Author Topic: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?  (Read 38137 times)

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
In 2016, Satellite-related business globally was a $260.5B industry.
Launch services constituted 2% ($5.5B), satellite manufacturing 5% ($13.9B), and the rest was satellite operations, approximately 93% ($241.1B) per SIA annual report.

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

We've spent great efforts analyzing launch services, much less time discussing the satellites themselves and their manufacture, and almost no time on the elephant in the room, satellite operations and services.

docmordrid provided a complete and concise tabulation of the services (business plan of sorts) intended for the SpaceX Starlink constellation:

With net neutrality on the chopping block, Comcast and co need a real competitor more than ever. If Musk's service can compete in price and speed and provide a ethical internet service, he might take most if not all of their customers.
Or they become the back haul for Comcast and co instead.

Do we really have any strong sense of exactly what their business model is? There seem to be mixed messages about this.

From the trademark page

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
bold mine

The listing appears to encompass a quite a bit broader range of services than discussed so far related to the revenue potential of the constellation.  Since this will be the revenue source for getting to Mars, we should investigate more thoroughly these services and their impacts.
« Last Edit: 11/22/2017 01:30 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4105
  • Liked: 2123
  • Likes Given: 1269
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #1 on: 11/22/2017 12:37 PM »
In 2016, Satellite-related business globally was a $260.5M industry.
...
Don't you mean Billion$?

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #2 on: 11/22/2017 01:29 PM »
In 2016, Satellite-related business globally was a $260.5M industry.
...
Don't you mean Billion$?

OOPs...
thanks -- fixing original post.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1191
  • Likes Given: 3133
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #3 on: 11/22/2017 02:10 PM »
I have seen this list month ago on this forum. I am not sure why it comes as a surprise now. I think it was discussed when the starlink name appeared for the first time. Did something change since then? I thought it is common knowledge what SpaceX plans to do with starlink.

Offline cro-magnon gramps

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1503
  • Very Ancient Caveman
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 675
  • Likes Given: 5298
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #4 on: 11/22/2017 05:09 PM »
I have seen this list month ago on this forum. I am not sure why it comes as a surprise now. I think it was discussed when the starlink name appeared for the first time. Did something change since then? I thought it is common knowledge what SpaceX plans to do with starlink.

Not so common... I spend a lot of time lurking and missed this... and it would seem I'm not the only one...
if you have a link to that discussion, it might be useful for others to go over, it would help inform the discussion
here...

Personally I'm floored by the scope of the operations... this takes convergence to new heights... pun intended...I can see in 10-30 years that this could be as disruptive as electricity was to the Steam Economy of the late 19th century...

just more so... with all of the advances coming that could converge with it... and Starlink will be the precursor, holding a monopoly world wide, with it's ease of low cost replacement and evolving satellite technologies...

what will be the impact on economies of the new technology and information? Will businesses that are giants now, go down... what government regulations will be tried to impact or break up the monopoly... what sort of work force will be required to build, replace and operate all facets of operation... how will connectivity and I/O technology evolve in that time frame... how will it affect society, cultural norms, our understanding of what it means to be human...

of course I don't have concrete answers, but I know these questions will be asked and answered... unless there is a concerted effort by existing players, to prevent this evolving... but will it be as useless as those who tried to prevent the emerging technologies of the 20th century... is Elon really an evil scientist bent on world (Solar System) domination...(tongue in cheek) something to watch...
"Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet." Maya Angelou
 Tony Benn: "Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself."

Offline Kosmos2001

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 160
  • CAT
  • Liked: 51
  • Likes Given: 118
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #5 on: 11/22/2017 05:20 PM »
From the report, it is interesting to notice that the main revenue of all that business is Satellite TV with 37.5% ($97.7B) followed by GNSS consumer equipment with 32.3% ($84.6B). Together they make an outstanding ~70% of all the space business cake. In comparison, launch services is only the 2.1% ($5.5B), close to Satellite Radio 1.9% ($5.0B).

Offline billh

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 357
  • Houston
  • Liked: 244
  • Likes Given: 140
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #6 on: 11/22/2017 06:06 PM »
Personally I'm floored by the scope of the operations... this takes convergence to new heights... pun intended...I can see in 10-30 years that this could be as disruptive as electricity was to the Steam Economy of the late 19th century...
I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding of the function of a trademark application is to claim as broad a scope as possible to avoid anyone else using your mark in a related field. So we should read this as a list of Starlink-related businesses SpaceX might conceivably want to pursue, not as a business plan.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #7 on: 11/22/2017 07:36 PM »
I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding of the function of a trademark application is to claim as broad a scope as possible to avoid anyone else using your mark in a related field. So we should read this as a list of Starlink-related businesses SpaceX might conceivably want to pursue, not as a business plan.
https://www.chinatrademarkoffice.com/index.php?c=tdsearch&mark=starlink&IntCls=&ln=&per_page=

I can find no relevant starlink trademarks.
They really should be doing this now, or it gets considerably harder to defend the mark in china.
Perhaps I am misusing the search engine though.

Offline cppetrie

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
  • Liked: 343
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #8 on: 11/22/2017 08:46 PM »
I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding of the function of a trademark application is to claim as broad a scope as possible to avoid anyone else using your mark in a related field. So we should read this as a list of Starlink-related businesses SpaceX might conceivably want to pursue, not as a business plan.
https://www.chinatrademarkoffice.com/index.php?c=tdsearch&mark=starlink&IntCls=&ln=&per_page=

I can find no relevant starlink trademarks.
They really should be doing this now, or it gets considerably harder to defend the mark in china.
Perhaps I am misusing the search engine though.
See

http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4808:aio2yt.2.8

And

http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4808:aio2yt.2.7

Online Jcc

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 868
  • Liked: 199
  • Likes Given: 95
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #9 on: 11/23/2017 02:46 AM »
The last service mentioned is a surprise: Satellite Photography Services. Don't recall mention of putting an image sensor and telescope on board, but if Planet can do it with a few hundred 3x cube sats, why not add it to 12000 small sats ( full constellation ).

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1191
  • Likes Given: 3133
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #10 on: 11/23/2017 07:17 AM »
I have seen this list month ago on this forum. I am not sure why it comes as a surprise now. I think it was discussed when the starlink name appeared for the first time. Did something change since then? I thought it is common knowledge what SpaceX plans to do with starlink.

Not so common... I spend a lot of time lurking and missed this... and it would seem I'm not the only one...
if you have a link to that discussion, it might be useful for others to go over, it would help inform the discussion
here...


Its hard to find past information in this forum. I tried my best google fu and found the earliest mentioning of Starlink here:

SpaceX trademark filings to name their constellation STARLINK were updated with new information on 21 August 2017. Of particularly note is the mention of "satellites for scientific and commercial purposes" and "satellite photography services", possibly suggesting that SpaceX is considering a multipurpose LEO constellation. https://www.trademarkia.com/company-space-exploration-technologies-corp-1140826-page-1-2

Can also be found through the US Patent Office's Trademark Electronic Search System, but wow is that thing outdated...

Full disclosure: /u/Ronsmytheii's post on this disappeared, I was already planning on mentioning this new info.

There was quite a bit more background info at the time though. Maybe I saw the trademark list on an external site which was linked here. At least it names specifically "satellite photography services" So the information was there, probably on the disappeared reddit post.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2376
  • Canada
  • Liked: 328
  • Likes Given: 537
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #11 on: 11/23/2017 08:05 AM »
What are the chance that Starlink will be offering banking & cryptocurrency services? Since Musk have reacquired his old x.com domain from Paypal.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #12 on: 11/23/2017 11:41 AM »
From the report, it is interesting to notice that the main revenue of all that business is Satellite TV with 37.5% ($97.7B) followed by GNSS consumer equipment with 32.3% ($84.6B). Together they make an outstanding ~70% of all the space business cake. In comparison, launch services is only the 2.1% ($5.5B), close to Satellite Radio 1.9% ($5.0B).

That's the key... broadband communications are only a tiny fraction of satellite operations (2% or so), yet internet is a Trillion dollar business.  Today the customer of satellite operations is sitting at home watching Game of Thrones on HBO (I'm guilty, though I do it via wifi).  Tomorrow, we will be having this discussion via satellite, and finally (hopefully) be free of the local gouging and crappy service of local internet monopolies like Comcast. 

5th Generation wifi globally...

And then there are the autonomous vehicle applications, the continuous imaging of any/all spots on Earth, satellite-to-satellite communications, laser long haul, ...  The mind boggles.


BTW Semmel, I was one of those who missed the tabulation in OP and I'm sure there are others.  I suggest using this threadfor operations and business case/competition discussions, while the manufacturing thread concentrates more on the fabrication, testing, launch activities. 

Mods:  Please merge this thread if deemed better than a separate operations-focussed discussion.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2017 11:42 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #13 on: 11/23/2017 11:56 AM »
What are the chance that Starlink will be offering banking & cryptocurrency services? Since Musk have reacquired his old x.com domain from Paypal.

With the currency being SLGs?
(In the next book by the author of the Martian, the unit of currency in the moon colony is effectively one soft-landed gram on the moon.)

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #14 on: 11/23/2017 11:57 AM »
The last service mentioned is a surprise: Satellite Photography Services. Don't recall mention of putting an image sensor and telescope on board, but if Planet can do it with a few hundred 3x cube sats, why not add it to 12000 small sats ( full constellation ).

There's more:
Quote
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

This goes well beyond imaging/photography.  Coverage of the planet is potentially continuous, everywhere.  12,000 sats spread over 4*Pi* steradians (~40,000 square degrees) is more than a satellite per each 2x2degree square of the sky (simplifying, of course, since there will be overlap areas around 50-55degrees latitude, geometrical considerations, etc.).  If each imager/sensor has at least a 4 sq. degree footprint, coverage will be continuous.  And the bulk of the sats are (planned to be) only a few hundred km above the ground.

I can see DoD buying a 'subscription' or two, maybe NOAO, Nat'l Weather Service, etc. -- and DoD might be a bit more than interested in anywhere broadband comms, too.

Could negate the need for many expensive USG payloads methinks.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2017 12:14 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #15 on: 11/23/2017 12:27 PM »
>
This goes well beyond imaging/photography.  Coverage of the planet is potentially continuous, everywhere.  12,000 sats spread over 4*Pi* steradians (~40,000 square degrees) is more than a satellite per each 2x2degree square of the sky (simplifying, of course, since there will be overlap areas around 50-55degrees latitude, geometrical considerations, etc.).  If each imager/sensor has at least a 4 sq. degree footprint, coverage will be continuous.  And the bulk of the sats are (planned to be) only a few hundred km above the ground.

I can see DoD buying a 'subscription' or two, maybe NOAO, Nat'l Weather Service, etc. -- and DoD might be a bit more than interested in anywhere broadband comms, too.

Could negate the need for many expensive USG payloads methinks.

Which brings up STRATCOM General Hyten's recent statements

SpaceNews...

Quote
"And, as a combatant commander, I won’t support the development any further of large, big, fat, juicy targets. I won’t support that,” he insisted. “We are going to go down a different path. And we have to go down that path quickly."
« Last Edit: 11/23/2017 12:32 PM by docmordrid »
DM

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #16 on: 11/23/2017 12:30 PM »
Machine-to-machine (thing-to-thing) connections to the internet are predicted to reach five times the world population in mid-2020s.  Still growing exponentially, while population is leveling off (predicted to peak around 10B by 2050).  Not sure if that includes autonomous personal vehicles.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Liked: 849
  • Likes Given: 1135
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #17 on: 11/23/2017 04:31 PM »
From the report, it is interesting to notice that the main revenue of all that business is Satellite TV with 37.5% ($97.7B) ...

Yes, but within the next few years TV content will be delivered increasingly over the internet (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.).

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1191
  • Likes Given: 3133
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #18 on: 11/23/2017 08:20 PM »
BTW Semmel, I was one of those who missed the tabulation in OP and I'm sure there are others.  I suggest using this thread for operations and business case/competition discussions, while the manufacturing thread concentrates more on the fabrication, testing, launch activities. 

Thats all right of course. I was just genuinely surprised because I stored this info as important and public and didnt really conceive that other active people here might have missed it.

And as you rightfully say, it has a lot of applications if it has an imaging device. But continuous imaging from everywhere.. wow thats a lot of data if it is in any reasonable resolution. If you have one pixel per square arc minute (thats one 1.85x1.85 square km) on earth surface. The land mass of Earth has about 510 million square km. If you take continuous data from all of that, it takes about 250 MB per frame. And thats with a resolution of one square mile (note the imperial units. You are welcome ;-) ). That sounds reasonable to store as a continuous observation. Maybe good for weather. Lets say other applications would be traffic monitoring. There you need meter type resolution. Most of earth surface does not have streets, no idea how much data that would be. But clouds make this application rather uninteresting for most places on earth. Not sure about other uses other than military or for suppression type political structures to monitor the movement of its subjects.

Offline gosnold

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
  • Liked: 135
  • Likes Given: 983
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #19 on: 11/25/2017 09:19 AM »
Counting cars in parking lots and monitoring commercial activity in general has value for financial companies. There are several companies, such as Orbital Insights, that sell that kind of data and there is a market for it.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3106
  • Liked: 553
  • Likes Given: 809
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #20 on: 11/25/2017 04:14 PM »
I wonder whether the satellite imaging service they are including, could have applications for Tesla's self driving features. The continuous imaging could enable them to update Tesla's self driving cars with much more up to date maps of the road network, e.g. including things like new construction (and lane closures) or accidents.

