After the recent problem with the Chinese, when they had to adjust the orbit of their space station in order to avoid a collision with Starling satellites, here is another extremely unexpected problem for Starlink. According to Gizmodo, it seems that Starlink ground terminals are becoming a target for “gangs” of cats that use them as a bed.
In 2021, Starlink managed to deliver over 100,000 terminals, which improved the reception and speed of satellite internet. But now they encounter a completely unexpected problem – cats.
All Starlink satellite dishes are equipped with heaters that prevent snow and ice from entering, which would otherwise interfere with signal reception. It is this heat from the heaters that seems to make the plates a great warm “bed with a view” for cats.
Starlink engineers complain that despite the warm kittens set up near the receivers, cats still prefer plates. The premise is that the plate provides additional “underfloor heating” while enjoying the warmth of the winter sun.
Although the weight of cats who enjoy ‘lying’ on the terminal can be a real problem and potentially contribute to physical harm of the equipment, it is unclear whether their presence affects the quality of the signal transmission.
To date, SpaceX has deployed about 1,800 satellites in orbit around the Earth to provide super-fast Internet in rural areas with Starlink. The company plans to eventually have 42,000 low-orbit satellites operating by mid-2027.
In August, Starlink made headlines when an Ookla speed test showed their internet was much faster than other satellite ISPs like HughesNet and Viasat and could almost be measured side by side with fixed broadband, at least when it came to for the tested upload and download speeds.
Starlink works great until the cats find out that the dish gives off a little heat on cold days. pic.twitter.com/uyH3Kbqrie
— Aaron Taylor (@Tippen22) December 31, 2021