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SpaceX StarLink satellite internet [UPDATES]

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DocM    16,225

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/05/spacexs-falcon-9-rocket-will-launch-thousands-of-broadband-satellites/

 

Quote

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

 


Satellites will function like a mesh network and deliver gigabit speeds.

SpaceX today said its planned constellation of 4,425 broadband satellites will launch from the Falcon 9 rocket beginning in 2019 and continue launching in phases until reaching full capacity in 2024.

>
> (the below is from public record congressional testimony)


Cooper told senators:

Later this year, SpaceX will begin the process of testing the satellites themselves, launching one prototype before the end of the year and another during the early months of 2018. Following successful demonstration of the technology, SpaceX intends to begin the operational satellite launch campaign in 2019. The remaining satellites in the constellation will be launched in phases through 2024, when the system will reach full capacity with the Ka- and Ku-Band satellites. SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle.
>
Network design

SpaceX's satellites will essentially operate as a mesh network and "allocate broadband resources in real time, placing capacity where it is most needed and directing energy away from areas where it might cause interference to other systems, either in space or on the ground,"

>

 

Edited by DocM
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Beittil    554

Yeah, we may be certain that not a single core used for this project will be a new one :) Or even used only once before in many cases.

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DocM    16,225

Besides lower costs for CommX it'll provide a ton of data about reuse; engine reliability, stage and the new bolted up (vs welded) Octaweb's durability etc. Feed that info back into production, improve. Rinse, wash, repeat.

 

As if that stage isn't already insanely tough :shiftyninja:

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DocM    16,225

Testimony before Congress today

 

 

Written statement (PDF)....

Edited by DocM
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DocM    16,225

FCC permit for the Starlink demo-sats granted

 

NGSO = Non-GeoStationary Orbit (commsat)

Station Locations

(1) MOBILE: NGSO - Inclination 97.4deg, 514-1125 km circular
(2) MOBILE: NGSO - Inclination 97.4deg, 514-1125 km circular
(3) MOBILE: NGSO - Inclination 97.4deg, 514-1125 km circular
(4) MOBILE: NGSO - Inclination 97.4deg, 514-1125 km circular
(5) Redmond (KING), WA - NL 47-40-02; WL 122-05-40
(6) Hawthorne (LOS ANGELES), CA - NL 33-55-15; WL 118-19-41
(7) Fremont (ALAMEDA), CA - NL 37-29-36; WL 121-56-38
(8) McGregor (MCLENNAN), TX - NL 31-24-30; WL 97-27-48
(9) Brownsville (CAMERON), TX - NL 25-59-27; WL 97-10-56
(10) Redmond (KING), WA - NL 47-40-02; WL 122-05-40
(11) MOBILE: TV1 - USA: within 150 km of Locations 5-9
(12) MOBILE: TV2 - USA: within 150 km of Locations 5-9
(13) MOBILE: TV3 - USA: within 150 km of Locations 5-9
(14) Brewster (OKANOGAN), WA - NL 48-08-50; WL 119-41-49
Frequency Information
MOBILE: NGSO - Inclination 97.4deg, 514-1125 km circular

10700-12200 MHz MO 2.8 W (Output Power) 0.001 %

Edited by DocM

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Unobscured Vision    2,644

Oh snappies! :D:yes::woot: #itsalive #ithascheezbrgr

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DocM    16,225

From the StarLink trademark page, a list of services

 

http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4808:gommzk.3.7

 

Quote

IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Satellite communication and transmission services; wireless broadband communication services; transmission of data, voice and video via satellite; interactive satellite communication services; delivery of messages by electronic transmission; providing telecommunications connections to the Internet; telecommunications gateway services; providing high-speed wireless internet access; providing multiple-user access to the internet, global computer networks, and electronic communications networks; providing access to global information networks; telecommunications services via satellite; providing a website featuring information in the field of satellite communications; providing a website featuring information in the field of internet access via satellite; providing access to electronic databases and online information for use in retrieving satellite data, recordings, and measurements; satellite photography services

 

IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Research and development services in the field of satellite communications; consulting services in the field of satellite communications; engineering services in the field of satellite communications; scientific and technological services, namely, research, analysis, and monitoring of data captured via remote sensors and satellites; remote sensing services, namely, aerial surveying through the use of satellites

Standard Characters Claimed    
Mark Drawing Code    (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number    87576978
Filing Date    August 21, 2017
Current Basis    1B;44D
Original Filing Basis    1B;44D
Owner    (APPLICANT) Space Exploration Technologies Corp. CORPORATION DELAWARE 1 Rocket Road Hawthorne CALIFORNIA 90250
Attorney of Record    Brendan J. Hughes
Priority Date    February 24, 2017
Type of Mark    SERVICE MARK
Register    PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator    LIVE

 

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DocM    16,225

More info on the two StarLink test satellites going uphill on the 17th.