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1191
  • Likes Given: 3133
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #21 on: 11/26/2017 09:09 AM »
I would be more careful. The trademark includes imaging services, it's not said that this is going to happen. The trademark just prevents other companies to name their earth imaging services 'starlink'. For all we know, this is not implemented at all or maybe 2 or 3 starlink sat generations down the line.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #22 on: 11/26/2017 12:01 PM »
I would be more careful. The trademark includes imaging services, it's not said that this is going to happen. The trademark just prevents other companies to name their earth imaging services 'starlink'. For all we know, this is not implemented at all or maybe 2 or 3 starlink sat generations down the line.

The ability to do ~1m imaging on earth (required for accidents and lane closures) at a high cadence with deep coverage of the earth is going to massively, massively increase the size of the sats.
For one thing, you need around a 1m mirror, 5m optical tube for that mirror, really good rapid pointing, lots of imagers, ...

Adding rather smaller ~10cm class imagers might in principle be quite easy to do, for a few test satellites, enough to try stuff operationally, and to eliminate any possible challenges to the trademark.

If you want a good imager on every sat, you're going to have to wait to after BFR.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #23 on: 11/26/2017 01:01 PM »
I would be more careful. The trademark includes imaging services, it's not said that this is going to happen. The trademark just prevents other companies to name their earth imaging services 'starlink'. For all we know, this is not implemented at all or maybe 2 or 3 starlink sat generations down the line.

The ability to do ~1m imaging on earth (required for accidents and lane closures) at a high cadence with deep coverage of the earth is going to massively, massively increase the size of the sats.
For one thing, you need around a 1m mirror, 5m optical tube for that mirror, really good rapid pointing, lots of imagers, ...

Adding rather smaller ~10cm class imagers might in principle be quite easy to do, for a few test satellites, enough to try stuff operationally, and to eliminate any possible challenges to the trademark.

If you want a good imager on every sat, you're going to have to wait to after BFR.

The constellation sats have 5 one meter class silicon carbide mirrors on board already, probably mostly dedicated to laser comms.  See page 50 of attachment.  Having one looking down doesn't seem like much of a technological leap.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1191
  • Likes Given: 3133
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #24 on: 11/26/2017 02:14 PM »
According to the document, the 5 mirrors have a combined area of 2,79 m^2. That is about 42 cm per mirror, or about 16 inch. For sat to sat com, the image quality is not the limitation factor. It's much more important to have a fast sample rate. Ground imaging does care for image quality. Sample rate can be much slower. I'm not sure the two applications can be called "essentially the same thing" like that.

Offline guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6675
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1732
  • Likes Given: 1693
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #25 on: 11/26/2017 02:32 PM »
I am not sure how to interpret the 2.79m². Seems to be some formal value. It says 2.79m² total Debris Casualty Area, not size of the objects. I do remember a mirror diameter of 15cm mentioned elsewhere in the documents. I remember quite well because the telescope mirror I made myself about 50 years ago was 15cm too.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #26 on: 11/26/2017 02:58 PM »
I am not sure how to interpret the 2.79m². Seems to be some formal value. It says 2.79m² total Debris Casualty Area, not size of the objects. I do remember a mirror diameter of 15cm mentioned elsewhere in the documents. I remember quite well because the telescope mirror I made myself about 50 years ago was 15cm too.

It's not the silicon carbide area. Note for example that the 70 gram 'rotor bearing' has a DCA of 2.5m^2.

DCA = (from a quick google) area of object plus a 30cm border. As humans are extended objects, for any falling object it's going to damage humans in a wider area than its own area.  ( https://ses.gsfc.nasa.gov/ses_data_2010/100202_Hull.ppt p54)
So, the above 70 gram * 5 rotor bearings are small, 70g each, and each slightly dangerous for that border, plus 30cm, so .49 each, or 2.5m^2. sqrt(0.49) is 0.7, so subtract off 30cm from each side, and they're 10cm diameter or so.

There are five silicon carbide optics components with a mass of 1.5kg each, which each have a DCA of 0.558m^2.

They have a quoted impact energy of 961J.
This is (0.5*m*v^2) = 35m/s.
This is low enough that this has to be the terminal velocity.
Assuming a drag coefficient of one, what's the area for a drag of 15N.

15N=0.5*1* A*v^2 -> 30=A*v^2 -> A=30/v^2 -> A=0.024m^2.
Or around 15cm diameter if circular.

This is very close to the expected figure from the DCA, (0.15+0.3+0.3)^2 at .5625m^2.

This is not a fragile mirror, but is something like 15cm*2cm thick.

« Last Edit: 11/26/2017 03:01 PM by speedevil »

Offline launchwatcher

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 357
  • Liked: 246
  • Likes Given: 328
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #27 on: 11/26/2017 03:07 PM »
I would be more careful. The trademark includes imaging services, it's not said that this is going to happen. The trademark just prevents other companies to name their earth imaging services 'starlink'. For all we know, this is not implemented at all or maybe 2 or 3 starlink sat generations down the line.
Trademark ownership is maintained by actual use of the mark in trade.   Under US law you can register a trademark before using it based on the intent to use it in the near future but you then have to file an affidavit within ~6 years of the registration to describe how you've actually used the mark.   Other countries have similar requirements.

If a trademark isn't actually used in trade for the registered scope it's supposed to eventually go away in that scope (but trademark scopes are fuzzy in practice).   

Offline IainMcClatchie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Liked: 183
  • Likes Given: 306
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #28 on: 11/27/2017 01:50 AM »
The mirror size needed grows as the ground sample distance shrinks.

At 1050 km altitude and 30 degree slant angle (so 1212 km slant range), you'd need a 81 cm diameter primary mirror to get 1 meter minimum features.

At 340 km altitude and 45 degree slant angle (so 480 km slant range), you'd need a 32 cm diameter primary mirror to get 1 meter minimum features.  The length from secondary to focal plane would be around 1.1 meters (scaling from the Skymapper Ritchey-Chretien, see An Overview of Wide-Field-of-View Optical Designs for Survey Telescopes).

The USG limits commercial satellites to 35 cm unless they want a special license.  I'm certain SpaceX could get that special license, so this limit is probably irrelevant.

A fairly simple camera might have a 6 km swath, and image the Earth under the orbital track twice a year.  4000 satellites would image everything once per hour, and 12000 satellites would be once every 20 minutes.  Those numbers are rough, but won't be off by more than 2x.  It would be straightforward to build a camera that could cover 4x as much swath.

A 6 km swath camera would generate about 50 megapixels/sec, perhaps 20 MB/s with near-lossless compression.  In the context of the terabits each satellite is pumping anyway, this seems like small potatoes.  A centralized ground station hoping to record those streams from 4000 or 12000 satellites would have quite a bandwidth and especially a storage challenge.  It's not clear how a single ground station could get 60 to 200 GB/s of bandwidth (assuming you don't want the ocean) into the constellation, short of using its own weather-dependent laser link.

Offline meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8243
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4465
  • Likes Given: 870
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #29 on: 11/27/2017 02:06 AM »
The mirror size needed grows as the ground sample distance shrinks.

At 1050 km altitude and 30 degree slant angle (so 1212 km slant range), you'd need a 81 cm diameter primary mirror to get 1 meter minimum features.

At 340 km altitude and 45 degree slant angle (so 480 km slant range), you'd need a 32 cm diameter primary mirror to get 1 meter minimum features.  The length from secondary to focal plane would be around 1.1 meters (scaling from the Skymapper Ritchey-Chretien, see An Overview of Wide-Field-of-View Optical Designs for Survey Telescopes).

The USG limits commercial satellites to 35 cm unless they want a special license.  I'm certain SpaceX could get that special license, so this limit is probably irrelevant.

A fairly simple camera might have a 6 km swath, and image the Earth under the orbital track twice a year.  4000 satellites would image everything once per hour, and 12000 satellites would be once every 20 minutes.  Those numbers are rough, but won't be off by more than 2x.  It would be straightforward to build a camera that could cover 4x as much swath.

A 6 km swath camera would generate about 50 megapixels/sec, perhaps 20 MB/s with near-lossless compression.  In the context of the terabits each satellite is pumping anyway, this seems like small potatoes.  A centralized ground station hoping to record those streams from 4000 or 12000 satellites would have quite a bandwidth and especially a storage challenge.  It's not clear how a single ground station could get 60 to 200 GB/s of bandwidth (assuming you don't want the ocean) into the constellation, short of using its own weather-dependent laser link.

This is something I'm keeping an ear out for - something something ground stations something.

 
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3149
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5131
  • Likes Given: 313
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #30 on: 11/27/2017 03:11 AM »
The mirror size needed grows as the ground sample distance shrinks.

At 1050 km altitude and 30 degree slant angle (so 1212 km slant range), you'd need a 81 cm diameter primary mirror to get 1 meter minimum features.

At 340 km altitude and 45 degree slant angle (so 480 km slant range), you'd need a 32 cm diameter primary mirror to get 1 meter minimum features.  The length from secondary to focal plane would be around 1.1 meters (scaling from the Skymapper Ritchey-Chretien, see An Overview of Wide-Field-of-View Optical Designs for Survey Telescopes).

The USG limits commercial satellites to 35 cm unless they want a special license.  I'm certain SpaceX could get that special license, so this limit is probably irrelevant.

A fairly simple camera might have a 6 km swath, and image the Earth under the orbital track twice a year.  4000 satellites would image everything once per hour, and 12000 satellites would be once every 20 minutes.  Those numbers are rough, but won't be off by more than 2x.  It would be straightforward to build a camera that could cover 4x as much swath.

A 6 km swath camera would generate about 50 megapixels/sec, perhaps 20 MB/s with near-lossless compression.  In the context of the terabits each satellite is pumping anyway, this seems like small potatoes.  A centralized ground station hoping to record those streams from 4000 or 12000 satellites would have quite a bandwidth and especially a storage challenge.  It's not clear how a single ground station could get 60 to 200 GB/s of bandwidth (assuming you don't want the ocean) into the constellation, short of using its own weather-dependent laser link.
There's another, newer factor. If the system is open to special requests, combining the images from dozens sats at once is going to change the old resolution/mirror size numbers quite a bit.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 03:12 AM by Nomadd »

Offline Asteroza

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #31 on: 11/27/2017 03:38 AM »
Don't forget DARPA MOIRE and other membrane optics to increase the actual capture area fairly cheaply (See FalconSat-7)

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/falconsat-7.htm

A bit of an issue is pointing though. Unless you can retask a lasercomm telescope base, you will be building something that needs steering and has to stay out of the way of the main payload. Unless you are using some fancy optical phased array sensor that can steer without moving. Though there is also Lockheed/DARPA SPIDER work on silicon photonic integrated circuits with optical phased array capability so...

http://chic.caltech.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Cleo_2017_2D_OPA_V7.pdf

Offline IainMcClatchie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Liked: 183
  • Likes Given: 306
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #32 on: 11/27/2017 04:34 AM »
There's another, newer factor. If the system is open to special requests, combining the images from dozens sats at once is going to change the old resolution/mirror size numbers quite a bit.

You're referring to superresolution.  This doesn't do what most people think it does.

Suppose you take four 1MP pictures of the same thing, ideally with the camera jittered by 0.5 pixels in X or Y each time.  You might naively think that you can generate a 4MP picture of that thing (you can) able to resolve objects half the size (nope).  What your 4MP picture will do is resolve the horizontal position of objects twice as well.

To get an intuition for this, imagine taking a 2D Fourier transform of those 1MP images.  You now have a bunch of frequency components (at different phases).  The highest frequency component corresponds to the resolution of those images.

When you combine them together, you've sampled the various frequencies at more phases, so there is definitely more information there.  But there is no higher-frequency information available.

When you look at superresolution pictures, you can't see details that you couldn't see before.

There is no substitute for aperture.

The radar folks have a way of doing synthetic aperture radar, but they aren't doing superresolution.  Instead, they are recording the actual electric field waveform received, and instead of using a shaped antenna to do a bunch of interference to get some particular resolution, they do the interference inside a computer.  At a given power level, visible light has 100,000x fewer photons, so not enough to reconstruct the electric field waveform even if you could make an antenna that would receive it.

The heterodyne optical receiver at Caltech is also really cool, but not for taking wide-spectrum pictures of the Earth.  Their intermediate frequency was in the megahertz range, but just imagine that it could be upgraded to 100 gigahertz or so, around the limit of semiconductor electronics.  The trouble is that visible light is 463 - 716 THz, so this receiver is going to get about 0.04% of the inbound visible light.  You'd have to combine 2500 images just to get back to the sensitivity of a normal camera with the same aperture.  That's a big deficit to overcome.

The photon sieve optic is an awesome idea but note that they are using it to image the sun.  It does not have good throughput at all.  As you make the holes a larger fraction of the membrane to improve throughput, you lose field of view, rapidly.  This technology isn't ready for Earth imaging yet, but I think some kind of unfurled sieve/Fresnel hybrid has long term potential.

I'm sure I'm gonna get banned for being off topic!

Offline jebbo

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 235
  • Likes Given: 224
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #33 on: 11/27/2017 08:07 AM »
This is something I'm keeping an ear out for - something something ground stations something.

