The largest-ever commercial communications satellite spans 693 square feet

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,576   +174
Staff member
What just happened? AST SpaceMobile has completed a crucial step in testing its space-based cellular broadband network. Back in September, the Texas-based satellite designer and manufacturer launched its BlueWalker 3 (BW3) test satellite into orbit. This week, the team successfully deployed the satellite's communications array.

According to AST SpaceMobile, BW3 is the largest-ever commercial communications array deployed in low Earth orbit. Fully unfurled, it spans 693 square feet and is expected to have a field of view of more than 300,000 square miles of the Earth's surface. The satellite circles our planet roughly every 90 minutes.

Solar cells on the backside of the panel will collect energy and on the opposite side, small antennas form a phased array to create tight communications beams. The company said these beams are an efficient way to push a strong signal far away, like from space to Earth. It is also reportedly capable of "hearing" feeble cell phone signals from hundreds of miles away.

AST SpaceMobile was founded in 2017 and went public in the summer of 2021. The company has amassed a portfolio of more than 2,400 patent and patent-pending claims to support its space-based cellular network. BW3 is designed to communicate directly with ordinary mobile phones via 3GPP standard frequencies at 5G speeds.

The startup aims to conduct direct-to-cell phone testing on all six inhabited continents and claims to have agreements and understandings in place with more than 25 mobile network operators including Vodafone and Orange.

"The successful unfolding of BlueWalker 3 is a major step forward for our patented space-based cellular broadband technology and paves the way for the ongoing production of our BlueBird satellites," said Abel Avellan, chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile.

BlueBirds are even larger versions of BW3 that are in development. Eventually, 168 of them will create a constellation to blanket the planet with connectivity.

Shares in AST SpaceMobile are trading down more than four percent as of writing on the news.

AST SpaceMobile is just one of several companies racing to create space-based communications systems for mainstream consumers. The offerings are appealing on paper but not everyone is thrilled with the prospect of further littering Earth's orbit with space debris. Last year, Steve Wozniak and Alex Fielding launched Privateer Space to help tackle the growing problem.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
WOW ..... they better harden it a lot better than Musks Star-link junk so it can stand up to micro-meteorites and solar flares!
 

Stiqy

Posts: 106   +130
Wow 25ft by 28ft. It is so huuuuuuge. It is at least the size of my living room rug!
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,399   +1,040
I remember as a teenager in the 70's, they were complaining about the smog blocking out the sun and causing a new ice age. LOL

Volcanoes, pollution are generally cooling - Pollution is not a good solution for cooling the planet though.

In the 70s most scientists though we were heading for warming , some with the pollution and the sun going into a mini cooling phase thought were were heading for cooling.
Models were not that good then - specially as info on different levels of the atmosphere were poor.

Reflectors have been proposed as a solution - we definitely need some active solutions going forward - along with reduced CO2 output , carbon sinks.
Man will get in under control eventually - hopefully with not too many extinctions or non-stoppable ice melts in Antarctica, Amazon becoming a savannah , permafrost melts etc
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 495   +857
Volcanoes, pollution are generally cooling - Pollution is not a good solution for cooling the planet though.

In the 70s most scientists though we were heading for warming , some with the pollution and the sun going into a mini cooling phase thought were were heading for cooling.
Models were not that good then - specially as info on different levels of the atmosphere were poor.

Reflectors have been proposed as a solution - we definitely need some active solutions going forward - along with reduced CO2 output , carbon sinks.
Man will get in under control eventually - hopefully with not too many extinctions or non-stoppable ice melts in Antarctica, Amazon becoming a savannah , permafrost melts etc
It's cyclical. They melt, they refreeze. CO2 isn't the problem. Tree's love CO2. It's the earth's wobble/axis, and change in rotation, along with many other factors beyond mans control. Sun activity, gravitational pull from the moon. Changing orbit. CO2 isn't the problem. We just have to learn to adapt to a world that will forever be getting hotter and colder.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 1,010   +1,361
Great to see the amazing minds here telling us exactly how global warming / cooling works.

Thousands of scientists all over the globe are wrong and got nothing on those bright minds on this site!!
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 495   +857
Great to see the amazing minds here telling us exactly how global warming / cooling works.

Thousands of scientists all over the globe are wrong and got nothing on those bright minds on this site!!
And many more have different views. A LOT of the climate control is about exactly that. Control. Unfortunately, politics is in everything.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,399   +1,040
It's cyclical. They melt, they refreeze. CO2 isn't the problem. Tree's love CO2. It's the earth's wobble/axis, and change in rotation, along with many other factors beyond mans control. Sun activity, gravitational pull from the moon. Changing orbit. CO2 isn't the problem. We just have to learn to adapt to a world that will forever be getting hotter and colder.
Oh yes the it's just a natural cycle with no proof - except some fringe scientists with huge errors in their papers. Do you really think all the scientists in every country are covering it up - if your daughter became a climate scientist - when she cottoned on to this secret - they will bring her into the secret club and pay her well??
Conspiracy fringe stuff - does it pass your sniff test - countries that hate each other agreeing?.
This is one of the fastest changing epochs ever . They changes you are referring to ( aka the Seventies is that we should be going into a mini-ice age ) . The speed of change means it's harder for some species to adapt quickly . If you live on a temperate volcano and it gets hotter - you can only go to the top of the Volcano.
The science is very clear - The climate change is manmade - it passed the gold standard of 5 sigma's 4 or 5 years ago .
Now the other thing that Oil/coal companies etc promote to paid influencers to the gullible.
The CO2 is great for growing stuff.

Yes mostly it is - especially for weeds and fast growing stuff - so not great for some slow growing stuff that can be strangled out. Also things that grow fast are generally weaker - eg NZ pine vs Artic pine.
Certain stuff grows well along highways due to car emissions and stuff chucked out by humans . Algae and blooms do great in nutrient rich slow moving rivers and ponds - just wonderful hey - dead fish !!!

CO2 is just one thing plants need to grow - you need lots of other nutrients and different plants like different balances - want lots of energy just eat sugar all day .

I debunk this garbage day in day out - but you and I know you will still post this junk again and again - thinking you are an independent researcher reading rightwing blogs - telling you to fear people who do not share your nationality, religion etc
Now that may not be you - My guess is you are a 50 plus white male in a developed country like most edgy man-made climate changers.
You had it good cheap gas in the seventies - guilt free plane travel - yet here you are spouting nonsense - because your bias and fears are so easily to exploit by the corporate polluters .

You would have claimed 10 , 15 years ago it was a lie the world was getting warmer - remember how they manipulated you to say that? - you do not care about anyone but yourself - you can't even say - hey sorry I got that wrong . Most of you can't.

You know what is funny - people who spout disinformation like you - as farmers/businessmen you know deep down it's real and plan for it - adapt for business for it.

A little tip - all the BS quoted can be quickly looked up - that wonderful scientist they quote with those initials after their names - yep debunked - Skeptical scientists like the original Danish guy - who does more research and find out it's real - are quickly forgotten.
Right blogs have touted 100s of these amazing scientists that were going to blow the lid - Not one did - why is that??

I know it's exciting to have the inside knowledge - just wait till the world finds out about Hunter . Lizard mindlords, Democrat slavers etc - none of these thinks promised ever happen - yet gullible keep waiting for the big reveal .
How many things were promised you ?