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SpaceX StarLink satellite internet [UPDATES]

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Draggendrop    5,747

The next few years will be a launch dream come true.

 

The $10 B tag for the constellation, is conservative in my opinion, and encompasses the constellation cost only. Final costs may be $15+B

 

To put this into perspective, 4409 plus  7518 is 11,927 satellites...call this 12,000 for head calc's.

 

To build these units in a vertically integrated facility and get the costs down for a very complex system, I could see these these being set up for $1M apiece...only at SpaceX....this equates to a $12 B system...no launch costs or ground infrastructure.

 

There are cube sat's being produced by 3rd parties that cost $1M, lot's of low cost mini science sat's are going up with a $20 M package of parts.

 

--------------------

 

This is a major undertaking, one in which..only SpaceX could pull off due to vertical integration, inter company co-operation...and owning the launch platform..a reusable one at that.

 

Frankly, I don't know how others will eventually compete unless a niche is carved out.

 

This constellation will rank up there with some of the larger price tag items...and will fair well...

 

ISS at $100 B so far....but is priceless...a jem in my books.

 

SLS....need I say anymore about it...

 

JWST will be over budget at $8 B...closer to $9 B and it better work...if it does and has longevity...it could pan out.

 

For anyone else to purchase this through the usual suspects, it would cost what the ISS has currently.

 

Basically, we have SpaceX pulling of a 10 cents on the dollar in house operation...the only way to make this affordable.

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,644

personally believe it's going to see a cost overrun of 25~40%. Real-world vs Estimates and all that ... but -- I believe that SpaceX and Investors will see huge returns fairly quickly once it's operational. Customers are not going to be disappointed and the satellites look like they're going to work great.

 

So we'll see. :) 

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Draggendrop    5,747

We have a rough idea of the timing to get launches beginning (June 2019) and a basic system operational...2020 and constellation filling after that.

 

There will be multiple satellite iterations throughout the entire launch campaign...starting with reaction components/design and satellite capabilities as expanded.

 

This is not an issue when dealing with 5 year replacements...always have fresh tech in orbit.

 

-----------------------------

 

The next order of business is satellite mass/dimensions and if mass or dimension limitations in play for the various inclinations.

 

First order of business is to forget everything you know about the Tin Tin dimensions...they are not production .

 

Instead of being picture perfect...I'll throw some data here...then some diagrams...then think of novel dispenser designs.

 

-----------------------------------

 

Insert random stuff....

 

  

 

 

 

size comparison...

main-qimg-bbbb811f1fe8dd8d7eb53f2d14ddc91e-c.thumb.jpg.d97f2526348916581e364fd8e70e4f47.jpg

 

 

799794952_X_37B_OTV-2_01copy.thumb.jpg.06397ffe82116d5ab7f176cb6469b300.jpg

 

 

IRIDIUM_Test_Prep_183_KHarris.thumb.jpg.98d2175b83e858321193a0ebcd38b944.jpg

iridium test unit

 

2015-1244-m.thumb.jpg.956cd0981f8286e8bfc844216b3d092f.jpg

A person under 2 meter for comparison

 

Falcon-fairing-drop-test-prep-100418-Pauline-Acalin-12c.thumb.jpg.941ec69690eda613be85838fe24cec21.jpg

 

That will give an appreciation for fairing size

I will throw some rough notes to play with...

 

---------------------------------------------------

Starlink satellite dimensions?

 

Apparently, each satellite in the planned constellation will weigh about 850 lbs pr 386 kg. Its size was said to be around the size of a Mini Cooper car.
https://edgylabs.com/spacex-satellite-network-soon-to-be-named-starlink

---------------------------

The primary structure for the Microsat-2a and -2b test spacecraft will be a box design measuring 1.1 m × 0.7 m × 0.7 m and carries the spacecraft flight computer, power system components, attitude determination and control components, propulsion components, GPS receiver, and broadband, telemetry, and command receivers and transmitters. The primary bus is mounted on the payload truss system, which also carries communications panels, inter-satellite optical link transmitters and receivers, star trackers, and a telemetry antenna. There are two 2 m × 8 m solar panels. Each demonstration spacecraft has a total mass of approximately 400 kg. The attitude of each spacecraft is 3-axis stabilized, and is dynamically controlled over each orbit to maintain attitude position for two pointing modes of operation: broadband antenna (antennas to nadir for testing) and solar array (solar arrays facing sun for charging). Power is provided by solar panels designed to deliver sufficient power at the predicted end of spacecraft life to not impair any test objectives. The Thermal Control System ensures that components are kept within operational temperature ranges.
https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/microsat-2.htm

