Starlink Service Tested by Yellowstone National Park

Starlink is being tested by Yellowstone National Park for improved observation of volcanic activity and seismic data. The service offers a high-speed internet connection for uninterrupted control of all data.

The Yellowstone National Park Volcano is closely monitored by dozens of instruments in and around the park. Engineers recently began testing SpaceX’s Starlink internet to collect volcanic and seismic data, according to Yahoo News.

The magmatic eruption of the Yellowstone volcano has not occurred for more than 70,000 years. However, it is currently home to one of the world’s largest hydrothermal systems and the largest geyser. According to the Yellowstone Volcanic Observatory (YVO), the park experiences between 1,500 and 2,500 small earthquakes each year. Therefore, it is very important to control the data that can show the changes taking place.

To monitor this region, many GPS navigators, seismometers, tiltmeters, and temperature sensors are located in remote areas. This is done in order to minimize the impact on the environment and visitors. It also means that maintaining a reliable connection can be challenging. In addition, due to the climate, it is not always easy to download all the data.

“Frequent visits to manually download data are just not possible – especially in the winter,” wrote Natalea Cohen, a graduate student at Michigan Technology University and EarthScope Consortium intern in a blog post.

To reduce the impact on sensitive areas of the park, some visits to maintain monitoring stations are on horseback. Radio and cellular communication options for monitoring stations have their drawbacks. For example, cell phones can be slow during peak tourist seasons. However, the satellite communications provided by Starlink only depend on access to open skies. SpaceX Starlink internet is currently being tested in Yellowstone. This will help reduce the use of cellular networks.

Internet service from SpaceX has proven its reliability even in Antarctica

Yellowstone National Park has six stations with instruments for monitoring seismic and volcanic activity. In May, engineers added a Starlink internet dish to one of them. Initial tests showed that the connection worked well. If this continues, engineers will add Starlink to more stations before winter.

During the winter months, these stations will be difficult to reach due to snow. However, Starlink has proven to work even in remote areas and extreme weather conditions, including Antarctica.

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