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SpaceX sets its sights on a lower orbit for Starlink broadband network’s first satellites


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Big news from yesterday that Space X is now able to ramp up their LEO broadband offering.

Boy will everyone in RVs and trucks be glad when, not if, the new LEO mini sat constellation gets up and running for inexpensive Internet and cell service. It had a two year delay due to Musk working 24/7 to get the initial manufacturing hell resolved for ramp up which is done. He will have more time as CEO and not Chairman of the board and announced they are ramping up the energy division at Tesla and over at Space X they are moving forward after testing two mini sat prototypes and getting back on top of the project. Here's the latest

From yesterday Nov 8 2018:
SpaceX sets its sights on a lower orbit for Starlink broadband network’s first satellites

SpaceX wants to lower the bar for its first batch of Starlink broadband satellites, with the aim of beginning deployment by the end of 2019.

The revised plan is laid out for regulators at the Federal Communications Commission in filings that seek a lower orbit for 1,584 of the more than 4,400 satellites it envisions launching. The new target orbit would be 550 kilometers (342 miles) in altitude, as opposed to the 1,150-kilometer (715-mile) orbit described in SpaceX’s initial round of filings.

The FCC signed off on SpaceX’s original plan in March, and would have to approve the revisions after putting them through a public comment period.

In its filings, SpaceX said it was changing the plan based on its experience with Tintin A and B, the two prototype satellites it put into orbit in February.

Those spacecraft, which were built at SpaceX’s satellite development facility in Redmond, Wash., have been undergoing testing for months. Some observers wondered why the Tintin satellites weren’t sent into a higher orbit as planned — and the revised constellation plan could provide an explanation.

“This move will help simplify the spacecraft design and enhance the considerable space safety attributes of SpaceX’s constellation by ensuring that any orbital debris will undergo rapid atmospheric re-entry and demise, even in the unlikely event that a spacecraft fails in orbit,” SpaceX said in the documents filed today.

SpaceX said the plan for a lower orbit means 16 fewer satellites will be required — and will also reduce the potential for a traffic jam at the higher orbit, which is close to the altitude targeted by rival broadband constellations being considered by OneWeb, Boeing and Telesat.

Starlink will require thousands of satellites because each satellite spends only a few minutes in contact with a given ground station as it passes over. But once enough satellites are in orbit, the constellation should provide global coverage, theoretically making low-cost broadband internet access available to billions of people who don’t have it today.

Having the satellite in low Earth orbit as opposed to a much higher geostationary orbit reduces the lag time, or latency, for data transmissions. In May, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the response time for the Tintin satellites was “pretty good,” with latency amounting to 25 milliseconds. “Good enough to play fast-response video games,” he tweeted.

When the low-orbit constellation is fully deployed, latency could be reduced to as little as 15 milliseconds, “at which point it would be virtually unnoticeable to almost all users,” SpaceX said in today’s filing.

SpaceX acknowledged that going lower will present some challenges. At least at first, the satellites will have to widen their transmission angles so that ground stations can be in communication when the satellites are just 25 degrees above the horizon, as opposed to 40 degrees under the original plan."

Much more and links to the FCC filings as well as a video and info about the next steps all found here on GeekWire:



More on Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink_(satellite_constellation)


Here is an article from 24 July 2018 by GLDS.

"GLDS has provided best-of-suite solutions
for small to medium broadband service providers since 1980."
Will SpaceX change the broadband game?

Elon Musk has never dreamt small. His idea for creating Starlink, a full satellite-based broadband infrastructure, is one of his most ambitious. The FCC has already granted approval for this large-scale, five-year project, and SpaceX has launched two test satellites to prove viability. The full implementation of the Starlink project would theoretically allow for the cheap, rapid deployment of fast internet service to the entire planet. Is it possible? And how would the success of the Starlink constellation impact broadband service providers (both cable and FTTH)?
The Starlink constellation

Musk’s ambitious plan is to launch more than 4,000 small satellites that would offer a much lower latency than that of current satellite offerings. Currently, many satellite services can achieve an average latency of about 600 milliseconds. In stereotypical hyperbolic fashion, Musk believes he can bring that down to 25-35 milliseconds. That, combined with global coverage, would make it a serious contender with cable and fiber-optic services.

The key to the Starlink constellation would be its ability to operate in low earth orbit (LEO). One of the issues connected with latency is the distance of the satellite from the Earth; by placing many satellites 684-823 miles above the Earth, Starlink could reduce the amount of time it takes for signals to travel back and forth. Of course, this would require thousands of satellites, each covering its own small area.

But launching this equipment will be less challenging for SpaceX than other hopeful satellite providers because the company has its own reusable rockets and infrastructure. Even with the potential cost savings of do-it-yourself space runs, however, the Starlink constellation project is still a pricey gambit, with an estimated cost of $10-$15 billion.

The article goes on to also cover what could go wrong here:


From 2017:

"With latency as low as 25ms, SpaceX to launch broadband satellites in 2019"




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Retired AF 1971-1998

When you see a worthy man, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy man, look inside yourself. - Confucius


“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

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