-----------------------------

In the technical attachment to the FCC application ( licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/ib/forms/reports/… ), the satellite body dimensions are listed as 4.0 x 1.8 x 1.2 m, which are considerably larger than the test articles. Those won't fit nearly as well in the current F9 fairing. You might be able to get two layers of 8 if the fairing is stretched, but it's pretty iffy beyond that. – TheRadicalModerate Mar 17 at 4:06 
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/25525/how-many-spacex-starlink-internet-service-satellites-could-be-deployed-in-a-sing

--------------------------------

Table A.11-1 page 54 of 68 page pdf belonging to "SpaceX application to FCC"
Satellite Body Dimensions
Length 4.0 m
Width 1.8 m
Height 1.2 m
Solar Array Dimensions
Length 6.0 m
Width 2.0 m
Area 12.0 m2
Quantity 2
Overall Vehicle Area
Max Vehicle Area 28.3 m2
Min Vehicle Area 2.6 m2
Average Vehicle Area 15.45 m2
Vehicle Mass
Mass 386 kg

ERRATA, ERRATUM OR ADDENDUM    11/22/2016    Space Exploration Holdings, LLC    Technical Attachment (CORRECTED)    SpaceX Application -
http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/ib/forms/reports/related_filing.hts?f_key=-289550&f_number=SATLOA2016111500118

-------------------------------------------

payload to LEO                      (expendable)   23t    64t      ?
payload to LEO                       (reusable)    10t    27t?   150t
sats/launch (due to weight)          (reusable)    24     67     375
sats/launch (due to weight,room,PAF) (reusable)    20     64     304
launches needed                      (reusable)   600    188      40
$/launch                             (reusable)   $62m   $90m      ?
$                                    (reusable)   $37b   $17b      ?

https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/25525/how-many-spacex-starlink-internet-service-satellites-could-be-deployed-in-a-sing

-------------------------------

 

 

1385707172_2016Satellitedimensions.thumb.jpg.5cd1b8565db18bddd031ef05fabeab57.jpg

 

The table, and the majority of filed data can be found here...                        (Technical Attachment (CORRECTED) of 11/22/2016 for the above table)

FCC filings for Starlink 

 

It will take some thought...the numbers for each launch will depend on many factors BUT may be irrelevant due to size of payload determining # on each launch....it's not going to be 25 from what I see so far...

 

Will post more later....this is just food for thought.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Forgot a few bits of data...

 

DWpT_2gWkAESLz3.jpg

Tin Tins  These are smaller than the production units.

 

Starlink-solar-arrays-diagram-SpaceX-2-9

 

Starlink-solar-arrays-diagram-SpaceX-3-7

 

Unique solar array packaging and deployment on the demo's...will probably see this as well as tight array packaging to reduce size on dispenser...

 

images credit...

http://www.automotivetestdrivers.com/spacex-starlink-satellite-prototypes-unique-solar-arrays/

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Draggendrop    5,747

images from the PAZ launch...for reference to size

 

The width of the payload will determine stagger on adapter...

 

620394309_PAZT3-03.thumb.jpg.3542f925ddac31175fdfbee52b4a44c4.jpg

 

797800373_PAZT11-02.thumb.jpg.bc37e6ddae8d6aaa27726689879598cd.jpg

 

553945918_PAZT11-20.thumb.jpg.1a657eaed07ed14b933adb6b14e5c5f0.jpg

 

Starlink-solar-arrays-diagram-SpaceX-3.thumb.jpg.a0ea5f0b64fb979e32943a6dec53743d.jpg

The arrays can be staggered...no one said they have to be in alignment on dispenser...these are the test items...smaller than production.

 

Once we have a ballpark number that will fit in the fairing, we get the minimum number of satellites to start bare bones operation....determine the number of launches and then see how many per month...on reusables.

 

Meanwhile business launches carry on as per usual...and any new boosters used will also have another stream of employment.

 

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DocM    16,222

You can bet your bippy  StarLink birds will be flying on a Starship-based mass deployer as fast as SpaceX can get it off the ground. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,644

Yep. All the more reason they are pushing double-time on Starship. They need it yesterday. 304+ birds/launch is very desirable and at $5~15 mil/flight (Labor, Pad, GSE, fuel + insurance (?)) they can't overlook the cost savings. Getting Starlink uphill at that low of a PPL -- two orders of magnitude cheaper compared to twenty years ago -- yeah .. they want to use Starship.

