Author Topic: SpaceX FCC filing for a 4425 satellite constellation providing Internet service  (Read 62716 times)

Offline soltasto

SpaceX filed on 11/15/2016 to the FCC the application for their massive LEO constellation of 4425 satellites in order to provide low latency satellitar Internet.
There would be an initial deployment of 1,600 satellites followed by the other 2,825. The technical details can be found in the following attachement.
They would start to provide international broadband service after the first 800 satellites would be operational.
No launch vehicle information is provided, so they could as well be planning to launch them (maybe the second batch) with a modified ITS vehicle.

FCC application: file

Technical attachement: DOWNLOAD
Frequency bands: DOWNLOAD
Other attachements: LIST OF LINKS FOR DOWNLOADS

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For overall background on this, see "SpaceX - now a satellite vendor?"  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36552 (21 pages and counting)...

Let's keep this topic focused on the application and process itself,  and keep discussion of the overall business case, etc on that other topic.


Updates:
[Dec. 14, 2016]: SpaceX filed a new application to launch two test satellites

FCC File Numbers (Use Generic Search on FCC site):
Microsat 1a/1b: 0356-EX-PL-2015   Microsat 2a/2b: 0298-EX-CN-2016
« Last Edit: 09/09/2017 05:27 PM by gongora »

Offline MikeAtkinson

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from  Peter B. de Selding (spacenew.com) https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/798911701508726784

SpaceX files internet constellation proposal to US regulators, one of several seeking US FCC approval. OneWeb, Telesat, others in mix too.

SpaceX to FCC: Subject to development work, SpaceX will design, manufacture its own satellites, gateway earth stations, and user terminals.

SpaceX to FCC(3): Promises to deorbit its sats at end of 5-7-yr lives 'far faster than is required under international standards.' [25 yrs]

SpaceX to FCC(4): Co. says its system won't interfere w/ ground systems or sats in Ku/Ka. [ITU has agreed that LEO can coexist w/ GEO.]

SpaceX to FCC(5): Some Ku- GEO sat owners fear LEO interference at equator. ABS's Choi predicts 'zombie sat apocalypse' from sat failures.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2016 02:47 PM by MikeAtkinson »

Offline gongora

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Tweets from Peter B. de Selding Tweet 1 / Tweet 2 / Tweet 3 / Tweet 4 / Tweet 5
Quote
SpaceX files internet constellation proposal to US regulators, one of several seeking US FCC approval. OneWeb, Telesat, others in mix too.

SpaceX to FCC: Subject to development work, SpaceX will design, manufacture its own satellites, gateway earth stations, and user terminals.

SpaceX to FCC(3): Promises to deorbit its sats at end of 5-7-yr lives 'far faster than is required under international standards.' [25 yrs]

SpaceX to FCC(4): Co. says its system won't interfere w/ ground systems or sats in Ku/Ka. [ITU has agreed that LEO can coexist w/ GEO.]

SpaceX to FCC(5): Some Ku- GEO sat owners fear LEO interference at equator. ABS's Choi predicts 'zombie sat apocalypse' from sat failures.

It looks like SpaceX refiled their internet satellite plans with the FCC.  I can't figure out how to see the original filing, would it just be gone from the FCC site?

The new filing is File Number: SAT-LOA-20161115-00118, I've attached their technical document from the filing.

Offline soltasto

We may merge this, but if you seek background on this, see  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36552 (21 pages and counting)

I saw that topic, but I created this new one intentionaly for two reasons:
-When I wrote and posted this the other topic still didn't have now replies regarding this;
-That topic was already very long, with many pages (like you said, 21 and counting) and contained also some speculation that thise file cleared up.

So I tought that a new topic would have been better, but if you think that it should be merged, it's ok :)

Offline Lar

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Nope, the focus is different, let's run with it. (this meta discussion will disappear)

Good call and... AWESOME first post, welcome to the forum!!!
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Lar

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Is this a record for number of satellites in one application?  Does anyone have a reference to info on typical FCC application process/timelines?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline soltasto

Thanks! -End of meta

I don't know if  this is the current record for number of satellites in a single application - Did OneWeb submit a similar application? - but I just searched on the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs how many satellites/objects launched in space are currently in orbit, and it turns out that there are 4277 Objects (SOURCE).

The SpaceX constellation would actually double the number of objects in space!


Online Navier–Stokes

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Some details regarding satellite mass and dimensions in Table A.11-1 (attached).
« Last Edit: 11/16/2016 04:00 PM by Navier–Stokes »

Offline SWGlassPit

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Some thoughts:

- At a 4 x 1.8 x 1.2 meter bus, with a nearly 400 kg mass, that is still a huge number of launches to build out that constellation.  I wonder how many satellite vehicles they're planning to stack for a single launch.

- At those altitudes, if two satellites collide, the resulting debris will be in orbit for a very, very long time.

- The disposal time frame leaves something to be desired from my point of view.  Changing to a 300 x 1300 km orbit and letting atmospheric drag do the rest leaves the vehicle crossing a lot of satellite populations for an uncomfortably long time, IMO.

Offline Lar

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Reminder, keep this thread on the details of the license itself... some posts will be moved...

AND... still trying to get this split right, some moved back!
« Last Edit: 11/16/2016 05:40 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline MikeAtkinson

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- At a 4 x 1.8 x 1.2 meter bus, with a nearly 400 kg mass, that is still a huge number of launches to build out that constellation.  I wonder how many satellite vehicles they're planning to stack for a single launch.