 

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/spacex-gets-set-launch-first-prototype-starlink-satellites-global-internet-access/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

 

Quote

SpaceX set to launch first prototype StarLink satellites for global internet

 

The first test satellites for SpaceXs global internet constellation are being prepped for launch as early as this week  three years after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled the project in Seattle.

The prototype spacecraft, known as Microsat 2a and 2b, are reportedly to be included as secondary payloads on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, due for launch on Saturday. The primary payload is a 3,000-pound Spanish radar observation satellite called Paz.
>
SpaceX has given the lead role for development of the satellite network to a team headquartered in Redmond, Wash.

Documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission indicate that ground stations will be housed at SpaceX facilities in Redmond and Brewster, Wash., as well as at the companys headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., and facilities in McGregor and Brownsville in Texas. Another ground station is to be placed at Teslas headquarters in Fremont, Calif., which Musk heads as CEO.

SpaceX says it will also be testing satellite communications with receiving terminals built into mobile vans.

The companys business plan calls for putting thousands of communication satellites in orbit, with limited service starting by 2020. The satellite constellation, informally known as Starlink, eventually would provide low-cost internet access on a global scale.
>

 

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DocM    16,225

Updates: 

 

1: the first 2 StarLink test satellites, MicroSat 2a and MicroSat 2b, launch as secondary payloads on Saturdays (Feb. 17) Falcon 9 PAZ launch, a Spanish synthetic aperture radar satellite.

 

2: the US Federal Communications Commission's Chairman has recommended StarLink be approved to provide satellite broadband,

 

Quote

CHAIRMAN PAI STATEMENT ON SPACEX SATELLITE BROADBAND APPLICATION

 

Recognizes Role of Satellite Broadband in Bridging the Digital Divide and Connecting Americans

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2018Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today proposed that the agency approve an application by Space Exploration Holdings, doing business as SpaceX, to provide broadband services using satellite technologies in the United States and on a global basis. Chairman Pai issued the following statement:

To bridge Americas digital divide, well have to use innovative technologies. SpaceXs applicationalong with those of other satellite companies seeking licenses or access to the U.S. market for non-geostationary satellite orbit systemsinvolves one such innovation. Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach. And it can offer more competition where terrestrial Internet access is already available.

Following careful review of this application by our International Bureaus excellent satellite engineering experts, I have asked my colleagues to join me in supporting this application and moving to unleash the power of satellite constellations to provide high-speed Internet to rural Americans. If adopted, it would be the first approval given to an American-based company to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies.

Background

Over the past year, the FCC has approved requests by OneWeb, Space Norway, and Telesat to access the United States market to provide broadband services using satellite technology that holds promise to expand Internet access in remote and rural areas across the country. These approvals are the first of their kind for a new generation of large, non-geostationary satellite orbit, fixed-satellite service systems, and the Commission continues to process other, similar requests.

 

 

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DocM    16,225

Interesting tidbits,

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,644

Likely gonna be 2048-bit ... should be remain uncrackable until technology advances to 256-bit at the consumer level. :yes: And a single firmware update will deal with that -- and by then Starlink will receive new birds (with new technology on-board) that'll completely render all of that a moot point.

 

SpaceX will stay completely ahead of any exploits by sheer tenacity.

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DocM    16,225

The FCC has approved StarLink

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/29/fcc-authorizes-elon-musks-spacex-to-provide-broadband-satellite-services.html

 

Quote

 

FCC authorizes Elon Musk's SpaceX to provide broadband satellite services

* This marks the first time the FCC has allowed a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services through low-Earth orbit satellites.

* SpaceX's proposed satellite system, dubbed "Starlink," includes 4,425 satellites with frequencies in the Ka and Ku bands.

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved an application by Elon Musk's SpaceX, allowing the aerospace company to provide broadband services using satellites in the U.S. and worldwide.

"With this action, the Commission takes another step to increase high-speed broadband availability and competition in the United States," the FCC said in a statement.

This marks the first time the FCC has allowed a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services through low-Earth orbit satellites.

>

>

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,644

I'm loving this development. And it's not just the U.S. that Starlink will be servicing -- it'll be GLOBAL. Same speeds (depending on demand, throughput, etc) whether you're in Chicago or outside of an abandoned mine in Utah, or even Antarctica. Same quality of service.

 

None of the problems like with Sirius/XM, DirecTV, Dish Network, C/Ku Satellite (the big dishes) either. All of those issues with LOS, Solar Interference twice a year, etc ... all done. Not even a factor anymore.

 

And better yet the signal will behave as if it's omnidirectional. We won't even notice when the TX/RX is switching birds. The gear handles all of that seamlessly and automatically.

