SpaceX Starlink manufacturing unit in Texas will velocity up manufacturing of Dishy McFlatface

View of the SpaceX Starlink satellite dish, with the back panel taken off.
Enlarge / The SpaceX Starlink satellite tv for pc dish partway by means of a teardown.

SpaceX says it’s constructing a manufacturing unit in Austin, Texas, to design methods that may assist make satellite tv for pc dishes, Wi-Fi routers, and different tools for its Starlink satellite tv for pc broadband community. The information comes from a job posting for an automation and controls engineer place flagged in a story Tuesday by native information channel KXAN.

“To maintain up with world demand, SpaceX is breaking floor on a brand new, cutting-edge manufacturing facility in Austin, TX,” the job posting mentioned. “The Automation & Controls Engineer will play a key function as we attempt to fabricate tens of millions of shopper going through gadgets that we ship on to clients (Starlink dishes, Wi-Fi routers, mounting {hardware}, and many others).”

The manufacturing unit apparently will not make the dishes and routers on website however will as an alternative design methods that enhance the manufacturing course of. “Particularly, they may design and develop management methods and software program for manufacturing line equipment—finally tackling the hardest mechanical, software program, and electrical challenges that include high-volume manufacturing, all whereas sustaining a deal with flexibility, reliability, maintainability, and ease of use,” the job posting mentioned.

Starlink is in beta and is serving over 10,000 clients, and it has requested the Federal Communications Fee for permission to deploy up to 5 million user terminals within the US. SpaceX calls this piece of {hardware} “Dishy McFlatface,” and it receives transmissions from SpaceX’s low-Earth orbit satellites. See our article a few Dishy McFlatface teardown for extra particulars on the {hardware}’s inside parts, and this article for extra photos of the dish in its absolutely intact state.

Starlink has been charging $99 per 30 days plus a one-time price of $499 for the person terminal, mounting tripod, and router. Starlink lately started taking preorders for service that might develop into out there within the second half of 2021.

Transport to 25 international locations this yr

The brand new job posting mentioned the profitable applicant will work in Austin however spend as much as 25 % of the time at SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles “till [the] Austin facility is absolutely established.” The brand new engineer will make an influence on Starlink’s capacity to ship {hardware} this yr. The individual will “set, implement, and preserve schedules and budgets to make sure venture completion as we attempt to ship to 25+ international locations by the top of the yr,” the job posting mentioned.

The engineer shall be anticipated to “design, develop, and handle automation and controls tasks to fabricate shopper electronics which are simple for people around the globe to make use of, however are technically very refined—this consists of preliminary manufacturing unit ideation, on-line commissioning and proof of charge functionality, and eventual hand-off to operational groups.” The engineer may also “spearhead facility carry up and preliminary tools conceptual growth by fastidiously balancing product specs, course of necessities, format complexity, price, and lead-time limits,” the job posting mentioned.

We requested SpaceX for extra element on plans for the Austin facility and when it is going to open, and on the place precisely the dishes and routers shall be manufactured. We’ll replace this text if we get a solution.

The brand new SpaceX manufacturing unit could be close to Tesla’s planned car factory in Austin. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk can be the CEO of Tesla.

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