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Starlink is coming!


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Broadband anywhere. Dream?

Musk is moving fast now to ramp up the Space X Starlink Satellite constellation system. The two test mini sats TinTin A and B have been working better than expected as both test platforms and proof of concept first R&D.

No dish is needed for the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) tech of yesterday like Sirius radio, which is LEO but not as low as the proposed Space X fleet. You do not need a "dish" to receive today's LEO music and other services, just a short stubby antenna that is not a dish or focusing antenna. You see one of the major markets of the system will be moving vehicles on the roads, in the air, and on the sea. While in movies and real life commando teams do use tiny dishes for some Comms, they also are communicating with classified and private Geostationary (GEO) satellites or temporary LEO satellites launched for specific missions.

Here is a link to a picture of today's Iridium Sat phones: satellitephonestore.com/...
You'll note that there are no dishes on them. Please do not take this as defensive, but since you commented on one of the many myths circulating out there, let me share the exciting tech emerging.

Because of the much higher frequency initial concepts call for a pizza pie box size flat dish that does not need to be aimed. But also proposed are mini repeaters to transfer the signals to the broadband or phone devices.

The one thing that fast moving LEO satellites do not need are focusing or articulating dishes which by nature focus on a fixed GEO sat. LEO Mini sats are moving fast to stay in orbit. The aiming will be done at the satellites by emerging phased array tech.

The two satellites in orbit, being tested already, are pointing the way to which hardware will be needed in hand or on the ground. They are using a fast developing phased array antenna system on the satellites to control multiple focus points from the same mini sat.

When Bill Gates tried to start up a similar space satellite system in 1997-2000 called Telesdesic, the cost of launching Sats and the lack of the rapid hand off from one station to another seemingly seamlessly (like cell phones) was not fully in development for data until the emergence of smart phones on June 29, 2007. Remember 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G? It is about speed but also more importantly handling larger data streams rapidly.

The Iridium system has been obsolete for years and went out of business and back in business, several times saved. It was and is that important.

All radio signals require an antenna be it inbuilt or outside the case. I said that dishes would not be needed, and I expect the handsets, like the evolution from the first bag cell phones with 3 watts of power and massive batteries/antennas, to my now obsolete Moto Z Droid glass front and back Moto Z Play that runs for two days on a charge, and is amazingly thin. I am now shopping for the unlocked new Moto Z Droid Z3, which can use all my Moto mods and will be 5G capable with a 5G Mod!

The latest on Starlink I have read is from Oct 2018:

"Speaking in a Satellite Innovation 2018 keynote, long-time SpaceX investor and board member Steve Jurvetson made a quiet but significant comment about the company’s Starlink satellite constellation efforts, stating that the first two prototype spacecraft – currently in orbit – “are working wonderfully.”

Phased arrays, on the other hand, can almost entirely change where their many beams are directed, how much bandwidth is dedicated to certain locations, and all while accurately tracking moving targets with very few limitations. As a result, satellites with phased array antennas are sort of the communications jacks of all trades, capable of offering high-bandwidth connectivity to stationary user terminals, large ground stations, and moving vehicles simultaneously from with the same antenna array."

The scope of the disruption Space X's LEO communications systems will cause, as being developed now, will be faster and even more disruptive of the communications and entertainment biz than Musk’s Tesla disruption of the ICE age of personal and public transport.

Remember I have been a follower of Musk’s goals and accomplishments since 2002/3 when he started Space X, and invested in the already existing Tesla, which was not going anywhere without massive cash for R&D that he provided from 2003 as majority investor and CEO as well as Chairman of the board with 51% of the stock then.

In 2003 Musk was called a nut job for saying he wants to go to Mars. Today only morons act like going to Mars is only a pipe-dream. You see the ULA (Boeing and Lockheed) who still launch Atlas IV rockets using Russian RD-180 engines, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RD-180) and are also still charging taxpayers almost twice what Space X does per launch, and have been announcing their competitive human Mars mission and will compete against Space X for the mission. Musk builds his own engines in the US.

So I have been in the middle of the worst fake news campaign I've ever seen in my 27 years military career, and since, in my 66 years of marveling at what we have today.

I remember before the Roadster was sold out in 2008 with cash up front sight unseen, that the others were complacent and the investment community remained ignorant of the basics, like that the Hybrid (PHEV) vehicles like the Prius, which debuted in 1999, are not competition to BEVs ( Battery power only) with no fossil fuel engine on board to take over after 10-20 miles electric only range.

LOL! GM came out with the Volt Hybrid in 2010 two years after the Roadster had been sold out in 2008/9, and called it a tesla killer! LOL!

The Tesla was inconceivable for many well into production. I went from being razzed for believing there will be electric cars never mind to take over, to now being told by my real friends they wish they had listened to me in 2010 when Tesla IPO'd and I bought in at $17 ans $22.5..