Boca Chica would be an obvious location to watch given the FCC filing for the demo includes Cameron County and matches what is know of the ground stations quite well and we have Nomadd providing regular updates

--- Tony

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #34 on: 11/27/2017 12:57 PM »
Valuations of company rising (or not) due to constellation ops:
Quote
SpaceX Could See Its Valuation Soar to $50 Billion
Since it was established 15 years ago, the aerospace manufacturer has continued to defy expectations by meeting impossibly ambitious goals.
Quote
Jonas said that the net current value of this satellite high-speed internet business, along with some cash laying around at the company, ranges between $43 billion to $46 billion. He notes however, that if successful, the attempt, which could transform SpaceX from a pure manufacturer of advanced rockets into a massive high-speed-internet provider, could give the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company a valuation of as much as $120.6 billion. On the other hand, if the effort fails then SpaceX could be valued at only $5 billion.
http://wallstreetpit.com/114396-spacex-valuation-soar-50-billion/
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 01:07 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1191
  • Likes Given: 3133
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #35 on: 11/27/2017 02:09 PM »
Quote
[...] could give the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company a valuation of as much as $120.6 billion. On the other hand, if the effort fails then SpaceX could be valued at only $5 billion.
http://wallstreetpit.com/114396-spacex-valuation-soar-50-billion/

You know you have a quality business evaluation when the possible range of company valuations between 5  and 120.6 billion.

Or in other words.. They don't have the faintest idea what they are talking about.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28101
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 7913
  • Likes Given: 5269
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #36 on: 11/27/2017 02:17 PM »
Yeah, "$120 point 6" is BS. Completely agree there. Spurious precision.

The point that most of the prospective value of SpaceX is in its constellation ambitions is true, though.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1191
  • Likes Given: 3133
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #37 on: 11/27/2017 03:32 PM »
Yeah, no question about that. But you don't need a business evaluation for that conclusion. An honest report would have been "the future evaluation of SpaceX strongly depends on the success or failure of their plans to create and operate the starlink constellation. Evaluation predictions are not possible at moment due to the uncertainties of the program." it's equivalent non helpful in terms of predicting the future but at least honest.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #38 on: 11/27/2017 08:09 PM »
Evaluations are complex. They encompass both the predicted revenue total over a significant period of time like 10 years plus the profit margins that would occur on those revenues.

Current evaluation of $21B is all about the launch business and the ~20% profit margin from such. But Starlink could  bump the revenue from the ~$1.5B/year into at least the $3B/year range. But the profit margin on comm sats industry is as high as 50% (see SES revenue and profit data). This could bloom the corporate value to above $50B once Starlink starts operating and shows a healthy increasing subscriber numbers. But we are going to have to wait and see how successful Starlink will become since it is dependent on a very wide and large customer base acceptance.

It all hinges on costs of deployment and operation with the acceptable prices for a large enough customer base to generate a large enough revenue to cover the large fixed costs of deployment and operation. Profits could be small <10% margin to very large >75% margin.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #39 on: 11/27/2017 08:43 PM »
Evaluations are complex. They encompass both the predicted revenue total over a significant period of time like 10 years plus the profit margins that would occur on those revenues.

Current evaluation of $21B is all about the launch business and the ~20% profit margin from such. But Starlink could  bump the revenue from the ~$1.5B/year into at least the $3B/year range. But the profit margin on comm sats industry is as high as 50% (see SES revenue and profit data). This could bloom the corporate value to above $50B once Starlink starts operating and shows a healthy increasing subscriber numbers. But we are going to have to wait and see how successful Starlink will become since it is dependent on a very wide and large customer base acceptance.

It all hinges on costs of deployment and operation with the acceptable prices for a large enough customer base to generate a large enough revenue to cover the large fixed costs of deployment and operation. Profits could be small <10% margin to very large >75% margin.

Believe the $21B valuation was post-Google/Fidelity investment which considered the potential of a constellation adding to revenue.  Launch services only valuation should be closer to the floor value of $5B quoted in the article or the $10B valuation just prior to the above funding.  This latest valuation considers the significantly increased scope of the constellation (I think) as well as the benefits of lowered cost deployment of the spacecraft due to progress with reusability. 

No one can be certain of the success (or failure) in SpaceX executing on such a huge rebuilding of the internet and wideband communications, so the upper numbers indicate upside potential, and the lowest number indicates that this is anything but a sure thing... basically a roll of the dice at this point.  Anyway, since stock is not public, this is mostly a thought experiment.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 08:45 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #40 on: 11/27/2017 09:07 PM »
Evaluations are complex. They encompass both the predicted revenue total over a significant period of time like 10 years plus the profit margins that would occur on those revenues.

Current evaluation of $21B is all about the launch business and the ~20% profit margin from such. But Starlink could  bump the revenue from the ~$1.5B/year into at least the $3B/year range. But the profit margin on comm sats industry is as high as 50% (see SES revenue and profit data). This could bloom the corporate value to above $50B once Starlink starts operating and shows a healthy increasing subscriber numbers. But we are going to have to wait and see how successful Starlink will become since it is dependent on a very wide and large customer base acceptance.

It all hinges on costs of deployment and operation with the acceptable prices for a large enough customer base to generate a large enough revenue to cover the large fixed costs of deployment and operation. Profits could be small <10% margin to very large >75% margin.

Believe the $21B valuation was post-Google/Fidelity investment which considered the potential of a constellation adding to revenue.  Launch services only valuation should be closer to the floor value of $5B quoted in the article or the $10B valuation just prior to the above funding.  This latest valuation considers the significantly increased scope of the constellation (I think) as well as the benefits of lowered cost deployment of the spacecraft due to progress with reusability. 

No one can be certain of the success (or failure) in SpaceX executing on such a huge rebuilding of the internet and wideband communications, so the upper numbers indicate upside potential, and the lowest number indicates that this is anything but a sure thing... basically a roll of the dice at this point.  Anyway, since stock is not public, this is mostly a thought experiment.
... except to those doing the investment of 100s of millions $.

Offline calapine

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 196
  • Linz, Austria
  • Liked: 161
  • Likes Given: 105
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #41 on: 11/27/2017 09:46 PM »
This might fit in here:

Quote
(Reuters) - Elon Musk-led SpaceX has raised $100 million by selling shares, in an extension to a financing round earlier this year that raised up to $350 million, a regulatory filing showed on Monday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spacex-financing/rocket-maker-spacex-raises-another-100-million-idUSKBN1DR2PV

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6211
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 5674
  • Likes Given: 1627
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #42 on: 11/27/2017 10:48 PM »
This might fit in here:

Quote
(Reuters) - Elon Musk-led SpaceX has raised $100 million by selling shares, in an extension to a financing round earlier this year that raised up to $350 million, a regulatory filing showed on Monday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spacex-financing/rocket-maker-spacex-raises-another-100-million-idUSKBN1DR2PV

SEC filing attached (via Axios). No info on the source of the additional $100M.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #43 on: 11/29/2017 04:13 PM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

Offline guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6675
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1732
  • Likes Given: 1693
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #44 on: 11/29/2017 04:24 PM »
If I remember correctly, cost for Boca Chica launch site was initially estimated at $85million. Estimates since have risen to ~$100 million. That includes the control center and payload processing facilities. Assuming the plan now includes the new type TEL it may be some more than that now. Numbers were in articles of the local press in Brownsville.

Offline Krankenhausen

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
  • Netherlands
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #45 on: 11/29/2017 04:43 PM »
I was thinking about the constellation lately and it struck me that this could be huge in finance as well. It would mean that many devices always have access to the internet, even during disasters. And if an EV survives, it can charge a phone for 1000's of hours.

If Starlink is cheap enough, that'd mean that digital payment would become even more reliable than cash!

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #46 on: 11/29/2017 05:00 PM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

Thanks for this.
I'd anticipate another round of funding ($1B-$2B?) about the time the sats are proven and full-scale production begins... this would be end of next year or so.  Just as getting Tesla Model 3 full production has been a huge cash sink, satellite production will be too, and a cash cushion will be needed to keep roll-out on schedule.  Having to get 800 sats launched before operational could take 2-3 years, so 2021-2022, before that revenue stream established.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline philw1776

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1017
  • Seacoast NH
  • Liked: 610
  • Likes Given: 288
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #47 on: 11/29/2017 07:38 PM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

I THINK Musk may spin off a separate Starlink company that manufactures, launches and perhaps operates satellites.  Sell shares to his VC and corporate buddies but still stay private.  He won't be as concerned about maintaining voting control as it does not affect the Mars goal.
I believe he could raise plenty to fund the building and launching of Starlink.  Starlink corp would buy F9, BFR satellite launches as a bulk discount price, still profitable to SpaceX.  Cash flow problem solved, assuming SpaceX performs.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #48 on: 11/29/2017 09:03 PM »

I THINK Musk may spin off a separate Starlink company that manufactures, launches and perhaps operates satellites.  Sell shares to his VC and corporate buddies but still stay private.  He won't be as concerned about maintaining voting control as it does not affect the Mars goal.
I believe he could raise plenty to fund the building and launching of Starlink.  Starlink corp would buy F9, BFR satellite launches as a bulk discount price, still profitable to SpaceX.  Cash flow problem solved, assuming SpaceX performs.
Maybe as the operator but probably not as the hardware manufacturer. Plus it would be a solely owend subsidiary if anything such that all profits are passed up to SpaceX for SpaceX's use. Otherwise it would add complexity added costs and other items that does not add anything to the venture.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #49 on: 11/29/2017 09:59 PM »

I THINK Musk may spin off a separate Starlink company that manufactures, launches and perhaps operates satellites.  Sell shares to his VC and corporate buddies but still stay private.  He won't be as concerned about maintaining voting control as it does not affect the Mars goal.
I believe he could raise plenty to fund the building and launching of Starlink.  Starlink corp would buy F9, BFR satellite launches as a bulk discount price, still profitable to SpaceX.  Cash flow problem solved, assuming SpaceX performs.

He needs short term cash to build/launch Starlink, but needs long term cash flow to see Mars venture through.  Mars is a decades long (40-100 year) development effort.  Gonna need buckets of cash from here to... ...forever.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #50 on: 12/09/2017 06:56 PM »
Cross post from other Starlink thread to be able to discuss the market potential for hosted payloads on Starlink.

While hosted payloads could be a future source of income, you may want to recall Iridium specifically designed their sats to host other payloads and then had a lot of trouble selling the space, they ended up basically setting up a subsidiary to own a bunch of them.
The question is what was the lease price for the hosted payload? It is all about the lease price. It has to be cheap or you will have almost entirely empty spaces. The prices must be less than the costs of current average launch costs for cubesats. If you cannot offer these builders a cheaper alternative then you will not sell/rent spaces.

Added:
Iridium allocated 210kg for hosted payloads 1/3 of the total sat weight. This is almost as much as the Starlink proposed 1st generation sat of 380kg. Trying to sell such large space is not likely to find a lot of customers. That is because the number of customers out there are geometrically inverse related to size as is the totals of numbers and weight of all the possible hosted payloads based on their size is inversely related. So if you go after the small hosted payloads you will likely get a higher fill rate than if you go after larger ones and so probably even make more income.

In the possible near term <10 years market offering large hosted payload space is not likely to result in good results.

The questions are:
What is the size of the market for hosted payloads keyed to the sizes of the hosted payloads?
What are the prices that customers are willing to pay for hosted payloads?
What are the sizes needed for certain sensor types?

The basic item is that a comm sat is a logical host for hosted payloads in that it offers significant data communications support as naturally part of the capability of the sat. Therefor able to sell a significant data rate (Iridium Prime hosted payload support is 1Mb/s to 20Mb/s). Starlink's could be easily up to 1Gb/s. To give an example how much data 1Mb/s represents a UHD camera running at 1/15th frame rate produces a 1Mb/s data stream. So a full rate or even over clocked frame rate 60 frames /second UHD cammera would only be a 30Mb/s data stream.

So what would the business case for Starlink to have hosted payloads look like?
How much income would be likely to be garnered from such?

Offline groundbound

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 193
  • Liked: 145
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #51 on: 12/09/2017 07:31 PM »
Cross post from other Starlink thread to be able to discuss the market potential for hosted payloads on Starlink.

While hosted payloads could be a future source of income, you may want to recall Iridium specifically designed their sats to host other payloads and then had a lot of trouble selling the space, they ended up basically setting up a subsidiary to own a bunch of them.
The question is what was the lease price for the hosted payload? It is all about the lease price. It has to be cheap or you will have almost entirely empty spaces. The prices must be less than the costs of current average launch costs for cubesats. If you cannot offer these builders a cheaper alternative then you will not sell/rent spaces.

Added:
Iridium allocated 210kg for hosted payloads 1/3 of the total sat weight. This is almost as much as the Starlink proposed 1st generation sat of 380kg. Trying to sell such large space is not likely to find a lot of customers. That is because the number of customers out there are geometrically inverse related to size as is the totals of numbers and weight of all the possible hosted payloads based on their size is inversely related. So if you go after the small hosted payloads you will likely get a higher fill rate than if you go after larger ones and so probably even make more income.

In the possible near term <10 years market offering large hosted payload space is not likely to result in good results.

The questions are:
What is the size of the market for hosted payloads keyed to the sizes of the hosted payloads?
What are the prices that customers are willing to pay for hosted payloads?
What are the sizes needed for certain sensor types?

The basic item is that a comm sat is a logical host for hosted payloads in that it offers significant data communications support as naturally part of the capability of the sat. Therefor able to sell a significant data rate (Iridium Prime hosted payload support is 1Mb/s to 20Mb/s). Starlink's could be easily up to 1Gb/s. To give an example how much data 1Mb/s represents a UHD camera running at 1/15th frame rate produces a 1Mb/s data stream. So a full rate or even over clocked frame rate 60 frames /second UHD cammera would only be a 30Mb/s data stream.

So what would the business case for Starlink to have hosted payloads look like?
How much income would be likely to be garnered from such?

The other question that springs to my mind is if the market would be better served by having dedicated satellites for hosting. Make them as similar to the Starlink sats as possible: common bus, common dispenser interface, etc. The reasons for doing this might be more business model based than technical. You could also potentially configure them with a higher initial fuel load to reach a wider range of orbits even if launched from a dispenser full of normal starling sats.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #52 on: 12/09/2017 08:49 PM »
Cross post from other Starlink thread to be able to discuss the market potential for hosted payloads on Starlink.