There are 52 satellites in a plane (2 spares), so just over 20 tonnes, which is about what F9 can place in that orbit, but possibly not a F9 with ASDS landing. But the limiting factor seems to be fairing, they can fit about 20 satellites into the standard fairing.

Offline MikeAtkinson

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These satellites have a really low density.

386 kg in 40x18x12 litres is a density of 0.045 (in comparison cube sats often have densities over 1).

Offline old_sellsword

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These satellites have a really low density.

386 kg in 40x18x12 litres is a density of 0.045 (in comparison cube sats often have densities over 1).

The Satellite Body Dimensions 4 x 1.8 x 1.2 m are for the reentry characteristics, implying that antennas and other parts may fold out from the main bus after launch. The satellite dimensions on launch will probably be smaller than that. This has been suggested by Spiiice (an employee).
« Last Edit: 11/16/2016 04:59 PM by old_sellsword »

Offline matthewkantar

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That 1.2 x 1.8 x 4.0 is the unfolded dimension makes a lot of sense. Packing that size sat in an F-9 fairing in the usual way gives 8 or maybe 12 per launch. packing them like a suit case fits maybe 12 or 18. It seems unlikely SpaceX plans 240 launches.

Matthew

Offline gongora

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Peter B. de Selding has a series of tweets about constellation filings, apparently there was some sort of FCC deadline yesterday.  He says there were 11 constellation filings.  You can see yesterday's filings here, but it will only work today (the link is literally for Yesterday's  Filings): http://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs/yesterdaysFilings.do?ssid=-209607233&pgid=0.  Hopefully Peter or someone else will write an article soon with more details.  These constellations will probably all be contending with each other for licenses, and there are many different plans (LEO, MEO, inclined GEO, combinations thereof).


Offline gongora

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This is from the "Legal Narrative" attachment of their filing:

Quote
SpaceX has designed its system to achieve the following objectives:

- High capacity: Each satellite in the SpaceX System provides aggregate downlink
capacity to users ranging from 17 to 23 Gbps, depending on the gain of the user terminal
involved. Assuming an average of 20 Gbps, the 1600 satellites in the Initial Deployment
would have a total aggregate capacity of 32 Tbps. SpaceX will periodically improve the
satellites over the course of the multi-year deployment of the system, which may further
increase capacity.

- High adaptability: The system leverages phased array technology to dynamically steer a
large pool of beams to focus capacity where it is needed. Optical inter-satellite links
permit flexible routing of traffic on-orbit. Further, the constellation ensures that
frequencies can be reused effectively across different satellites to enhance the flexibility
and capacity and robustness of the overall system.

- Broadband services: The system will be able to provide broadband service at speeds of
up to 1 Gbps per end user. The system’s use of low-Earth orbits will allow it to target
latencies of approximately 25-35 ms.

- Worldwide coverage: With deployment of the first 800 satellites, the system will be able
to provide U.S. and international broadband connectivity; when fully deployed, the
system will add capacity and availability at the equator and poles for truly global
coverage.

- Low cost: SpaceX is designing the overall system from the ground up with costeffectiveness
and reliability in mind, from the design and manufacturing of the space and
ground-based elements, to the launch and deployment of the system using SpaceX launch
services, development of the user terminals, and end-user subscription rates.

- Ease of use: SpaceX’s phased-array user antenna design will allow for a low-profile user
terminal that is easy to mount and operate on walls or roofs.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2016 07:28 PM by gongora »

Offline Ludus

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Offline Lar

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http://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs/download.do?attachment_key=1158350

Attachment A has most of the detail.

I believe this attachment is also in the following post

The new filing is File Number: SAT-LOA-20161115-00118, I've attached their technical document from the filing.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online GreenShrike

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There are 52 satellites in a plane (2 spares), so just over 20 tonnes, which is about what F9 can place in that orbit, but possibly not a F9 with ASDS landing.

Checking the NASA NLS II performance page, F9 FT + ASDS landing can put 11,805 kg into a 1150km 51.6 degree orbit. RTLS knocks that down to 8535 kg. That's different than the specified 53 degree inclination for the plane, so performance would likely be lower than that. And there's the dispenser mass to consider.

At 386kg per sat, two ASDS launches of 26 sats would be 10036kg leaving 1769kg worth of performance for the dispenser mass and 51.6 -> 53 degree inclination change.

Or maybe three RTLS launches of ~17 sats for 6562kg, leaving 1973kg worth of performance for the dispenser and inclination change.

So, for a 1600 sat, 32 plane initial constellation, you're looking at around 64 ASDS F9 launches, or 96 RTLS launches. Or maybe 32 FH launches at one per plane?

Staggering numbers for a vehicle that has yet to hit 30 launches, and that's just the initial setup.
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Musk owns 54% of SpaceX, with 78% voting control.

Quote
SpaceX is a privately held company in which the sole shareholder who is the beneficial owner of a 10% or greater interest is Elon Musk, as trustee of a private trust. Mr. Musk’s trust currently owns 54% of the outstanding stock of SpaceX and has voting control of 78% of the outstanding stock of SpaceX. Mr. Musk, a U.S. citizen, can be contacted at the following address: 1 Rocket Road, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

http://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs/download.do?attachment_key=1158348

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