How Starlink will launch - satellite Internet from Ilona Mask

    A few days ago , an article appeared on Habré about how Starlink - satellite Internet from SpaceX - will affect the work of banks and other organizations. Today we decided to continue this topic and talk about how the “star network” is planning to deploy.

    / / PD

    Couple of words about starlink

    Starlink is a network of near-Earth satellites, which is developed by Ilona Mask SpaceX. The goal of the project is to create a high-performance communication channel that will provide an Internet connection anywhere in the world.

    Starlink work began in 2015. At the same time, SpaceX predicted that 50% of all world traffic would pass through the “star network”.

    How the network will be deployed

    A total of 4425 satellites will be put into orbit. They will communicate with Starlink ground stations using Ku- and Ka-band radio waves with frequencies from 10.7 to 18 GHz and from 26.5 to 40 GHz, respectively. These bands are used to provide satellite television and the Internet and allow reception with relatively small antennas.

    Professor Mark Handley from University College London calculated the orbits of satellites based on data from SpaceX's public call to the FCC and modeled the system.

    First, 1600 space vehicles will be sent to space. It is planned to distribute them in 32 orbits and " place " at an altitude of 1150 kilometers. Launches have already been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
    Earlier this month, SpaceX sent a request to the FCC to move orbits from 1,150 kilometers to an altitude of 550 kilometers.

    This will allow the malfunctioning apparatus to be attracted to the Earth, and not to remain in orbit. Given the fact that Starlink satellites need to be updated approximately every five years , the transfer of the orbit will help reduce space debris. Plus, this will provide the same level of coverage with fewer satellites (16 pieces less).

    The FCC has not yet commented on SpaceX's request, but the Commission’s reaction can be expected already this month.
    In any case, when the satellites are placed into a given orbit, they will be unevenly distributed. At this stage, the network will not cover the Poles and Alaska. Between the 47 and 52 parallels of the north latitude, the "concentration" of satellites will be higher.

    In this zone are the major cities - Paris, London, New York - which are the centers of international trade. Therefore, the network bandwidth in these regions should be higher.

    Between themselves Starlink nodes will exchange data using laser technology. Each satellite will be constantly connected to the five closest devices in order to quickly find the best route to connect and reduce the delay in data transmission. According to preliminary estimates, the latency when transferring data from London to Singapore will be 93 ms. For comparison, in the "classic" networks, it is approximately 159 ms.

    After all 1600 nodes start working, they will send as many spacecraft into space. However, they will be placed several tens of kilometers below the “first wave”. This will increase network coverage and avoid satellite collisions.

    Finally, in the third stage, the remaining 1225 Starlink devices will be put into orbit. Their task is to provide communication for the region of the poles and Alaska.

    At the same time, yesterday it became known that, in addition to the 4425 satellites mentioned above, another 7,518 vehicles will be launched. SpaceX received approval for the launch of the "second wave" of the FCC. These satellites will rotate around the Earth at an altitude of 340 kilometers.

    Starlink Reviews

    Although investors believe in the success of the project and are willing to wait for a return on investment of at least 15 years, experts doubt the timing of the launch of the first Starlink satellites.

    According to analysts from research company Forecast International, the start of Starlink is likely to be postponed from 2019 to a later date due to disagreements in the project team. Ilon Musk fired seven company managers because of their refusal to speed up the testing of prototype satellites.

    / Wikimedia / US Air Force / PD Deadlines

    - this is bad news for the project, since one of the main difficulties for SpaceX is the FED deadline set by the deadline. According to the agreement, the Commission will withdraw the launch permit if half of the Starlink satellites will not work by 2023.

    At the same time, experts believe that SpaceX will face difficulties immediately after the launch of the first vehicles. Starlink will require a lot of maintenance money. The cost of networking is estimated at a minimum of $ 10 billion. But Professor Mark Handley does not see this as a problem. He is convinced that Starlink will be able to quickly find users who want to pay for access to high-speed Internet and pay for the project.

    Among clients, he notes banks, stock exchanges and other organizations engaged in high-frequency trading. They will be able to extract the maximum benefit from the capabilities of the “star network” capable of transmitting a signal twice as fast as existing fiber optic connections.

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