While hosted payloads could be a future source of income, you may want to recall Iridium specifically designed their sats to host other payloads and then had a lot of trouble selling the space, they ended up basically setting up a subsidiary to own a bunch of them.
The question is what was the lease price for the hosted payload? It is all about the lease price. It has to be cheap or you will have almost entirely empty spaces. The prices must be less than the costs of current average launch costs for cubesats. If you cannot offer these builders a cheaper alternative then you will not sell/rent spaces.

Added:
Iridium allocated 210kg for hosted payloads 1/3 of the total sat weight. This is almost as much as the Starlink proposed 1st generation sat of 380kg. Trying to sell such large space is not likely to find a lot of customers. That is because the number of customers out there are geometrically inverse related to size as is the totals of numbers and weight of all the possible hosted payloads based on their size is inversely related. So if you go after the small hosted payloads you will likely get a higher fill rate than if you go after larger ones and so probably even make more income.

In the possible near term <10 years market offering large hosted payload space is not likely to result in good results.

The questions are:
What is the size of the market for hosted payloads keyed to the sizes of the hosted payloads?
What are the prices that customers are willing to pay for hosted payloads?
What are the sizes needed for certain sensor types?

The basic item is that a comm sat is a logical host for hosted payloads in that it offers significant data communications support as naturally part of the capability of the sat. Therefor able to sell a significant data rate (Iridium Prime hosted payload support is 1Mb/s to 20Mb/s). Starlink's could be easily up to 1Gb/s. To give an example how much data 1Mb/s represents a UHD camera running at 1/15th frame rate produces a 1Mb/s data stream. So a full rate or even over clocked frame rate 60 frames /second UHD cammera would only be a 30Mb/s data stream.

So what would the business case for Starlink to have hosted payloads look like?
How much income would be likely to be garnered from such?

The other question that springs to my mind is if the market would be better served by having dedicated satellites for hosting. Make them as similar to the Starlink sats as possible: common bus, common dispenser interface, etc. The reasons for doing this might be more business model based than technical. You could also potentially configure them with a higher initial fuel load to reach a wider range of orbits even if launched from a dispenser full of normal starling sats.
The key selling point for selling/leasing hosted payload space is the easy access connection in being part of the large data network provided by the comm constellation. Any custom sats would still have to be a comm sat and part of the constellation even if they are in non-normal different orbits and have no downlink/uplink but only the sat to sat crosslinks. Without the uplink/downlink phased array there would be a capability to house a SAR or a large aperture telescope. But these two examples are both large hosted payloads and are not likely to number very many probably less than a 100 total. Basically what you are suggesting is not hosted payloads but custom sats that are linked into the network.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #53 on: 12/10/2017 09:33 PM »
This is probably the starting point for the hosted payload market evaluation.

http://spaceworksforecast.com/docs/SpaceWorks_Nano_Microsatellite_Market_Forecast_2017.pdf

The time frames and the sats sizes and numbers 1-50kg sizes and 200-300 per year make the these size as hosted payloads the market to chase. The larger size hosted payloads would be likely an order of magnitude less in quantity for only a 4X increase in size. So the likelihood is that the potential of revenue for the 1-50kg hosted payload size would bring in more revenue than a larger hosted payload size as much as 2.5X more for the same available space and weight.

The notice is that a hosted payload space capability of no more than 40kg is enough for most Earth observation single instrument hosted payloads.

In 2024 when the launch rate goes up to the amount of 2000 sats launched per year offering large spaces for hosted payloads is deemed not warranted but small space on the order of 50kg that can be subdivided for hosting multiple such as 4 3U cubesats is more closely aligned to the emerging markets. Even if only 10% of the spacing is filled by commercial cubesats /microsats that is still over 7 years will reach an annual lease income of up to $140M/year. Over the 7 year life of the sats that is an income of just under $1B that will counter the costs of the replacement of each constillations 12,000 sats over each 7 year period of $7.2B. Hosted payloads would be just one more revenue stream to increase the cash flow and to bolster the business case for Starlink.

NOTE: The current launch price for a 5kg an ~ 3U size sat is at $300K. The rental of a 3U space set at $25K/year over the life of the comm sat of 7 years is $175K. So it is possible to offer a cost savings as well as an operational savings in that only a VPN connection to the orbiting sat is needed by the data server on the ground that is recording everything the hosted payload is sending down continuously.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2017 10:26 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline Radical_Ignorant

  • Member
  • Posts: 81
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 253
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #54 on: 12/15/2017 10:29 AM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

In my ignorant opinion that makes no sense. What those number means? They are just some ways of accounting. What's behind them is mostly engineers which do require salary. Only small part of those numbers goes to outside companies and are flexible cash positions. Most of what SpaceX has is tooling fixed cost, money upfront required (this is part of cost for every launch of F9 but SX is not paying a dolar from their balance). BFR development cost depends mostly how many engineers will work on it. Those very guys do take salary now as well, but by accountants they are counted as part of every F9/Dragon/FH cost.

Musk said clearly that they want to shift most of their available resources to BFR development. Current resources, so no new cost. What is required as new cost, as outsourced work? Tooling for BFR - sure. Some carbon composites work - sure. Some building effort - sure. But this all is not even close to numbers you gave. 70% of F9 by value is made in house. So treating expenses as money is relevant only to this 30% of things that are outsourced.

People working in Seattle area - they can't be counted as current cost, they are something new, but quite big part of them is already working and being paid. Do you think that SpaceX spends more than it's revenue is? If they are already spending more than earning then there is a clear deadline when constellation needs to start making revenue. If not I don't see how it could be a problem.

Anyway - my point - accountants do present in money terms things which are not money. If most of cost of F9 launch is counted as amortisation of long ago paid development, Hawthorne factory and tooling? Does that mean, that SX can not take those costs if they won't launch, that not launching will save them any of that? Because that how it looks in books when everything is presented as $number.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #55 on: 12/15/2017 06:33 PM »
My numbers is all about cash flow not profit (taxable income calculation). For taxable income the amortization charges for prior year expenditures for development and capital equipment is charged off against the margin between current year revenue and current year expenditures.

But cash flow is the determination if the company has the real funds too pay it's people, buy capital equipment, and make contracts for flight hardware or development of flight hardware.

Yes you are correct in that accounting makes all of this a jungle and sometimes a simplistic view is significantly removed from the reality of what is happening in ether cash flow or taxable income calculation (profit).

You may also be correct that revenue from F9/FH/CRS/CC/[gov development contracts] is paying the complete payroll. If that is so then the cash is only needed for things like pads, buildings, and purchases (tooling equipment, flight hardware [sub-contracts], and materials) outside of normal operation expenses for buildings, tooling maintenance, flight hardware, and materials.

Then the situation may be rosier than it seems for BFR full speed ahead.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #56 on: 12/19/2017 09:58 PM »
And here we go....


Quote
Peter B. de Selding @pbdes
Spanish govt Paz civil/military radar sat, built by @AirbusSpace, is readied for airlift from Spain to Calif/VAFB for Jan 30 @SpaceX mission. 1,400-kg Paz to launch w/ 2 SpaceX microsats that will demo future broadband constellation & provide ITU registration (BIU).
6:55 AM - Dec 19, 2017

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/943087366499168256
DM

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #57 on: 12/22/2017 06:22 PM »
With the first 2 test sats going up late Jan/ early Feb, I expect the first set of production sats to be launched at about +18 months. That includes 6 months of testing with these 2 sats to delve out the problems and solutions and software needed for the production models. Then 1 year for a combined very short design period with manufacturing gearing up with the first 20-30 sats delivered around Jun 2019 with launch Aug 2019. Then launches every 2 months of additional sets with the duration between shortening by a few days each cycle until launches occurring at just less than 1 month duration.

Operational point (800+ sats) is reached around Mid to late 2021 based on how many sats can be launched on each F9 flight (20 [latest date] or 32 [earlier date]).

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #58 on: 12/26/2017 02:58 PM »
With the first 2 test sats going up late Jan/ early Feb, I expect the first set of production sats to be launched at about +18 months. That includes 6 months of testing with these 2 sats to delve out the problems and solutions and software needed for the production models. Then 1 year for a combined very short design period with manufacturing gearing up with the first 20-30 sats delivered around Jun 2019 with launch Aug 2019. Then launches every 2 months of additional sets with the duration between shortening by a few days each cycle until launches occurring at just less than 1 month duration.

Operational point (800+ sats) is reached around Mid to late 2021 based on how many sats can be launched on each F9 flight (20 [latest date] or 32 [earlier date]).
I think it may be sooner than 18 months for the first production, we'll see. SpaceX iterates fast so there may be another pait to test with prior to production start.
"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 oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #59 on: 12/26/2017 07:52 PM »
With the first 2 test sats going up late Jan/ early Feb, I expect the first set of production sats to be launched at about +18 months. That includes 6 months of testing with these 2 sats to delve out the problems and solutions and software needed for the production models. Then 1 year for a combined very short design period with manufacturing gearing up with the first 20-30 sats delivered around Jun 2019 with launch Aug 2019. Then launches every 2 months of additional sets with the duration between shortening by a few days each cycle until launches occurring at just less than 1 month duration.

Operational point (800+ sats) is reached around Mid to late 2021 based on how many sats can be launched on each F9 flight (20 [latest date] or 32 [earlier date]).
I think it may be sooner than 18 months for the first production, we'll see. SpaceX iterates fast so there may be another pait to test with prior to production start.
A definite possibility of 2 to 4 production prototypes at 12+ months from the Feb launched set. Since these would be actual production constellation like in features wattage/bandwidth/spot sizes/cross links they would be covered under the general FCC license for the constellation. Meaning we would not get any indication by following applications for FCC licensing. We would only know if this will happen if SpaceX releases the info about such.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28101
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 7913
  • Likes Given: 5269
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #60 on: 12/27/2017 12:48 AM »
I wouldn't be super surprised if SpaceX puts Earth observation cameras on Starlink eventually, especially if they start working more closely with Tesla. It can help improve Tesla's mapping system, which currently is much worse than Google Maps.

Google has invested a lot in mapping and now owns some Earth observation constellations which they algorithmically extract features from for Google Maps.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #61 on: 12/27/2017 12:25 PM »
With the first 2 test sats going up late Jan/ early Feb, I expect the first set of production sats to be launched at about +18 months. That includes 6 months of testing with these 2 sats to delve out the problems and solutions and software needed for the production models. Then 1 year for a combined very short design period with manufacturing gearing up with the first 20-30 sats delivered around Jun 2019 with launch Aug 2019. Then launches every 2 months of additional sets with the duration between shortening by a few days each cycle until launches occurring at just less than 1 month duration.

Operational point (800+ sats) is reached around Mid to late 2021 based on how many sats can be launched on each F9 flight (20 [latest date] or 32 [earlier date]).
I think it may be sooner than 18 months for the first production, we'll see. SpaceX iterates fast so there may be another pait to test with prior to production start.
A definite possibility of 2 to 4 production prototypes at 12+ months from the Feb launched set. Since these would be actual production constellation like in features wattage/bandwidth/spot sizes/cross links they would be covered under the general FCC license for the constellation. Meaning we would not get any indication by following applications for FCC licensing. We would only know if this will happen if SpaceX releases the info about such.

If they are seeking a new round of funding as some suspect, they'll release some general success-type news to up the stock value.  Expect them to attempt to be operational late 2020 or early 2021... but many things can go wrong.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #62 on: 12/27/2017 12:29 PM »
I wouldn't be super surprised if SpaceX puts Earth observation cameras on Starlink eventually, especially if they start working more closely with Tesla. It can help improve Tesla's mapping system, which currently is much worse than Google Maps.

Google has invested a lot in mapping and now owns some Earth observation constellations which they algorithmically extract features from for Google Maps.

I'd expect imaging prototypes from the start.  Will definitely dictate some operating parameters and internally use some bandwidth/generate some revenue while they are getting the first 800 sats aloft.
« Last Edit: 12/27/2017 07:29 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #63 on: 12/27/2017 12:39 PM »
I wouldn't be super surprised if SpaceX puts Earth observation cameras on Starlink eventually, especially if they start working more closely with Tesla. It can help improve Tesla's mapping system, which currently is much worse than Google Maps.

Google has invested a lot in mapping and now owns some Earth observation constellations which they algorithmically extract features from for Google Maps.

See also this study of just how far ahead Google is (of everyone else).. .kind of a long read but fascinating.

https://www.justinobeirne.com/google-maps-moat/

Doing something about that (other than just licensing Google as everyone else seems to be doing) smacks of the sort of thing Elon would like. HOWEVER, with Google as an investor of Starlink, the actual path might be twisty.
"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 oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #64 on: 12/27/2017 07:54 PM »
This discussion got stared in the FH thread but should be here.

The discussion was about how many Starlink sats could fit in the faring or lengthened faring on the FH.

If the dimensions of 4m X 1.8m X 1.2M are correct then even a lengthened faring would only hold 15 sats at a mass of ~7.5mt. Without a longer faring then only 10 sats.

At only 10 sats per launch in order to get to 800 sats in 2 years of launching requires 40 launches a year of just Starlink sats in starting in mid 2019 and by mid 2021 would have 800 sats. But 40 addition launches per year above the already ~25 launches per year is a total of 65 launches per year. In order to achieve those rates Boca Chica would be launching at the rate of 12 per year, 40 and 39A at the rate of 2 /month each (weekly launches from the combined pads), and VAFB SLC-4E at at least 6/year.

If the size is correct then this represents an explosion in the launch rate starting in mid 2019. Jumping from up to 30 to more than 60.