 

Love it, want it now. :yes: 

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DocM    16,225

 

 

 

 

 

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DocM    16,225

 

 

SpaceX has filed a modification to the StarLink license for testing with the US govt.  (READ: the US Air Force Research Labratory, for military aircraft and ground comms).

 

This was first hinted at in this Aviation Week article,

 

http://m.aviationweek.com/space/could-f-16s-battle-talk-commercial-space-internet

Quote

 

The Air Force is finally catching on to a revolution in the commercial small satellite world. Feb. 22 SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying two experimental satellites from Vandenberg AFB, California, to test out technologies for a megaconstellation of small satellites that would provide high-speed internet and other communications services directly to consumers, businesses and other subscribers. And SpaceX is just one of many commercial firms that are starting to experiment with such a service. OneWeb is scheduled to begin launching its 720-satellite broadband constellation later this year.

 

AFRL to experiment with mounting antennas on test aircraft to establish a commercial internet connection

 

Some day, the U.S. Air Force could pass information securely between stealth fighters over a commercial space internet

 

 

From the new PDFs

Quote

>
In this application, SpaceX seeks to modify the experimental authorization for Microsat-2a and -2b in order to reflect additional test activities undertaken with the federal government. The tests are designed to (1) demonstrate the ability to transmit and receive information between two ground sites (Ground-to-Ground) and between the ground and an airborne aircraft (Ground-to-Air) using Microsat-2a and -2b, and (2) communicate using an additional antenna at its Redmond, Washington test site. Nothing about the operation of and transmissions from the Microsat-2a or -2b satellites will change under this modification. The only change will be the addition of two new types of earth stations, one of which will transmit uplink signals to the Microsat satellites first from the ground and later from a moving aircraft...
>
>-------------
>
For this effort, SpaceX is working with a manufacturer of conformal antennas for tactical aircraft, which will provide antennas required for aircraft testing. This will assist SpaceX in analyzing the data link performance and installation options for user terminals with conformal arrays. To prepare for the Ground-to-Air testing, SpaceX will first test the SpaceX modem integrated with the inertially stabilized electronically steered array technology as part of the ground testing. This ground testing is expected to take place near other planned testing at SpaceXs Redmond, WA facilities. It will include interfacing the modem RF and antenna steering interfaces to the antennas. SpaceX will not begin Ground-to-Air integration and testing until it has performed sufficient characterization of the airborne antenna configuration with representative motion profiles. SpaceX will perform a series of tests with the integrated airborne prototype terminal that is similar to the tests contemplated with other fixed earth stations under its current authorization. These include antenna static angles from 0 to 40 degrees from boresight, and then varying motion for representative roll and pitch rates of a high performance aircraft. For the Ground-to-Air scenario, an antenna will be built and integrated onto an aircraft. The antenna manufacturer is designing a custom installation kit consisting of mechanical plates for the low-profile antennas and fairings reducing wind drag in order to limit the impact to the aircraft for this installation. The antennas will interface with SpaceX test equipment to form a user terminal for the demonstration. The existing antenna design meets the required transmit effective isotropic radiated power and receive gain over temperature when using four transmit subarrays and six receive subarrays. SpaceX anticipates that the Ground-to-Air testing will require four to six weeks to complete. Air operations will consist of repeated short-duration sorties with flight operation during the satellites test pass, contained within a relatively small operational area in close proximity to a currently authorized test site. Specifically, consistent with SpaceXs existing experimental authorization, the aircraft will operate no more than 150 km from the SpaceX broadband ground station in Redmond,
>

Edited by DocM
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Beittil    554

Starlink is going to have a really sweet anchor customer if the US dod ends up wanting this service on all its aircraft eventually. 

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DocM    16,225

 

Teslarati....

 

Quote


SpaceX has been granted domestic (U.S.) and international  patents  for a custom version of an antenna known as a phased array, in this case featuring significant upgrades in pursuit of greater energy efficiency, higher bandwidth, lower weight, and simplified manufacturing, all things that would be a boon for the realization of SpaceXs global Starlink internet satellite constellation.

With a minimum of ~4400 satellites required for the first wave of global and continuous internet coverage, SpaceX will need to invent unprecedented methods of mass-producing efficient and reliable spacecraft on a scale that has never been attempted in the satellite manufacturing industry.
>

 

Starlink-phased-array-patent-US-figures-7.thumb.jpg.a6d60b6100491929c09271a4f4195ae8.jpg

 

Starlink-phased-array-patent-US-figures-15.thumb.jpg.653063848d2ab862bbeda88ceb95689a.jpg

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision    2,644

More difficult to produce, but holy crap are they going to get a massive bump in bandwidth ... :yes: 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Many vendors are continually pushing the boundaries for increased performance and manufacturing advantages. It is nice to see them in the game now.

