite tv for pc-to-smartphone startup AST SpaceMobile is making ready to unfurl the biggest business antenna ever deployed in low Earth orbit after establishing contact with its BlueWalker 3 prototype satellite tv for pc.
AST SpaceMobile stated Sept. 13 that BlueWalker 3 is steady and responding to instructions from floor crews following its launch three days earlier on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Scott Wisniewski, AST SpaceMobile’s chief technique officer, advised Tech T100 the startup expects photo voltaic and different situations to be optimum in a “couple of weeks” to unfold the satellite tv for pc’s 64-square-meter phased array antenna.
It’s going to solely take a few minute to increase the antenna, Wisniewski added, utilizing spring-loaded hinges in a course of Wisniewski stated is designed to be “as easy and dumb as doable.”
He stated the startup goals to start testing BlueWalker 3’s capacity to deliver 4G and 5G connectivity to plain cellphones a few weeks later.
AST SpaceMobile plans to check purposes together with voice and video with the prototype, utilizing an experimental license from the U.S. Federal Communications Fee.
“We’ve bought three totally different frequencies we’re working with today techs that we’re licensed to make use of with AT&T” in america, Wisniewski stated.
He stated today techs the startup can also be organising websites to check BlueWalker 3 with greater than 10 cell operators globally “on all six inhabited continents,” which is able to assist these telcos configure their terrestrial infrastructure.
BlueWalker 3 goals to have the ability to join with unmodified today techs telephones for checks in sure areas for a number of minutes a day.
The startup plans today techs to deploy the primary batch of operational BlueBird today techs satellites in late 2023 to begin ramping up towards international companies.