Respondents fighting wildfires in Washington, D.C., are getting some help from the SpaceX and the company’s Internet, StarSlink initiative. SpaceX has given the Washington Emergency Management Division a loan on a handful of user terminals that can tap into the company’s Starlink satellites, providing Internet access in rural areas where first responders are battling raging firefighters.
SpaceX is still in the early stages of building its Starlink constellation, which could contain about 12,000 satellites when completed. That number of satellites could beam broadband Internet services to every location on Earth from relatively low orbits, providing global Internet coverage from potential space. There are still ways to go. So far, SpaceX has launched about 800 satellites, although dozens have been taken out of orbit. SpaceX plans to launch beta testing in the Washington area, which will remain in orbit.
“What happened was that they were satellites that could reach our territory,” wrote Steven Friedrich, a spokesman for the Washington Emergency Management Division. Edge In one message
Happiness SpaceX can help! We prefer emergency responders and locations to have no internet connectivity to anyone.
– Elon Musk (elonmusk) September 28, 2020
Washington The Washington Department of Emergency Management is using SpaceX’s two user terminals to obtain broadband from overhead satellites. One is located near Malden, Washington, which was devastated by wildfires, and the other is near a small fire west of Washington called Sumner-grade wildfire. According to Friedrich, near the Malden area, “without a terminal, it would be almost impossible to access the Internet”. “My understanding is that this is the first [public] Using the partnership of Starlink and their technical experts with our team in the state [Emergency Operations Center] “It’s been invaluable,” Friedrich said.
SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment. However, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, responded to a tweet from the Washington Emergency Management Department about the terminal, noting that the company would “prefer first responders and locations that do not have Internet connectivity” with Starlink.
According to Friedrich, the Starlink system has been the best for communication. Responsibles have used the terminals to coordinate where to put water on the fire and to request additional resources and supplies from the agency. It is also being used in Malden so they will build their homes. Friedrich noted that such a system could be useful for other types of disasters, such as major earthquakes in the future. WASHINGTON Just off the coast of Washington, parts of the Earth’s crust are being pushed into an area called the Cascadia subduction zone under North America. Eventually, this could cause a devastating earthquake that could leave parts of the region without power for weeks. Friedrich says communication issues remain high during such tragedies.
“This is a device we can use if we have to have more wildfires or even bigger disasters.”