Project Kuiper, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite broadband venture that is being developed by US web giant Amazon, has filed a new application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), stating its intention to more than double its planned satellite constellation, from 3,236 satellites to 7,774.
The regulatory filing states: ‘Kuiper Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, requests authority to launch and operate a non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) system using V-band and Ku-band frequencies allocated for satellite services (the Kuiper-V System) as a part of Kuiper’s second-generation constellation. The Kuiper-V System will deliver high speed, low-latency broadband connectivity to domestic and international customers through 7,774 high-performance satellites operating at altitudes between 590km and 650km; as well as terrestrial gateways; earth stations for telemetry, tracking and control; and a range of customer terminals.’
TeleGeography notes that the FCC initially granted Amazon approval to deploy and operate a constellation of 3,236 satellites via Project Kuiper on 30 July 2020. The venture has been authorised to deliver satellite-based broadband services in the US, extending internet access to unserved and underserved households and communities across the country. Amazon has committed to invest at least USD10 billion to support Project Kuiper.