Between Starlink and OneWeb the yearly launch rate worldwide will increase by >50% from its current up to 90 to  as high as 150 world wide.

This very high launch rate will require significant new infrastructure to be able to make it happen. One of which is an active Boca Chica launch pad capable of at least 12 GTO launches per year including non-government or non-crewed FH launches toward low inclinations.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #65 on: 12/27/2017 09:58 PM »
I wouldn't be super surprised if SpaceX puts Earth observation cameras on Starlink eventually, especially if they start working more closely with Tesla. It can help improve Tesla's mapping system, which currently is much worse than Google Maps.

Google has invested a lot in mapping and now owns some Earth observation constellations which they algorithmically extract features from for Google Maps.

See also this study of just how far ahead Google is (of everyone else).. .kind of a long read but fascinating.

https://www.justinobeirne.com/google-maps-moat/

Doing something about that (other than just licensing Google as everyone else seems to be doing) smacks of the sort of thing Elon would like. HOWEVER, with Google as an investor of Starlink, the actual path might be twisty.

Apparently, the meta-data collected by Tesla autonomous vehicles would be a huge treasure chest along the lines of Google Maps data.  (Picture a hundred thousand vehicles with full sensor suite vs a fleet of hundreds(?) of Google street view vehicles.)  The sophistication to actually mine those data would be a new level of tech that might be beyond anyone's reach today.  Similarly with continuous optical coverage of the ground from thousands of satellites. (Compare to several (?) to tens (?) of optical imaging satellites flown by Google.) 

The possibilities boggle the mind.
« Last Edit: 12/27/2017 09:59 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #66 on: 12/28/2017 05:52 AM »
Tesla will be upgrading their nav  system in early 2018, perfect timing to include hooks for new techs and map providers.

Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
Major navigation overhaul coming in early 2018. Will be light-years ahead of current system, but we are testing it rigorously before rolling out.
« Last Edit: 12/28/2017 05:52 AM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline deruch

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2217
  • California
  • Liked: 1728
  • Likes Given: 3551
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #67 on: 12/28/2017 09:23 AM »
>
I have failed to find a nice mass or volume number for the satellites.
>
I've failed to find any source saying the volume for the satellite is between 3m^3 and 6m^3, and not (say) 1m^3.
>

Here ya go....

I have problems with this. This gives the satellite body dimensions as 4*1.8*1.2m - 8.6m^3, so a completely naive view might be that ~6 satellites might fit inside the fairing.

However, Iridium-next satellite dimensions are from one source given as  3.1 m x 2.4 m x 1.5 m - 11.1m^3, and that launched ten.

Iridium weighs over twice as much.
4*1.8*1.2 is also notably rather larger than a refrigerator (annoyingly, I can find lots of people repeating this claim, but can't find a source at the 2015 announcement, other transcripts of what Elon has said, or ...)

If we take 4*1.8*1.2 as gospel, and not unfolded, this is also for example consistent with a pie-wedge shape 4m high, 1.8m wide, with the segments being 1.2m along the outside diameter. this allows fitting 22 into the existing fairing.

If the 'size of a refrigerator' is to be believed, then 1.8*1.2*1.2 would about work, with around 40 fitting, assuming rectangular boxes.
Either of these would also be about consistent with Iridium satellite density, not way under it.

The dimensions given are used for the orbital decay drag calculation, so most definitely the unfolded dimensions.

I think Iridium birds are 2.4 m tall and 1.5 m thick, with 3.1 m being the unfolded span of the arrays. If the SpaceX birds are designed along the same lines, they would be 1.8 m tall, 1.2 m thick, with a 4 m array span. Assuming the folded width maintains around the same 80% size ratio to Iridium, they could fit at least 6 in a ring (Iridium fits 5). They could easily fit 3 rings high in the current fairing, plus a small ring of 3 on top, for a total of 21. If they get 7 per ring and 4 in a smaller ring on top, that's 25 per launch, or exactly 1/2 an orbital plane. It's also about 10,000 kg including dispensers, which is about what F9 Block 5 will launch to to 1000 km polar orbit with booster RTLS.

The chart with the sizes has a separate listings for satellite body and solar array.  Maybe there are unfolded antennas that are contributing to that 4m dimension but it isn't from the solar arrays.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #68 on: 12/28/2017 11:58 AM »
Tesla will be upgrading their nav  system in early 2018, perfect timing to include hooks for new techs and map providers.

Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
Major navigation overhaul coming in early 2018. Will be light-years ahead of current system, but we are testing it rigorously before rolling out.

Quote
Vastly better maps/nav coming soon
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/945749747129659392
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #69 on: 12/28/2017 02:43 PM »
This discussion got stared in the FH thread but should be here.

The discussion was about how many Starlink sats could fit in the faring or lengthened faring on the FH.

If the dimensions of 4m X 1.8m X 1.2M are correct then even a lengthened faring would only hold 15 sats at a mass of ~7.5mt. Without a longer faring then only 10 sats.

At only 10 sats per launch in order to get to 800 sats in 2 years of launching requires 40 launches a year of just Starlink sats in starting in mid 2019 and by mid 2021 would have 800 sats. But 40 addition launches per year above the already ~25 launches per year is a total of 65 launches per year. In order to achieve those rates Boca Chica would be launching at the rate of 12 per year, 40 and 39A at the rate of 2 /month each (weekly launches from the combined pads), and VAFB SLC-4E at at least 6/year.

If the size is correct then this represents an explosion in the launch rate starting in mid 2019. Jumping from up to 30 to more than 60.

This table from the FCC describes the satellites. However it is unclear.
It describes a satellite with a body dimension of 4*1.8*1.2m
As mentioned in my post quoted a few posts ago include, shapes which have a maximum dimension of 4*1.8*1.2m include ones which can pack 22 into a standard fairing.
(4m tall pie wedge shape).

No reasonable person would describe a 4m tall or long thing as 'refrigerator sized'.

1.8*1.2*1.2-0.9*0.6*0.6 would be consistent with refrigerator sizes, the latter would require an unlikely density, to hit the above mass of 386kg, the former would be reasonably consistent with Iridium satellite density.

To avoid doubly folding the solar panels, and to get 2m*6m solar panels on the thing, it seems reasonable the overall dimension when packed would be ~2m in minimum height, with five panels lying against the sides, each of 1.2m wide.
Coincidentally, this is very close to the size of the dragon solar panels. (I was lazy and measured from this paper model )

If we want to fit such a satellite in a 4.6m diameter fairing, one idea that springs to mind is a pie wedge design, with a 60cm core.
If we imagine several whole pies stacked vertically at 1.3m spacing, with eleven satellites per pie, that comes out as 55 on 5 pies, with perhaps another 5 on top.

The short side adjacent to the core would be mostly filled with folded solar panels, which have 16cm for 10 panels.

At 386kg (say 450 total plus dispenser) per satellite, this is 24000kg.

This is one possible design which is consistent with the available data, and seems broadly consistent with what's possible.

It implies that the existing fairing may be quite adequate for Falcon 9 to max out mass, given published data on Starlink sats, requiring only 14 launches to get 800 up with the standard fairing.

Or considerably fewer launches with Falcon heavy and a larger fairing.

If you want to argue you can only fit 10 in a Falcon 9 stock fairing, that means that the packed density is well under half that of Iridium-next.
Given that Starlink was carefully designed with insider knowledge about F9 and plans for the future, presumably with no thought given to not launching on F9/F9H - it would seem ridiculous for this to be the case.

Especially as they know they're going to be spending >>$1B on launch costs, and are not buying pre-designed satellite busses that are not optimised.

A much larger fairing is also a much heavier fairing, and if you're spending 4 tons of launch on a fairing expansion, and launching 40 per year, spending even several hundred million dollars getting your satellites down to a more dense packing makes sense.
« Last Edit: 01/15/2018 03:20 AM by speedevil »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1786
  • Likes Given: 214
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #70 on: 12/28/2017 10:15 PM »
I hope you are correct that the launch size is indeed about 1/6th the quoted body size. That then makes possible to use FH to launch a full ring 50+ sats for a cost internal to FH ~$55M or $1.1M vs 25 with F9 at a internal cost to SpaceX of $32M or $1.28M. Even though there is just a seemingly small savings per sat of $0.18M when you multiply by 1000 sats you get $180M savings.

As long as the number of sats launchable by FH is a greater factor than the cost of FH over F9 then there will be an incentive to use FH and not just a few but alot of them 8+ launches per year. for just 400 sats per year in first couple of years with launch rate doubling in later couple of years to 16+ launches of FH per year.

All of this keeps pointing out how SpaceX has a great need for BFR to be available sooner rather than latter in order to significantly save on costs of deployment for Starlink.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #71 on: 12/28/2017 11:11 PM »
All of this keeps pointing out how SpaceX has a great need for BFR to be available sooner rather than latter in order to significantly save on costs of deployment for Starlink.

Once you've got a minimal constellation, even perhaps a minimal demo constellation over one spot for a week when you can let VCs play with it, the amount of profit they'd require for a 5 year bond to fund launch on F9/H till initial operating revenues cover all your costs so far may be reasonable.

There are costs to letting your competitors get close, which may exceed the cost of sacrificing some revenue to outside investors for the initial period of deployment, or waiting for BFR.

BFR would make things much, much nicer, even if initially it can only launch a handful of satellites due to BFS/SSTO.

(Borderline plausible with optimistic assumptions).

I just thought for a moment of using F9H to launch landing fuel for BFR, along with recovering S2. Send help.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 02:49 AM by speedevil »

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #72 on: 02/19/2018 05:50 PM »
If we want to fit such a satellite in a 4.6m diameter fairing, one idea that springs to mind is a pie wedge design, with a 60cm core.
If we imagine several whole pies stacked vertically at 1.3m spacing, with eleven satellites per pie, that comes out as 55 on 5 pies, with perhaps another 5 on top.

The short side adjacent to the core would be mostly filled with folded solar panels, which have 16cm for 10 panels.

At 386kg (say 450 total plus dispenser) per satellite, this is 24000kg.

Copied in part from this thread.


From the FCC filing on the test 'microsatellites' on PAZ.

Quote
The primary structure for the Microsat-2a and -2b test spacecraft will be a box design measuring 1.1m x 0.7m x 0.7m 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 2x8 meter solar panels. Each demonstration spacecraft has a total mass of approximately 400kg

The solar panels have grown by a quarter, and maybe the mass has edged up a little from 386kg.

This sounds less like a early test satellite, and more like a full-up prototype.
The box dimensions of '1.1x0.7x0.7' are interesting, as are its descriptions as a box, rather than any other shape.

This is very close indeed to the size of my refrigerator.
Taking 0.65m*1m panels, we need a couple of panels folded together, and then twelve of these folded together, for 24 layers in total, on a couple of the long sides, giving a package of 1.1*1*1m fairly easily, mostly cubic with a 30*30cm notch out of one edge.

This is enough to easily fit 55 in a (at least as of today) F9 fairing.

« Last Edit: 03/31/2018 05:44 PM by speedevil »

Offline matthewkantar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 797
  • Liked: 512
  • Likes Given: 592
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #73 on: 02/19/2018 06:31 PM »
There are costs to letting your competitors get close, which may exceed the cost of sacrificing some revenue to outside investors for the initial period of deployment, or waiting for BFR.

Financial know-it-nothing here, but it seems to me having a few dozen sats up and working would allow SpaceX to raise all of the money they would need without selling any equity. Even if they borrow the money at junk interest rates, it will be much cheaper than selling equity. IIAWO.

Matthew

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #74 on: 02/19/2018 06:50 PM »
There are costs to letting your competitors get close, which may exceed the cost of sacrificing some revenue to outside investors for the initial period of deployment, or waiting for BFR.

Financial know-it-nothing here, but it seems to me having a few dozen sats up and working would allow SpaceX to raise all of the money they would need without selling any equity. Even if they borrow the money at junk interest rates, it will be much cheaper than selling equity. IIAWO.

I was meaning having to pay outside investors - whatever form of obligation they hold - be it in stock, or interest when it comes due.
Sorry for being unclear.

Making investors more certain that you can pay them back as expected in some form always reduces the cost of money.
« Last Edit: 02/19/2018 06:50 PM by speedevil »

Offline Roy_H

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 866
  • Liked: 249
  • Likes Given: 1405
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #75 on: 02/19/2018 09:16 PM »
There are costs to letting your competitors get close, which may exceed the cost of sacrificing some revenue to outside investors for the initial period of deployment, or waiting for BFR.

Financial know-it-nothing here, but it seems to me having a few dozen sats up and working would allow SpaceX to raise all of the money they would need without selling any equity. Even if they borrow the money at junk interest rates, it will be much cheaper than selling equity. IIAWO.

Matthew

I'm not saying your are wrong, just pointing out that selling equity is a funny business. You could issue shares and keep 60% to yourself (to maintain control), but later sell more shares but keep 60% of the new ones for yourself. Now you have sold the same 40% of the company twice. The original shares get diluted by the issue of new.

Elon Musk is becoming personally very wealthy via Tesla, I wonder how much of Starlink he can finance without outside investment. What did he make last year $2B?
« Last Edit: 02/19/2018 09:19 PM by Roy_H »
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #76 on: 02/19/2018 09:51 PM »
Bonds have the advantage of not diluting control.

You could issue shares and keep 60% to yourself (to maintain control), but later sell more shares but keep 60% of the new ones for yourself. Now you have sold the same 40% of the company twice. The original shares get diluted by the issue of new.

