discussion / Biologging  / 11 August 2020

Tracking via Starlink


I was wondering if any has heard anything (or has ideas) about using Musk's Starlink for wildlife tracking?



It sounds interesting. I've been trying to find coverage maps for Starlink but so far, I haven't found any actual coverage maps. I seem to just find "planned" coverage maps. It's hard to see how these would get used for wildlife tracking at this moment. The initial devices will use an antenna that's 0.5 meters in diameter which for me, would be approximately from the base of my foot to my knee. 

I think power consumption and coverage will also be main factors if the system gets used. Based on other satellite communications designs, the system would have to be pretty large by animal tag standards, even without the antenna, due to the batteries required to handle the maximal current. It would be interesting to test out some modules for this technology, though.

FYI for whoever's interested, you can sign up to be a potential beta user. More info here.


This is something I was thinking about recently as well. It is my understanding that the reciever antennas are fairly large. I think, however, there will be some very interesting things that can be done with starlink. If you could do your tracking with some type of antenna network and send the data to the reciever then star link gives you a high speed connection with which you could do near real time data processing.

Hi all,

Starlink is Ku and Ka-band as they are targetting broadband, so you're looking at similar large(ish) transmit / receive dishes as traditonal VSAT, and they will POE-based so lots of power required for the links. Kineis (Argos), Lacuna, Iridium and ICARUS are the main contenders in my eyes over the next 5+ years.