Retail giant Amazon has announced that it will soon join the list of companies that are sending small clusters of satellites to design constellations that can provide broadband internet to people across the globe. As per details shared with SpaceNews, Amazon has already made a formal request to global spectrum regulators for spectrum rights to launch its constellation of 3236 satellites that will provide internet connectivity under the name of Kuiper Systems. Though it has not disclosed details about who will build the satellites and whey they are likely to be launched but it has already filed Kuiper Systems with International Telecommunication Union.
While announcing this plan Amazon stated that its Kuiper project’s aim is to launch low earth orbit satellites which will provide high speed broadband to communities that had been left out of fiber-net networks due to unreachable locations. Kuiper is a long term project which will serve millions of people that lack access to broadband internet and will partner with organizations that share the vision of providing this facility to users in the most remote locations. The constellation of satellites will be spread in three layers of which 784 will lie across a 590 kilometer orbit while 1156 will lie across orbit of 630 kilometers while the last batch of 1296 satellites will lie within 610 km orbit.
Amazon has not applied to FCC for permission as yet to serve markets in US with the constellation and when it does that other details will be revealed. As per details filed with ITU, Amazon’s constellation will circle the earth from a much closer range than other service providers under development. While Telesat’s constellation will be within 1000 to 1250 kilometers orbits, LeoSat’s constellation comprising of 108 satellites will be operating from 1400 kilometers radius. If Amazon’s constellation gets off the ground it is likely to cost the company billions like other commercial projects being planned by SpaceX, LeoSat, Telesat and others.