I don't have one of course, but I see that the Starlink ground transceiver antennas are flat but "pointable" to some extent. I assume but don't know for sure that there's at least some kind of phased array inside for maximum gain and steering, so:

  1. Why not just fix them horizontal for best sky coverage by the phased array? Why does the mount tilt? Why are all photos around the internet shown with them installed with a substantial tilt?
  2. When setting them up, how does one know exactly which way to point them for best results at a given location?
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose "Read the Owner's Manual" is not exactly the answer you want ;-). Anyway, if you latitude is well away from the mean latitude of the satellite fleet, you'd want to tilt, I think. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 12:24

1 Answer 1


Based on this article,

[Elon Musk] shared that the terminal "looks like a thin, flat, round UFO on a stick." The "Starlink terminal has motors to self-adjust optimal angle to view sky," Musk explained. The device's technology is advanced enough to find the signal on its own, users will not have to figure out where the Starlink constellation might be nor adjust the terminal as it moves through the sky, it would automatically move itself. He also said that setting up the Starlink network would be relatively easy. The user would just plug it into electricity and point it at the sky or vice-versa, with "No training required."

So, sounds like essentially an AGC pointing loop.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow, it has electric motors, just like the electron ;-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 13:11
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "The user would just plug it into electricity and point it at the sky or vice-versa, with "No training required." There will be some users who put the terminal at a place with very little view to the sky following Murphy's law. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ I would definitely put it indoors in the middle of the floor so I could watch it move! (alas, it wouldn't move then, and I would conclude that it didn't have motors) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ I've just asked Can this SpaceX Starlink ground station antenna's gear mechanism move it in both altitude and azimuth? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 5, 2021 at 1:01

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