I'm not sure that is legal. YMMV IANAL but I don't think you can just give yourself 60% each time. I think rather, different voting classes are used.
Quote

Elon Musk is becoming personally very wealthy via Tesla, I wonder how much of Starlink he can finance without outside investment. What did he make last year $2B?
I think zero. He's not selling any shares. Wealth increases can be borrowed against but his non borrowed cash in the bank is low I think.

We may be a bit off topic.
« Last Edit: 02/19/2018 10:00 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

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #77 on: 02/22/2018 01:36 PM »


From the press conference and launch stream, before sep.

Interesting.
It looks to me like you'd fit at the least 20 of those, if they can fit six round that core, and three high.
Those solar panels at the side must unfold a _lot_ - if the solar panels are '2m*8m*2'.
I make the bits that actually look to have any depth 2m*28cm or so, which would mean 28 unfoldings, which seems unlikely.

It looks more like the small solar panels are on two unfolding trusses, and they may hit 2*8m unfolded with the panels on the ends?
Would be interesting to see in space.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2018 02:14 PM by speedevil »

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #78 on: 02/22/2018 02:54 PM »
Are the 4 octagons laser comms mirrors?
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #79 on: 02/22/2018 02:59 PM »
Are the 4 octagons laser comms mirrors?

Almost certainly not.
They don't appear curved at all, and even if that red cover popped off, they would need some sort of swing-out CCD or other detector/emitter to be in front of them, and I don't see a mechanism to do that.
They are very likely to be phased array antennas IMO.

The broadly cylindrical silver things 20cm or so in diameter may be optical.
This ties in with the debris reports from the main constellation that the starlink sats would have a silicon carbide 6" mirror.

this video- was posted here.

It gives a better idea of the shapes.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2018 03:06 PM by speedevil »

Offline acsawdey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 218
  • Likes Given: 392
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #80 on: 02/22/2018 03:04 PM »
There was a somewhat clearer view from the deployment video Elon just posted:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/966703261699854336

It looks like some antennas were not attached in the ground picture? There is a hemispherical cover over the top and bottom.

And I think the octagonal things must be phased array antennas.

Also a mystery ... what are the long rod-like things next to the folded solar array ... part of the array deployment, or something else?

« Last Edit: 02/22/2018 03:05 PM by acsawdey »

Offline rockets4life97

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 546
  • Liked: 247
  • Likes Given: 223
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #81 on: 02/22/2018 03:25 PM »
Is it time for a SpaceX vs OneWeb poll to the first operational constellation?

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #82 on: 02/22/2018 03:29 PM »
Also a mystery ... what are the long rod-like things next to the folded solar array ... part of the array deployment, or something else?

I think they may be a truss, to take the solar arrays on the end out to 8m from the satellite, so they are more representative of a full array.
(and incidentally may also reduce shadowing of the antennas)

If there are only single panels at the end, as it looks like, and they don't unfold, they'd be around 300W. Which seems plausible for an initial test sat that needs to service one or two 'customers' and does not have to support multiple LASER comms links at the same time.

Offline John Alan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
  • Central IL - USA - Earth
  • Liked: 382
  • Likes Given: 1669
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #83 on: 02/22/2018 03:42 PM »
IMHO - These are test birds and in no way (beyond some of the bits aboard) represent what later birds will look like... Figuring how many will fit. etc is pointless in the big picture scheme of things... just saying...  ;) 

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3366
  • US
  • Liked: 2722
  • Likes Given: 1639
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #84 on: 02/22/2018 03:49 PM »
Is it time for a SpaceX vs OneWeb poll to the first operational constellation?

Oneweb should be operational before SpaceX.  I doubt it will even be within two years.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3366
  • US
  • Liked: 2722
  • Likes Given: 1639
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #85 on: 02/22/2018 03:51 PM »
Could someone with a WSJ subscription summarize any useful information from this article?

SpaceX Indicates Satellite-Based Internet System Will Take Longer Than Anticipated

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #86 on: 02/22/2018 03:54 PM »
IMHO - These are test birds and in no way (beyond some of the bits aboard) represent what later birds will look like... Figuring how many will fit. etc is pointless in the big picture scheme of things... just saying...  ;)

I don't wholly disagree, but at least in many aspects, what is revealed in the prior filings about the main constellation is not very different at all from this one.

If they're planning some thousands of satellites in only several years, with the first going up very soon, there simply isn't time for a slow moving test program testing little aspects of it at a time.

At the volumes they are considering, many, or most of the systems, from thrusters to antennae have to either have the capacity to be bought at real bulk inexpensively from commodity suppliers, or built in house.

They're not going to be going to a conventional solar panel maker, and ordering a few thousand space-based panels.

A 'full up' test of many aspects of the design at once, where it's OK for any particular aspect to fail seems far more likely.

This implies to me that the final version may share quite a few similarities to the final version.
The solar panels clearly not.

Offline DanielW

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 477
  • L-22
  • Liked: 338
  • Likes Given: 62
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #87 on: 02/22/2018 03:58 PM »
It looks from the ground photo that there are 4 arrays installed but mountings for 8. To me that means that while this may not be the final design it is at least more than just a demonstrator. I think there elements of the current intended final design. So 8 arrays per satellite.

My wild speculation guesses that they need 4 for now to test spot to spot on a single bird as well as sat to sat. No idea where any optical components might be. In the shiny tube maybe and these aren't steerable?

Offline Kang54

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • Denmark
  • Liked: 19
  • Likes Given: 156
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #88 on: 02/22/2018 04:07 PM »
Could someone with a WSJ subscription summarize any useful information from this article?

SpaceX Indicates Satellite-Based Internet System Will Take Longer Than Anticipated

According to reddit, it's misleading. One Benbenwilde wrote that

Quote
SpaceX indicated there is still a lot of work ahead, but they did NOT indicate any unexpected delays.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2018 04:08 PM by Kang54 »

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 702
  • Liked: 413
  • Likes Given: 393
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #89 on: 02/22/2018 04:10 PM »
Could someone with a WSJ subscription summarize any useful information from this article?

SpaceX Indicates Satellite-Based Internet System Will Take Longer Than Anticipated

The article is very vague.  Pasztor appears to be speculating about timeline on no new information.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2018 04:11 PM by RedLineTrain »

Online ZachF

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 488
  • NH, USA, Earth
  • Liked: 391
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #90 on: 02/22/2018 04:12 PM »
Could someone with a WSJ subscription summarize any useful information from this article?

SpaceX Indicates Satellite-Based Internet System Will Take Longer Than Anticipated

I could read it, it's just Andy Pasztor trying (and likely failing, per usual) to read between the lines on information we already know.

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Liked: 2016
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #91 on: 02/22/2018 05:05 PM »
The announcer on the Paz broadcast today said the exact same thing as was apparently in the WSJ "exclusive".  Still a lot of work to do, etc.  That seems to be the standard SpaceX expectations-management line for Starlink, nothing new.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2018 05:06 PM by cscott »

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1641
  • Liked: 1507
  • Likes Given: 368
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #92 on: 02/22/2018 05:12 PM »
Could someone with a WSJ subscription summarize any useful information from this article?

SpaceX Indicates Satellite-Based Internet System Will Take Longer Than Anticipated

According to reddit, it's misleading. One Benbenwilde wrote that

Quote
SpaceX indicated there is still a lot of work ahead, but they did NOT indicate any unexpected delays.
The only actual SpaceX quote that anyone mentions on reddit is what you can see in the article tagline.
Quote
‘we still have considerable technical work ahead of us’
They said that almost word for word during the webcast as well. Considering that they just launched the demo sats and aren't going to be launching any operational satellites for at least 1-2 years, "considerable technical work remaining" is the expected status.

More interesting is statement during the webcast about serving low to moderate population density areas. The way they said it sounds like they won't be trying to serve cities at all, which makes sense from a technical perspective.

Offline Hominans Kosmos

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
  • Vacuum dweller
  • Tallinn
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 650
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #93 on: 02/22/2018 05:24 PM »
Are the 4 octagons laser comms mirrors?

No, the octagons are most certanly not mirrors. They are fixed structures and they are too large. Most likely to be the phased array radio antenna assemblies.

Green circles in attatchment highlight probable locations of the optical communications steerable mirror mechanisms.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #94 on: 02/22/2018 05:40 PM »
Is it time for a SpaceX vs OneWeb poll to the first operational constellation?
No. Low value add poll I think.
"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 cferreir

Just read this tweet from Elon https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/966706924124188672

Does this mean that the Starlink statellites beam down a WiFi signal??? 2.4 or 5 MHz... Tried finding more info but couldn't....He says in 22 hours they will be over LA...Would be incrdible if for a few minutes there was a WiFi hot spot covering all of LA...

Online AnalogMan

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2999
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 742
  • Likes Given: 23
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #96 on: 02/22/2018 06:01 PM »
Just read this tweet from Elon https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/966706924124188672

Does this mean that the Starlink statellites beam down a WiFi signal??? 2.4 or 5 MHz... Tried finding more info but couldn't....He says in 22 hours they will be over LA...Would be incrdible if for a few minutes there was a WiFi hot spot covering all of LA...


Broadband satellite to earth frequencies are around 11 - 12 GHz for these MicroSat engineering models.

Offline Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4032
  • California
  • Liked: 3329
  • Likes Given: 2093
Just read this tweet from Elon https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/966706924124188672

Does this mean that the Starlink statellites beam down a WiFi signal??? 2.4 or 5 MHz... Tried finding more info but couldn't....He says in 22 hours they will be over LA...Would be incrdible if for a few minutes there was a WiFi hot spot covering all of LA...

No, it is a joke.  :) These satellites will not broadcast or recieve WiFi signals. The final network will require special antennas for its subscribers.

Offline Craig_VG

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Liked: 620
  • Likes Given: 422
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #98 on: 02/23/2018 04:43 PM »
An article about Greg Wyler's founding of a second company in the NGSO sat constellation arena:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/theres-something-strange-going-on-amid-the-satellite-internet-rush/

Speculation is whether this was done behind OneWeb's back or in tandem to eventually be acquired and essentially get double the spectrum for OneWeb.

(not directly related to SpaceX's constellation, but good to keep up with the competitive landscape)
« Last Edit: 02/23/2018 04:50 PM by Craig_VG »

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #99 on: 02/23/2018 08:49 PM »
SpaceX filed to be considered an interested party (and possibly objected) and apparently Iridium raised objections as well.

See also https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/theres-something-strange-going-on-amid-the-satellite-internet-rush/ (which gongora found and posted in the Boeing constellation thread)  https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40592
"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

Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #100 on: 02/25/2018 11:46 AM »
Important info on Twitter on the network architecture of the constellation:

@andrestaltz:
Quote
If SpaceX's Starlink will provide internet access, obviously it will also provide a single IPv6 network, and could be a great opportunity for NAT-less peer-to-peer connections within Starlink only.

I hope @elonmusk chooses wisely.

@elonmusk
Quote
ill be simpler than IPv6 and have tiny packet overhead. Definitely peer-to-peer.
( https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967712110661615616 )

@cheresh
Quote
Encryption?

@elonmusk
Quote
End-to-end encryption encoded at firmware level. Unlikely to be hacked w current computing tech. If it is (and we learn about it), a crypto fix will go out immediately via network-wide firmware update.
( https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967728299282595840 )
Failure is not only an option, it's the only way to learn.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the custody of fire" - Gustav Mahler

Offline rockets4life97

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 546
  • Liked: 247
  • Likes Given: 223
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #101 on: 02/25/2018 12:46 PM »
Peer-to-peer within the network sounds a lot like Musk's original idea for PayPal. I remember reading an interview where he said that the ultimate (failed) vision of PayPal was to grow so big that most of people's money circulated within PayPal between different users accounts.

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Liked: 2016
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #102 on: 02/25/2018 01:36 PM »
I think Elon's actually confused about the original question, which isn't "within the Starlink constellation" but rather what addressing individual *ground stations* are given.  Practically, the choice is only IPv4 or IPv6, even if that is implemented on top of another sat-to-sat "simpler" protocol.

And the reply about encryption is also misleading.  We are quickly moving to end-to-end encryption of all *content* on the internet --- and those "ends" are the customers machines outside starlink entirely.  So the question is it really whether the content is encrypted, but whether the routing and envelope information is encrypted. And that *can't* be end-to-end, since the Starlink nodes need to be able to look at the traffic destination in order to route it properly.  Destination and source information is what any potential spook or "great firewall" wants to look at; they don't care (as much) that the content may be encrypted. They want to know whether target X is visiting banned site Y.

Offline su27k

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 970
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 69
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #103 on: 02/25/2018 01:54 PM »
I think Elon's actually confused about the original question, which isn't "within the Starlink constellation" but rather what addressing individual *ground stations* are given.  Practically, the choice is only IPv4 or IPv6, even if that is implemented on top of another sat-to-sat "simpler" protocol.

And the reply about encryption is also misleading.  We are quickly moving to end-to-end encryption of all *content* on the internet --- and those "ends" are the customers machines outside starlink entirely.  So the question is it really whether the content is encrypted, but whether the routing and envelope information is encrypted. And that *can't* be end-to-end, since the Starlink nodes need to be able to look at the traffic destination in order to route it properly.  Destination and source information is what any potential spook or "great firewall" wants to look at; they don't care (as much) that the content may be encrypted. They want to know whether target X is visiting banned site Y.

rockets4life97 got it, the guy was not asking about browsing the internet, he's asking if there's a way for user A to connect directly, via Starlink, to user B, which circumvent any ground stations (and any censors or listeners along the way). In this case you may not need IPv6 since you can just use user B's account id to route the connection. And since you're using this mode to get around the censors or listeners, encryption is important, especially between the terminal and the satellite.