 

My guess? They'll do the low-altitude hops to shakedown the technology, do one or two medium-distance flights like Pad 1 in Boca Chica to the Cape, then back again -- yes, back again -- almost a full orbit -- as a "shakedown flight"; and if all goes well they'll send up the first 10 birds as another test run to make sure everything is good.

 

Since it can (I assume) land with the payload, 10 sats at 850 lbs (3855.54 kg total) should be fine. 

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DocM    16,222

A Starship SSTO with extra tanks and 10-20 tonnes of payload capability would pay for itself.

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Draggendrop    5,747

All I can say is ...hold...hold...hold...

 

Where the hoot did those numbers come from...

 

So far we have heard of a new material selection for something on Starship. We are not even sure of the final design.

 

We have no idea on final design for tankage, cargo bay or crew cabin...we have no idea on final design for cargo variant.

 

We have no idea of actual final specifications for the satellites to be launched...although they will be close...but shape can effect launch mounts.

 

summary...we have no idea of realistic sat design, Starship final design, booster design...or cargo area shape...but we have people throwing out precise numbers...with an unkown variance... and use a term like 304+

 

This is the appropriate time for me to use...WTF

 

Frazzle.thumb.jpg.4b30fe9ae99728fb9038c6271463d5cf.jpg

 

-----time out folks................

 

First satellite launches are in June 2019...mmmm...6 months....

 

Basic operation for 2020...which may be aspirational.

 

We can all be SpaceX fans...but we need to be realistic in development cycles....no "magic" or "loot boxes" are allowed.

 

SpaceX are testing a Starship prototype...not the real deal...and definitly not designed for magically popping sats into orbit at the moment.

 

Starship is several years out for a cargo version and the booster...period. SpaceX is more than aware of this.

 

We need to face the reality...F9 will be the one flying an increasingly quicker cadence solely for satellite placements. This could end up being every 3 weeks...even 2 weeks in some cases.

 

Block 5 had a purpose...we are seeing it know. Starship may finish it...but the initial burden for basic ops is on F9.

 

Folk's...we need to deal with this...

 

We know the rough satellite dimensions...have to guess on F9 launch dispenser.

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DocM    16,222

Here it comes...

 

This ties into earlier reports of Air Force Research Lab interest and preliminary tests, FCC issuing permits for same, and the DARPA Blackjack program looking into using LEO constellation satellite buses for milsats (implied: wolves hiding among the sheep)

 

December 19, 2018: SpaceX-DoD contract for testing  space-2-space and space-2-aircraft communications

 

DoD...

 

Quote


Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Hawthorne, California, has been awarded a $28,713,994 competitive, firm-fixed-price, other transaction agreement for experimentation per the advanced research announcement, FA8650-17-S-9300. This agreement allows for experimentation in the areas of establishing connectivity, operational experimentation, and special purpose experimentation. Experimentation will include connectivity demonstrations to Air Force ground sites and aircraft for experimental purposes. For the proposed Phase 2, the awardee proposes to perform experiments in two other key areas: early versions of a commercial space-to-space data relay service and mobile connectivity directly from space to aircraft. Work will be performed in Hawthorne, California, and is expected to be completed by June 18, 2021.  Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $19,167,989 will be obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-19-9-9320). (Awarded Dec. 19, 2018)

Edited by DocM

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Hey Guys, not sure if it has been discussed here previously,(there is a lot of data).

 

What would the ground side of these sat constellations look like. Ie will it need to be a dish on your house, will we be able to use it in our car's with a larger receiver, or would it be like older mobile phone?

 

I dont know enough about these sorts of things to make a guess, my only thought it at those frequencies it wont penetrate anything very well.

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DocM    16,222

StarLink will use a flat plased array antenna, and from any point 20+ satellites will be visible at a time. SpaceX is patenting it's own advanced phased array design.

 

If a satellite under use becomes blocked, the array can electronically steer its beam(s) to another unobstructed satellite. The phased array itself remains stationary.

 

Commercial phased array ground stations could be large, but the consumer version is said to be the size of a pizza box. Connections can be wired or WiFi etc. 

 

This means setting up a micro-ISP could become a lot easier. Stick the array, wireless hardware, batteries and solar array on a pole etc. and poof! - gigabit internet in the middle of nowhere.

