Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023
Amazon Tests Prototype Satellites for Project Kuiper

Amazon’s Project Kuiper took a step forward with successful tests that bring the satellite constellation closer to commercial reality. The company has announced that all systems and subsystems on board its prototype satellites have been validated, and the first two-way video call over Amazon’s communications network has been successfully demonstrated.

The tests allowed Amazon to validate the architecture and design of its satellite constellation and conduct demonstrations of 4K video streaming and two-way video calls over the network. With initial testing complete, the project is on track to begin mass satellite production in the first half of 2024. Beta testing with select customers, including partners like Vodafone and Verizon, is expected to take place in the second half of that year.

The most recent tests focused on the RF communications payload, which involves parabolic antennas, phased array antennas, and other innovations that enable the transmission of customer data traffic across the network. Amazon has successfully demonstrated end-to-end network functionality through a series of experiments conducted during the week of November 5.

The Protoflight mission encompassed a range of hardware, software, and infrastructure testing. This included the validation of various systems and subsystems required for satellite operation in space, as well as ground technology and infrastructure such as customer terminals, telemetry tracking and control stations, and ground gateway stations.

The progress made in Amazon’s Protoflight mission confirms the viability of the original vision and architecture for Project Kuiper. However, there is still significant work to be done in scaling for mass production. The results achieved so quickly after launch are attributed to the expertise and dedication of Amazon’s team.