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Liked: 2016
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #104 on: 02/25/2018 02:06 PM »
rockets4life97 got it, the guy was not asking about browsing the internet, he's asking if there's a way for user A to connect directly, via Starlink, to user B, which circumvent any ground stations (and any censors or listeners along the way). In this case you may not need IPv6 since you can just use user B's account id to route the connection. And since you're using this mode to get around the censors or listeners, encryption is important, especially between the terminal and the satellite.
If you're going to use real software on a real computer, you will need an IPv4 or IPv6 address or a SOCKS endpoint.  And if it's not an IPv4 address, things will often subtly break. That's the reality of modern software.

My point is that Elon is clearly talking about the sat-to-sat network, where the questioner (and you) are talking about the customer-to-customer network.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2018 02:07 PM by cscott »

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3366
  • US
  • Liked: 2722
  • Likes Given: 1639
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #105 on: 02/25/2018 03:01 PM »
...the guy was not asking about browsing the internet, he's asking if there's a way for user A to connect directly, via Starlink, to user B, which circumvent any ground stations (and any censors or listeners along the way). In this case you may not need IPv6 since you can just use user B's account id to route the connection. And since you're using this mode to get around the censors or listeners, encryption is important, especially between the terminal and the satellite.

Most governments aren't going to allow completely unsupervised communications from their territory.  At the very least there will be a way for them to get that routing information from Starlink via a court order, and countries like China would likely require that information for all traffic if they even allowed Starlink to communicate in their country at all.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #106 on: 02/25/2018 03:15 PM »
Most governments aren't going to allow completely unsupervised communications from their territory.  At the very least there will be a way for them to get that routing information from Starlink via a court order, and countries like China would likely require that information for all traffic if they even allowed Starlink to communicate in their country at all.

China would absolutely as a bare minimum likely require all chinese traffic be delivered to some internal point in china, including for china-china comms.
Other 'free' nations are coming close to pretty much implying this must happen, or at the very least be able to control certain aspects of traffic - be it academic publishing rights violators, hate speech, or ... that imply wholesale ability to do very in depth control of traffic needs baked into the network, or it simply will not be legal to sell service there.

The network needs to flexibly support snooping of various sorts or it simply can't work in the real global marketplace.
For added fun of course, what does a multinational do when faced with competing legal demands of different states.

Offline watermod

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 118
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #107 on: 02/25/2018 10:07 PM »
Most governments aren't going to allow completely unsupervised communications from their territory.  At the very least there will be a way for them to get that routing information from Starlink via a court order, and countries like China would likely require that information for all traffic if they even allowed Starlink to communicate in their country at all.

China would absolutely as a bare minimum likely require all chinese traffic be delivered to some internal point in china, including for china-china comms.
Other 'free' nations are coming close to pretty much implying this must happen, or at the very least be able to control certain aspects of traffic - be it academic publishing rights violators, hate speech, or ... that imply wholesale ability to do very in depth control of traffic needs baked into the network, or it simply will not be legal to sell service there.

The network needs to flexibly support snooping of various sorts or it simply can't work in the real global marketplace.
For added fun of course, what does a multinational do when faced with competing legal demands of different states.
Sorry to big brothers but the StarNet will not work with central sites.  I am sure Elon is aware of that and is willing to ignore service to countries, even as big as China's, if they can not deal with it.   
The same anonymity is quite useful to assets in space that do not wish to have their communications to/from the ground to be observed.  In addition that form of access makes it possible to have satellites without high powered transmitters/receivers to talk to the ground.   There is no reason for a sensor sat, like a weather one, to waste energy and launch weight on it.   Rather optical communications directly to/from Starlink will accomplish the same for much less mass and energy.  To top it off they will not need to reserve high bandwidth channels for these sats.


Offline watermod

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 118
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #108 on: 02/25/2018 10:23 PM »
Central tap points would increase the latency too much for gaming and other interactive uses.   Also voice, n-way video and other services would be degraded.
The only way to do the central taps would be for countries to pay for dups that get dumped down some how.   
I really like his system for just these reasons.   As a telcom guy, for awhile, the spook stuff rendered most interesting revenue generation ideas moot. I got to see them them as died in the wool naysayers and economy killers.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #109 on: 02/25/2018 10:30 PM »
Sorry to big brothers but the StarNet will not work with central sites.  I am sure Elon is aware of that and is willing to ignore service to countries, even as big as China's, if they can not deal with it.   
There have been various efforts requiring different sorts of access to internet users connections, and prohibition of certain sites in the USA.
UK too, as well as china and many other countries.

You can't just magically say 'my system doesn't work like that' - and have it not be a problem, if politicians insist it must, you need the capability to jump through the hoops, even though it may cause network inefficiency.

At best, governments will ban users purchasing services, at worst, they may actually try to damage the constellation, either through confiscation of any assets they can reach, or ...
Public campaigns do not always work - see for example the recent FCC/net-neutrality thing.
It is far from ridiculous that it's a possibility in the future such laws requiring Starlink to be able to give access to a users traffic, and preventing them from accessing certain sites may happen in the USA.

USG is of course a particular risk, because they can if they are sufficiently upset, confiscate the system. (following due legal process after starlink fails to comply with court orders).

Offline watermod

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 118
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #110 on: 02/25/2018 10:35 PM »
StarLink becomes a Martian company after the corporate colony is set up?

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #111 on: 02/25/2018 10:41 PM »
StarLink becomes a Martian company after the corporate colony is set up?

Playing games with the ownership does not help at all if it becomes illegal to sell your services to customers. (or even for payment processors to handle transactions for you).

Attempting that sort of cut-out would just make them able to come after the colonies assets.

At some point this pretty rapidly slides into bad SF where Elon takes over the USA.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #112 on: 02/26/2018 01:25 AM »
Sorry to big brothers but the StarNet will not work with central sites.  I am sure Elon is aware of that and is willing to ignore service to countries, even as big as China's, if they can not deal with it.   
>
USG is of course a particular risk, because they can if they are sufficiently upset, confiscate the system. (following due legal process after starlink fails to comply with court orders).

In all likelihood StarLink will have USG as an anchor user, it offering a highly redundant comms network and a platform for hosted sensors.
DM

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #113 on: 02/26/2018 01:36 AM »
In all likelihood StarLink will have USG as an anchor user, it offering a highly redundant comms network and a platform for hosted sensors.

This does not mean legal action cannot be taken against them, to prevent (for example) 'darknet' user-user comms sharing movies.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #114 on: 02/26/2018 01:38 AM »


In all likelihood StarLink will have USG as an anchor user, it offering a highly redundant comms network and a platform for hosted sensors.

This does not mean legal action cannot be taken against them, to prevent (for example) 'darknet' user-user comms sharing movies.

Of course not, but it would tend to foster cooperation vs confrontation.  See AWS.
DM

Offline su27k

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 970
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 69
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #115 on: 02/26/2018 01:43 AM »
A few points:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_United_States has some interesting backgrounds, notice SOPA and PIPA all got defeated, comparing US to China in terms of internet freedom is insane.
2. Nobody is suggesting Starlink defy a court order, that's just absurd. They'll comply with court order just like Google, but just because Google complies with court order doesn't prevent Google from hardening their communication lines after they found out NSA is tapping it, two totally different issues.
3. I'm not claiming Starlink would be a beacon of internet freedom, that remains to be seen. Unlike Google, Starlink and SpaceX itself have a lot of government customers, this could change things.
4. How Starlink may implement per country website blocking is an interesting topic, but that's not what the original twitter exchange is about. The original discussion is about a peer-to-peer connection between Starlink terminals.
5. How would Starlink implement a peer-to-peer connection? I'm not familiar enough with IPv6 to know if this can piggyback on that, but an alternative is they expose part of their link layer protocol to the client, they may want to do this anyway for their corporate and government clients.

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Liked: 2016
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #116 on: 02/26/2018 02:47 AM »
Re: Great Firewall and the US: please read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act

Glass houses, stones, etc.

The way to do this is with VPNs.  Each legal jurisdiction will have its own VPN and communications within the VPN will be high speed and free-ish (subject to "lawful intercept requests").  Communication between clients on different VPNs will be gated.  This will all be hard-coded into the routing firmware.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 02:47 AM by cscott »

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #117 on: 02/26/2018 03:38 AM »
A few points:
>
3. I'm not claiming Starlink would be a beacon of internet freedom, that remains to be seen. Unlike Google, Starlink and SpaceX itself have a lot of government customers, this could change things.
>

Just one point: Google seems to be in bed with SpaceX wrt StarLink, so a StarLink customer may be a customer of both Google and SpaceX.

« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 03:41 AM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline su27k

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 970
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 69
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #118 on: 02/26/2018 05:16 AM »
Re: Great Firewall and the US: please read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act

Glass houses, stones, etc.

CALEA is for lawful interception, different issue from censorship, although more relevant to the original twitter discussion. It would be interesting to see how Starlink implement this. But the keyword here is lawful, policy wise this is the samething as saying Starlink needs to honor court orders, which is a no-brainer. As for glass houses and stones, it's laughable to even suggest there's anything like a law in China, especially on today of all days.

Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2446
  • Liked: 393
  • Likes Given: 956
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #119 on: 02/26/2018 07:44 AM »
I have a simple question. Starlink will build between 4425 and 12 000 satellites. I suppose they will use SpaceX rockets, clever trick to feed the Mars plan.
Now I wonder - what SpaceX rockets ? What is the plan ?

Will they use
- single stick Falcon 9
- Falcon Heavy ?
- or BFR / BFS  ?

I ask this question because I found a link were somebody did rough calculations
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/25525/how-many-spacex-starlink-internet-service-satellites-could-be-deployed-in-a-sing

- 600 launches on the Falcon 9 (20 to 40 satellites per launch)
- on Falcon Heavy would amount to 188 launches (64 satellites per launch)
- there would be 40 launches on the BFR (304 satellites per launch. Geez)

What do you think about these numbers ? Do they make any sense ?
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Online JamesH65

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
  • Liked: 510
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #120 on: 02/26/2018 08:56 AM »
I have a simple question. Starlink will build between 4425 and 12 000 satellites. I suppose they will use SpaceX rockets, clever trick to feed the Mars plan.
Now I wonder - what SpaceX rockets ? What is the plan ?

Will they use
- single stick Falcon 9
- Falcon Heavy ?
- or BFR / BFS  ?

I ask this question because I found a link were somebody did rough calculations
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/25525/how-many-spacex-starlink-internet-service-satellites-could-be-deployed-in-a-sing

- 600 launches on the Falcon 9 (20 to 40 satellites per launch)
- on Falcon Heavy would amount to 188 launches (64 satellites per launch)
- there would be 40 launches on the BFR (304 satellites per launch. Geez)

What do you think about these numbers ? Do they make any sense ?

No-one here has any idea of what they are going to do. SpaceX probably know exactly what they *want* to do, but they haven't published anything. Anything else is a guess.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #121 on: 02/26/2018 10:46 AM »
Sorry to big brothers but the StarNet will not work with central sites.  I am sure Elon is aware of that and is willing to ignore service to countries, even as big as China's, if they can not deal with it.   
There have been various efforts requiring different sorts of access to internet users connections, and prohibition of certain sites in the USA.
UK too, as well as china and many other countries.

You can't just magically say 'my system doesn't work like that' - and have it not be a problem, if politicians insist it must, you need the capability to jump through the hoops, even though it may cause network inefficiency.

At best, governments will ban users purchasing services, at worst, they may actually try to damage the constellation, either through confiscation of any assets they can reach, or ...
Public campaigns do not always work - see for example the recent FCC/net-neutrality thing.
It is far from ridiculous that it's a possibility in the future such laws requiring Starlink to be able to give access to a users traffic, and preventing them from accessing certain sites may happen in the USA.

USG is of course a particular risk, because they can if they are sufficiently upset, confiscate the system. (following due legal process after starlink fails to comply with court orders).

This constellation-based distribution of information, like the internet itself, is another giant step away from centralized control.  Nations that shut themselves off from access are heading down the path North Korea is following, even if they are China-sized.  There is a point where the democratization of society overwhelms the ability to control while remaining competitive.  See free market introduction in China or the breaking down of the Wall(Iron Curtain) separating East and West  -- Mao's China and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 11:24 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #122 on: 02/26/2018 11:28 AM »
Cross-post:

So Elon said about 1-2 hours post-launch that the sats will fly over LA about 22 hours after launch and try to send down "Hello world".

Do we know how this went? Radio silence as it usual with Starlink?

From https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/803ty9/starlink_will_be_simpler_than_ipv6_and_have_tiny/duu8bdk/:

Quote
My SpaceX friends confirmed that the message was successful. Rajeev (VP of satellite development) emailed Elon informing him of its successful transmission, and Elon forwarded the email to the entire company with a congratulatory message to all.

So now they are a constellation operator (for small values of 'constellation').
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Rocket Jesus

  • Member
  • Posts: 69
  • Liked: 25
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #123 on: 02/26/2018 11:52 AM »
Does anyone know if SpaceX has a Tom Mueller equivalent for satellites?  By that, I mean a true industry expert/leader who is going to be the brains behind SpaceX's constellation development/deployment.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #124 on: 02/26/2018 12:20 PM »
New article:

Quote
Elon Musk claims SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellite service will be IP-less

Quote
If successful, Starlink would be the first true satellite broadband network in existence and it’s really no easy feat to bring to life. Currently, it’s believed around 12,000 satellites would be needed to ensure global coverage. If that doesn’t sound like a whole lot of satellites orbiting the Earth, there are around 4,256 up there at the moment – most of which aren’t even functioning.
http://www.alphr.com/space/1008632/Elon-Musk-SpaceX-Starlink-internet
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Athrithalix

  • Member
  • Posts: 47
  • UK
  • Liked: 24
  • Likes Given: 59
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #125 on: 02/26/2018 12:25 PM »

At best, governments will ban users purchasing services, at worst, they may actually try to damage the constellation, either through confiscation of any assets they can reach, or ...


