Starlink Successfully Completes US Air Force Tests

By: Nick Gambino

SpaceX can check off yet another big milestone. Starlink has just successfully completed required tests with the U.S. Air Force in the Arctic, showing strong communication capability in the remote region. They conducted these tests of the satellite-powered internet service over 9 months.

“We tested in some very high winds and very cold temperatures,” Brian Beal, an engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Capabilities Directorate, said when it was announced to Bloomberg News. “That all went smoothly, though. Once we got the terminals mounted securely to withstand high winds, they worked great with no issues.”

The Arctic has traditionally been a tough nut to crack in terms of communication. While communication using military satellites is already a thing, it’s been spotty or almost non-existent in the Arctic because of how remote it is. Starlink is perfectly positioned to bring communication and internet connectivity to the vast and barren region.

“You can imagine an Army, Air Force or Navy unit deployed to a remote location that doesn’t have the cell-phone service niceties and very quickly have communications at high rates that an airman can set up in 10 minutes–that’s a great capability to have,” Beal said nearly a year ago before they began testing.

As of now, Starlink’s network of over 5,000 low-orbit satellites represent the most ambitious plan for global communication. They intend to deploy about 12,000 in all but may even go up to 42,000. The idea is to provide internet service to areas that are underserved like the Arctic and similar remote regions.

Now technically, Starlink is available for anyone who wants to sign up, remote or not. The thing is, you’ll have a lot faster internet service if you go with one of the traditional providers like Verizon Fios or Xfinity. But if they don’t have the infrastructure set up to reach your region, you’ll have Starlink as an option. All you need to do is sign up and install a satellite dish on your property.

“These Air Force tests in the Arctic prove that Starlink is a key tool in remote military operations,” Andrew Tropeano, a technology expert with NWT Media (, explains. “This will pave the way for a further strengthening of the SpaceX and U.S. military partnership.”