 

Phased arrays have been around for more than 30 years. I have worked with several versions. Array engineering has come a long way during that time.

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DocM    16,225

StarLink has moved out of its original office to buildings here

 

Google Maps...

 

spacex_starlink_new_facility.thumb.jpg.e5f5d0281f84bebbbb5e6d937b0838c4.jpg

Edited by DocM

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Draggendrop    5,747
Quote

.@FCC to OK @KeplerComms, @_LeoSat constellation licenses, expand frequencies for @SpaceX Starlink, #telesatcanada LEO systems, review orbital-debris regs, tackle Earth Stations in Motion issue & OK @EU_GNSS @EU_Growth @esa Galileo in U.S.@ITU.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1055379861571801088

 

guess we get the "details" soon...

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DocM    16,225

StarLink home run....

 

FCC V band & 7,518 satellite VLEO constellation approval...(PDF)

 

Quote


What the Order Would Do:

 * Grant SpaceXs request to add the 37.5-42.0 GHz, and 47.2-50.2 GHz frequency bands to its previously authorized 4,425 satellite NGSO constellation. 

* Grant SpaceXs request to add an NGSO constellation consisting of 7,518 satellites using the 37.5-42.0 GHz and 47.2-50.2 frequency bands. 

* Defer action on SpaceXs request in the 50.4-51.4 GHz band until the Commission addresses pending issues regarding that band in the Spectrum Frontiers Proceeding.

Specify conditions to protect or accommodate other operations including:

o Geostationary-orbit (GSO) satellite operations: SpaceX would protect GSO operations by meeting specific equivalent power-flux density limits. 

o Non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) operations: SpaceX would comply with the avoidance of potential interference situations sharing method specified in the Commissions rules for any NGSO system licensed or granted U.S. market access pursuant to the same processing round. 

o Terrestrial operations: SpaceX must comply with Commission rules and protect terrestrial operations by meeting power-flux density limits. In particular, SpaceX would be required to protect Upper Microwave Flexible Service in certain frequency bands.

Edited by DocM
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Draggendrop    5,747

For the general media, it may be a home run...but NO it is not.

 

There are a lot of pending issues to be restated by SpaceX to the FCC.

 

Quite a few waivers were refused and some labelled as moot.

 

Some standards are still pending and under review.

 

Without going into a 2 week explanation...I will cut this down...They have 6 years to get 50% of the constellation up and 9 years for completion. This means that what ever is up at 6 years, the other same quantity is 3 years later. The only way around this is to resubmit another constellation plan later and battle with who ever is also there at that time with similar interests. This is the "easy part of this"...the technology is at another level.

 

This applies to both (yes, both) constellations...this contains 4425 and 7518 in a lower orbit (VLEO), with additional frequency allotments for both and effectively two constellations that can interact.

 

The waivers of interest were for, shall we say, in simplistic terms, interference, allocation and constraints of use.

 

The frequency ranges in use are...astounding...and the user ground terminals will have to be of the same caliber.

 

The frequency spectrum and their choices for use are not a consumer standard. I cannot emphasis how demanding it is to operate at near mm wavelengths. This is present day turf of a few radio astronomy bands and "vacuum" communications.

 

Yes, SpaceX can pull this off, but it is of a stature to their "landing achievement for F9". Just the technology is "consumer" cutting edge...as it doesn't exist for the general consumer at this time.

 

All I will say is that SpaceX engineers are among industry leaders, if not in a class of their own.

 

They need to start production and commence a massive launch campaign within the next year or two.....BFR/BFS will not be ready for the initial foray. I would expect a feature limited initial constellation offering till they get their feet wet.

 

This is where the majority of the $500 million funding will go to..period.

 

// The frequencies of those upper bands are mind numbing.

 

Frequency/band allocations...

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/United_States_Frequency_Allocations_Chart_2016_-_The_Radio_Spectrum.pdf

 

Here is an example of infighting on consumer flat panel production/costs...and SpaceX has taken it further...

 

Satellite antenna companies divided on near-term feasibility of cheap flat panels

https://spacenews.com/satellite-antenna-companies-divided-on-near-term-feasibility-of-cheap-flat-panels/

Edited by Draggendrop
added spectrum and news article

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DocM    16,225

 

Quote

I would expect a feature limited initial constellation offering till they get their feet wet.

 

SpaceX expects to start service after the 800th satellite is on-station.

 

This circuitry discussion bings to mind industry analyst Sandy Munro, who did a Tesla Model 3 teardown. He said it had MilSpec level electronics, something you'd expect so see in the F-35 Lightning II fighter.

 

Yeah, Elon's people can build bleeding-edge electronics.

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