 

If this works out internet backhaul moves offplanet, and SpaceX StarLink revenues could be a multiple of NASA's budget.

 

Edited by DocM
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DocM    16,222

Planning for Australia

 

@IsItPluggedIn

 

Quote


The Manager, 
Spectrum Planning Section 
Spectrum Planning and Engineering Branch 
Communications Infrastructure Division
PO Box 78, Belconnen, ACT 2616

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) appreciates the opportunity to provide input in response to the Australian  Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on their recently issued consultation 28 GHz spectrum planning: discussion paper (the Discussion Paper). 

Background

SpaceX is developing an NGSO satellite system in the Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS). In March 2018, the United States Federal Communications Commission authorized SpaceX to construct, launch, and operate a constellation of 4,425 non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellites operating close to the earth. That FCC license marked a major step in SpaceXs efforts to design, develop, and deploy an innovative and spectrum-efficient satellite system to deliver broadband service directly to consumers around the world.

Specifically, SpaceX was authorized to employ the following bands, including the frequencies under consideration in the current ACMA consultation:

 10.7  12.7 GHz Downlink
 14.0  14.5 GHz Uplink
 17.8  18.55 GHz Downlink
 18.8  19.3 GHz Downlink
 27.5  29.1 GHz Uplink
 29.5  30.0 GHz Uplink

SpaceX intends to seek ACMA approval to use these bands within Australia as well.

Fixed satellite service spectrum

As the ACMA notes in the Discussion Paper, the 28 GHz band (27.5-29.5 GHz) is currently used for fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations, and this use is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, the band is receiving increasing attention as a new generation of satellite services are being developed and deployed. As noted, SpaceX intends to use the 27.5-29.1 GHz range for uplink from gateways within its ground network to its NGSO constellation to enable broadband access around the world. As such, it is crucial that the ACMA ensure continued access to the 28 GHz band for FSS use.

Nationwide deployment of satellite services

The wide geographic coverage areas of space-based systems in general make satellites optimal for broadband deployment across Australia, in metropolitan, regional, and rural areas alike. The inherent design of satellite constellations operating closer to the earth offers coverage across continents and the world and, as such, they thrive on nation-wide regulatory approaches for licensing and access to spectrum. License planning or spectrum allocation approaches that artificially limit deployment to specific geographic regions would curtail the benefits that such constellations offer to add next-generation broadband connectivity across all of Australia. 

Any licensing regime that requires broadband service providers to obtain authorizations on a city-by-city, or even regional, basis adds complexity, time and expense to the licensing process and, by extension, deters satellite-based providers from extending their service offerings everywhere at a reasonable cost to subscribers. As such, SpaceX supports a spectrum plan that would allow nationwide deployment of FSS services in Australia.

SpaceX appreciates the opportunity to provide comments in response to the Discussion Paper. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. We look forward to working with the ACMA as we both strive toward a goal of connecting all of Australias citizens to high-speed Internet services.

Very best regards,

Patricia Cooper
Vice President, Satellite Government Affairs
Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
>

Edited by DocM

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Thanks Doc, sounds great, however our government is not very tech savvy so wont understand.

 

I hope they don't block this, it will make many parts of Australia much easier to live in, a lot of the country areas have very limited Internet(mostly crappy satellite) and very expensive.

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Draggendrop    5,747

At the moment, SpaceX was giving a heads up for your country to consider keeping the "sat maintenance" bands available....there has been talk of spectrum shifts worldwide.

 

As far as the user equipment...treat it like a "microwave" broadband. It will be an outside fixed antenna...on tower, pole or roof mount...with the least obstructed overhead satellite viewing. The modem will probably be completely self contained at that frequency.

 

There is "no magic" to the flat panels..."beam steering" has been around since I was a young lad...a very long time ago. 

 

The average user will have no idea what is in play other than..."it works".

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DocM    16,222
Posted (edited)

Interesting comparison of the StarLink, OneWeb and Telesat NGEO datasat constellations 

 

CircleID...

 

Bottom line: each TeleSat satellite is faster, but the StarLink architecture overwhelms in total throughput. OneWeb seems outclassed.

