SpaceX installation continues to rankle residents

by KEITH KINNAIRD
News editor | October 25, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — The Colburn SpaceX Services gateway antenna array continues to jangle the nerves of residents.

Bonner County commissioners were peppered with questions Tuesday from Selle Valley residents who contend the installation poses a public health risk which hasn't been properly evaluated.

"There’s no U.S. agency that takes into consideration the cumulative effects from microwave radiation exposure and that our total exposure amount is unknown, especially when you consider the multiple sources of microwave radiation we are being bathed in daily," Robin Hunding told commissioners.

Federal Communications Commission records indicate a radiation hazard analysis was done. The analysis concluded the gateway is not a radiation hazard because it does not exceed the maximum permissible exposure limit of 5 megawatts per square centimeters when averaged over a six-minute period in generally-accessible areas.

"This radiation hazard analysis demonstrates that SpaceX Services gateways will not result in unacceptable radiation exposure levels," the report to FCC concludes.

The report also holds the near-field region creates no concern for the general public as they lie in an area where only authorized personnel may enter. The far-field region create no concern for the general public because it develops 130 meters from the antenna at a minimum elevation angle of 25 degrees, an area which also cannot be accessed by the public.

But residents are not swayed by the conclusions in the FAA report

The near field region creates no concern for the general public as they lie behind signage where only authorized personnel may enter. Likewise, the far field region creates no concern for the general public because it develops 130 meters from the antenna at a minimum elevation angle of twenty-five degrees where the general public cannot access.

This analysis demonstrates that the SpaceX Services gateway is not a radiation hazard because it does not exceed the MPE limit of 5 mW/cm2 averaged over a six-minute period in generally-accessible areas.