So like the investment ignorati who claimed in 2010 that the Chevy Volt was a Tesla killer, and obviously thought a PHEV was the same as a BEV, many today will deny the new mini sat technology until it is too late too.

The beauty of a nimble company like Space X, led by the inimitable Elon Musk, is that they’re privately owned by Musk and some friends, and they are there not dealing with Faux news from short investors, the liars in this case, the jealous, and the willfully ignorant. THat is wht Space X will never go public.

I think with a little more research we'll see that the antennas will eventually be even smaller than the little aerodynamic nubs I have on my wife's 2015 Hyundai roof for sat radio.

I believe the antennas will be more like that than any dish shape used at first.

I also believe that Musk will reuse the mini Sats by scooping up the ones running low on energy, and returning them intact to Earth leaving a freshly serviced mini sat in its place. They will return old style by hot capsule entry with the used satellite payload safely inside, and with the old heat shield and water recovery. My vision of the development. I could be wrong on that point but I doubt it. However he could try to scoop them out of the air as he just tried with the fairings.

You see LEO orbits are fast and when the orbit decays small Sats mostly burn up on re-entry. Why not recycle them, especially since they were inside the protective fairing on launching and could be inside on return with no heat or physical forces heating them and their parts up like the reusable launch stages and cowlings.

Just last month the entire constellation setup of Starlink was changed. Here is a YouTube video with better graphical representation than our posts have:

As we see the scope and altitudes are rapidly changing as a result of the testing of the first prototypes. On February 22, 2018, SpaceX and Starlink took a huge step: The project successfully launched the first two Starlink test satellites (named Tintin A and Tintin B) from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. And we are now seeing changes in space and on the ground coming fast and furious.

I don't discount the possibility of a Pizza Pie box sized flat dish. But I do know that soon broadband anywhere will be in fact not just speculation.

But as of now, everything is speculation except that it is going to happen, The ULA who are having glitches in their launch vehicles in the last week, https://www.bing.com/news/topicview?q=Spy+Satellite+California&filters=tnTID%3d"07FA1ED9-FDBE-43ef-8959-EA5D7B1A4355"+Segment%3d"popularnow.carousel"&nvaug=[NewsVertical+topicviewtype%3d"2"]&qpvt=Spy+satellite+California&FORM=EWRE are also completely stalled on their proposed LEO sat constellation, making no headway to compete with the nimble fast moving folks at Space X.

From the recent changes to the placement and distances of the constellation of Starlink satellites we will also see changes in the receivers needed. I remember 15 foot home antennas with actuators for satellite TV and was part of the shrinking of 1 meter analog dishes in Europe also requiring actuators to the tiny digital dishes we see now. I owned a company that installed them in Germany in 1992-1997. As well started the first private ISP in Bitburg using an octopus and shelves of US Robotics 56k modems making all the shh phht noises those early modems did handshaking, as well as heating up the NOC unbearably in a country with few central AC at the time. We soon switched the Octopus and modems for one $20k Cisco device the size of a small printer today that did it all. Don't ask that model, I hired my system engineer and did not speak UNIX. He did and more.

Then I could not get anything other than pixellated images online a la “Pong,” nor put a cell phone in my back pocket. Now I have a watch that has a cell phone in it that takes a micro sim card and a micro SD card in it. NO cell phone needed, and it costs less than 11 bucks shipped for my lower cost Android DZ09: www.amazon.com/...
It even takes pictures with its own camera on the side, albeit terrible resolution, just like my first digital camera from Nikon, the Coolpix 100:


Most folks today don't have a clue what a PCMCIA expansion port and card in a laptop was for. I owned the Coolpix 100 and still have those 640X480 pictures I took with it in the late 90s. It cost $350 in the Base Exchange on clearance sale in 1997 down from $1000!

Now the cameras are built into laptops and my Surface Pro 3 and 4 current Windows tablets take great pics from the front like a phone, and the back like a selfie but on a tablet or laptop the front camera is the "webcam."

So I will allow you naysayers the lattitude to be right about the need for a pizza box sized antenna, as long as with emerging tech you allow the possibility I may eventually be right as well.

The acceleration of tech product evolution is doubling it seems annually. I have also read where the idea of multiple Line Of Sight (LOS) repeaters in cities may be used which would still be cheaper by far than cell towers.

Musk also forced out/let go/fired some of the top dogs at Starlink in the last couple of months in a rapid reorganization to move forward with it now that the Model 3 production is ramped, with only production line expansion left to do on the Model 3, and that could move to the Gigafactory in preparation for the next models, manufacturing the cars/trucks alongside its own batteries.

So just sit back and see what actually gets built, and what it takes to receive the voice and/or 5g Cell signals in a smart, possibly hybrid, satphone.

However it happens, it is happening now. I think this will be adopted faster by RVrs and cars than the VSat two way GEO Sat Internet systems were.

http://www.rvroadie.com Email on the bottom of my website page.
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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