 

Coverage (satellites in line-of-sight)

77115138_NGEOvisibilitycoverage-CircleID.thumb.jpg.3fb7f8708c8160ff8d055ae6ef20cf13.jpg

 

Throughput

82243948_NGEOthroughputs-CircleID-800.thumb.jpg.c7f117888bddc4636f876d2d4b42aa8b.jpg

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Unobscured Vision    2,644

Quantity > Quality in this case, but the Starlink birds aren't anything to sneeze at on their own either. Everyone, everyone is sending up (or will be sending up) some really tasty gear. Humanity as a whole benefits no matter which provider they choose to go with; and while I personally will select Starlink as an early adopter (doing my part to ensure its success), OneWeb and Telesat are going to be quite decent services too. Demand will force OneWeb and Telesat to improve their own services, which I predict will need to increase their constellations in order to keep pace ... or lease throughput from Starlink using compatible gear.

 

Starlink will simply be the superior service, and the numbers don't lie. :D 

 

Everyone benefits.

 

What I'd personally like to see is iridium getting in on the action with SpaceX. The "Dream Team" scenario. I'm almost as much a fan of Matt and I am of Elon and Gwynne. Iridium has special skills that SpaceX could really benefit from. And the guy himself is just cool. :yes: 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Just my opinion...but these comparisons are like "play dough"....nothing is built and ready to fly, once flown then tweaked, then numbers mean little till full constellation is up and modified. Mold the facts to fit the good looking side.

 

This is just competitors jousting for position, mostly based on "bull cookies". This will go on for years.

 

Starlink is built in a vertically integrated group of companies that design, build, launch and manage the system.....the others have a right to be real worried right now...the future looks grim for them.

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DocM    16,222

More troubling for Telesat, OneWev and others is that the fully reusable Super Heavy and Starship are coming, and fast.

 

They'll allow SpaceX to quickly roll out larger and faster StarLink upgrades virtually at cost.

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Draggendrop    5,747
1 minute ago, DocM said:

More troubling for Telesat, OneWev and others is that the fully reusable Super Heavy and Starship are coming, and fast.

 

They'll allow SpaceX to quickly roll out larger and faster StarLink upgrades virtually at cost.

Even without it, it is frightful for them...give it 2 years...and that's the end of meaningful competition for them. They will have to invest in a "niche" market to stay alive.

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DocM    16,222

FCC filing: 

 

https://fcc.report/IBFS/SES-LIC-INTR2019-00217/1616678

 


>
The Commission has authorized Space Exploration Holdings, LLC (SpaceX) to launch and operate  a constellation of 4,425 non-geostationary orbit (NGSO)  satellites (call sign S2983/S3018) using Ku- and Ka-band spectrum. In doing so, the Commission recognized that granting the SpaceX  Authorization would enable SpaceX  to  bring  high-speed, reliable,  and affordable broadband service to consumers in the United States and around the world, including areas  underserved or currently unserved  by existing networks. SpaceX  intends to begin launching satellites to populate its constellation in 2019.

In this application, a sister company, SpaceX Services, Inc. (SpaceX Services) seeks a blanket license authorizing operation of up to 1,000,000 earth stations that end-user customers will utilize  to  communicate with SpaceXs NGSO  constellation. These user terminals  employ advanced phased-array beam-forming and digital processing technologies to make highly efficient use of Ku-band spectrum  resources by supporting highly  directive, steered antenna beams  that track the systems low-Earth orbit satellites. Consistent with SpaceXs space station authorization, these earth stations  will transmit in the 14.0-14.5 GHz  band and receive in the 10.7-12.7  GHz  band.
>

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DocM    16,222

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,644

:yes: Awww yeah!

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DocM    16,222

SpaceX StarLink joins the SeattleIX Internet Exchange Point,  meaning connected to the Internet at 10Gbps. This will be one of many local ground connections, and the bandwidth will grow - a lot.

 

Reg: AS14593

 

https://www.seattleix.net

 

https://ipinfo.io/AS14593

 

Related Networks

 

MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business AS13670
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP AS14514
Marketing & Research Resources, Inc. AS25659
Bank of China AS33731
Charter Communications AS36608
C-III Capital Partners LLC AS393793
WON Communications, LLC AS395967
St. Lawrence University AS396485
Atlantic Union College AS46464
PubMatic, Inc. AS62713

 

 

 

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DocM    16,222

SpaceX has filed for FCC licenses in support of a Falcon 9 B5 launch from SLC-40, with recovery on ASDS Of Course I Still Love You about 600km to the NE. 

 

NASASpaceFlight.com  reports this is the first StarLink deployment launch.

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