This constellation-based distribution of information, like the internet itself, is another giant step away from centralized control.  Nations that shut themselves off from access are heading down the path North Korea is following, even if they are China-sized.  There is a point where the democratization of society overwhelms the ability to control while remaining competitive.  See free market introduction in China or the breaking down of the Wall(Iron Curtain) separating East and West  -- Mao's China and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

I’d be surprised if any governments go down the road of using anti-satellite weaponry against private platforms, I’d still be surprised to see them using it against other governments.

Edit/Lar: Fixed quotes
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 03:23 PM by Lar »

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #126 on: 02/26/2018 01:27 PM »
Does anyone know if SpaceX has a Tom Mueller equivalent for satellites?  By that, I mean a true industry expert/leader who is going to be the brains behind SpaceX's constellation development/deployment.

Contrary to EM's lack of any credentials in rocketry, he has deep Silicon Valley roots making him one of the company's experts in information services/internet/software/etc.  The constellation is such new technology that nobody on the planet has 'industry expertise' in the hardest part which is the software for traffic flow, beam forming, inter-satellite optical links, etc.

Manufacturing/automation is another key area; a 12,000, 6-year life satellite constellation requires a new satellite to be finished hourly (assuming 2,000 hours in the work year), year after year.  Tesla brings that expertise to the table.

It would be great to find the satellite hardware counterpart to Tom Mueller although this is another area where traditional satellite construction expertise may be a disadvantage.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 01:28 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline LouScheffer

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1817
  • Liked: 2336
  • Likes Given: 253
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #127 on: 02/26/2018 01:56 PM »
Does anyone know if SpaceX has a Tom Mueller equivalent for satellites? 
I don' t think such a person exists.  Tom Mueller, to my mind, has two key attributes:
 (a) He's done this before, so he has demonstrated that he knows all the practical problems involved, to the point where his plans can be assumed to be credible.
 (b) He's not satisfied with the status quo, and does not just want to repeat past successes.

You can certainly find (b), but since no-one has ever built a humongous satellite constellation and made it work, there is, as of yet, no person with competence (a).  Assuming at least one of StarLink, OneWeb, etc. ever work, there may be such a person in a few years.  Basically someone whose opinion on satellite constellations you can trust, since they have done it before.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #128 on: 02/26/2018 01:58 PM »
Manufacturing/automation is another key area; a 12,000, 6-year life satellite constellation requires a new satellite to be finished hourly (assuming 2,000 hours in the work year), year after year.  Tesla brings that expertise to the table.

It would be great to find the satellite hardware counterpart to Tom Mueller although this is another area where traditional satellite construction expertise may be a disadvantage.

Might cellphone tower construction rates and infrastructure expertise count?

Not as mass constrained, but at least in a quasi-relevant industry and technology.


Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #129 on: 02/26/2018 02:07 PM »

I ask this question because I found a link were somebody did rough calculations
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/25525/how-many-spacex-starlink-internet-service-satellites-could-be-deployed-in-a-sing

- 600 launches on the Falcon 9 (20 to 40 satellites per launch)
- on Falcon Heavy would amount to 188 launches (64 satellites per launch)
- there would be 40 launches on the BFR (304 satellites per launch. Geez)

What do you think about these numbers ? Do they make any sense ?

FH is not fully reusable at payload levels over some 30-40 satellites.
There is also another option in principle - BFS-SSTO.

If it performs as hoped, and proceeds according to early statements about schedule made recently, it is at least possible the spaceship portion of BFR/S  may be capable of launching cargo in late 2020, without waiting for the booster (which is to be developed later).
Not much cargo, but even ten satellites at a time with a rapid cadence of launches may entirely meet starlinks needs if it comes online..

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 702
  • Liked: 413
  • Likes Given: 393
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #130 on: 02/26/2018 02:12 PM »
Does anyone know if SpaceX has a Tom Mueller equivalent for satellites? 
I don' t think such a person exists.

For what it's worth, the satellite lead appears to be Rajeev Badyal.  10 years at HP, where he invented and developed the optical mouse and the thermal inkjet printer head.  15 years at Microsoft, where he developed their optical mouse and Zune.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #131 on: 02/26/2018 03:18 PM »

I ask this question because I found a link were somebody did rough calculations
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/25525/how-many-spacex-starlink-internet-service-satellites-could-be-deployed-in-a-sing

- 600 launches on the Falcon 9 (20 to 40 satellites per launch)
- on Falcon Heavy would amount to 188 launches (64 satellites per launch)
- there would be 40 launches on the BFR (304 satellites per launch. Geez)

What do you think about these numbers ? Do they make any sense ?

FH is not fully reusable at payload levels over some 30-40 satellites.
There is also another option in principle - BFS-SSTO.

If it performs as hoped, and proceeds according to early statements about schedule made recently, it is at least possible the spaceship portion of BFR/S  may be capable of launching cargo in late 2020, without waiting for the booster (which is to be developed later).
Not much cargo, but even ten satellites at a time with a rapid cadence of launches may entirely meet starlinks needs if it comes online..

FH would definitely not need to be flown expendable for 30-40 sats -- 12-16t(these are LEO sats, not GTO).  The existing fairing would be the limiting component and F9 can launch with all the mass that would fill a fairing.  If a longer fairing was built, the number of satellites could double(?) and still not be mass constrained for FH.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2446
  • Liked: 393
  • Likes Given: 956
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #132 on: 02/26/2018 04:03 PM »
Quote

No-one here has any idea of what they are going to do. SpaceX probably know exactly what they *want* to do, but they haven't published anything. Anything else is a guess.

Couldn't remember if Musk had given some hints about it or not. Hence my question. Can't keep pace with the guy.

With all the talk about BFR / BFS replacing Falcon 9 / Heavy / Dragoon sooner rather than later... I wondered if the satellite constellation business was already part of ITS or linked to it, one way or another.

12 000 satellites to launch is one hell of a number, and whatever SpaceX rocket tasked with the job will have its future ensured for quite a number of launches... and its costs drop accordingly.

But ok, too early to tell. Fine.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 04:07 PM by Archibald »
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Offline Rocket Jesus

  • Member
  • Posts: 69
  • Liked: 25
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #133 on: 02/26/2018 04:04 PM »
Does anyone know if SpaceX has a Tom Mueller equivalent for satellites?  By that, I mean a true industry expert/leader who is going to be the brains behind SpaceX's constellation development/deployment.

Contrary to EM's lack of any credentials in rocketry, he has deep Silicon Valley roots making him one of the company's experts in information services/internet/software/etc.  The constellation is such new technology that nobody on the planet has 'industry expertise' in the hardest part which is the software for traffic flow, beam forming, inter-satellite optical links, etc.

Manufacturing/automation is another key area; a 12,000, 6-year life satellite constellation requires a new satellite to be finished hourly (assuming 2,000 hours in the work year), year after year.  Tesla brings that expertise to the table.

It would be great to find the satellite hardware counterpart to Tom Mueller although this is another area where traditional satellite construction expertise may be a disadvantage.

I don't doubt Mr. Musk at this point (besides his time frames).  My question is genuine curiosity, not trying to start an internet fight.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 04:05 PM by Rocket Jesus »

Offline Rocket Jesus

  • Member
  • Posts: 69
  • Liked: 25
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #134 on: 02/26/2018 04:06 PM »
Does anyone know if SpaceX has a Tom Mueller equivalent for satellites? 
I don' t think such a person exists.

For what it's worth, the satellite lead appears to be Rajeev Badyal.  10 years at HP, where he invented and developed the optical mouse and the thermal inkjet printer head.  15 years at Microsoft, where he developed their optical mouse and Zune.

Any idea if Mr. Badyal has practical experience with Satellites?  Or space systems in general?

Offline Craig_VG

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Liked: 620
  • Likes Given: 422
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #135 on: 02/26/2018 04:43 PM »

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #136 on: 02/26/2018 04:58 PM »
FH is not fully reusable at payload levels over some 30-40 satellites.

FH would definitely not need to be flown expendable for 30-40 sats -- 12-16t(these are LEO sats, not GTO).  The existing fairing would be the limiting component and F9 can launch with all the mass that would fill a fairing.  If a longer fairing was built, the number of satellites could double(?) and still not be mass constrained for FH.

'Not fully reusable' - not expendable.
Also - thinko in the above, sorry - I meant 'much over', rather than 40 as a hard limit.

Expendable the payload is some 63 tons to LEO, expending the centre core gives 10% lower - (elons tweet), but I have not seen any estimate of FH reusable to LEO that I fully understand the working on.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45033.0 gives an estimate of 18 tons.

I have doubts about this number, but it's going to be much lower than 55 tons.
40 satellites mass (for the initial constellation numbers, 20 tons, plus say a couple for deployment mechanisms, and assuming you can get 80 implies it's 40 tons or so.
Do you have a source for this?
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 05:01 PM by speedevil »

Online almightycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
  • Sweden
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 11
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #137 on: 02/26/2018 05:28 PM »
FH is not fully reusable at payload levels over some 30-40 satellites.

FH would definitely not need to be flown expendable for 30-40 sats -- 12-16t(these are LEO sats, not GTO).  The existing fairing would be the limiting component and F9 can launch with all the mass that would fill a fairing.  If a longer fairing was built, the number of satellites could double(?) and still not be mass constrained for FH.

'Not fully reusable' - not expendable.
Also - thinko in the above, sorry - I meant 'much over', rather than 40 as a hard limit.

Expendable the payload is some 63 tons to LEO, expending the centre core gives 10% lower - (elons tweet), but I have not seen any estimate of FH reusable to LEO that I fully understand the working on.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45033.0 gives an estimate of 18 tons.

I have doubts about this number, but it's going to be much lower than 55 tons.
40 satellites mass (for the initial constellation numbers, 20 tons, plus say a couple for deployment mechanisms, and assuming you can get 80 implies it's 40 tons or so.
Do you have a source for this?


The BFR presentation says FH can do 30 tons to LEO fully reusable.

Offline RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2381
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 1213
  • Likes Given: 926
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #138 on: 02/26/2018 05:31 PM »

At best, governments will ban users purchasing services, at worst, they may actually try to damage the constellation, either through confiscation of any assets they can reach, or ...


This constellation-based distribution of information, like the internet itself, is another giant step away from centralized control.  Nations that shut themselves off from access are heading down the path North Korea is following, even if they are China-sized.  There is a point where the democratization of society overwhelms the ability to control while remaining competitive.  See free market introduction in China or the breaking down of the Wall(Iron Curtain) separating East and West  -- Mao's China and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

I’d be surprised if any governments go down the road of using anti-satellite weaponry against private platforms, I’d still be surprised to see them using it against other governments.

Edit/Lar: Fixed quotes

All a totalitarian government needs to do is ban the receiving equipment and arrest anyone who uses it. No need to threaten the provider. The regime might be loosing out on a competitive edge, but they won't care since the objective is to stay in power.

If SpaceX wants to make money in China or anywhere else, they'll follow local regulations. That's how international business works.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #139 on: 02/26/2018 05:38 PM »
I can't put my finger on it but I think the number of launches needed was calculated at least once or twice before in this thread or one of the other satellite threads.
"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 Roy_H

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 866
  • Liked: 249
  • Likes Given: 1405
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #140 on: 02/26/2018 08:25 PM »
I find it really hard to believe that SpaceX wouldn't use the fewest launches possible. This means that the initial satellites will go up on FH and as soon as the BFR is ready, all remaining StarLink satellites will be launched via BFR.
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

Offline AC in NC

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
  • Raleigh NC
  • Liked: 283
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #141 on: 02/26/2018 08:46 PM »
I find it really hard to believe that SpaceX wouldn't use the fewest launches possible. This means that the initial satellites will go up on FH and as soon as the BFR is ready, all remaining StarLink satellites will be launched via BFR.

SimiLAR to noted above for launch numbers, I recall someone suggesting that the volume constraints of the fairing meaning that there was no advantage for FH Starlink as opposed to F9. 

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #142 on: 02/26/2018 08:59 PM »
I find it really hard to believe that SpaceX wouldn't use the fewest launches possible. This means that the initial satellites will go up on FH and as soon as the BFR is ready, all remaining StarLink satellites will be launched via BFR.

SimiLAR to noted above for launch numbers, I recall someone suggesting that the volume constraints of the fairing meaning that there was no advantage for FH Starlink as opposed to F9.

That assumes SpaceX won't make a stretch Fairing 2.0 for the longest EELV payload class, which in light of them getting $20m from the USAF to explore vertical integration may be a bad bet.

Musk has already said Fairing 2.0 is capable of a stretch.

Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
Under consideration. Weve already stretched the upper stage once. Easiest part of the rocket to change. Fairing 2, flying soon, also has a slightly larger diameter. Could make fairing much longer if need be & will if BFR takes longer than expected.
12:02 PM - Feb 12, 2018
« Last Edit: 02/26/2018 09:10 PM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline AC in NC

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
  • Raleigh NC
  • Liked: 283
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #143 on: 02/26/2018 09:31 PM »

Offline AC in NC

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
  • Raleigh NC
  • Liked: 283
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #144 on: 02/26/2018 09:40 PM »
I find it really hard to believe that SpaceX wouldn't use the fewest launches possible. This means that the initial satellites will go up on FH and as soon as the BFR is ready, all remaining StarLink satellites will be launched via BFR.

SimiLAR to noted above for launch numbers, I recall someone suggesting that the volume constraints of the fairing meaning that there was no advantage for FH Starlink as opposed to F9.

That assumes ...

Not really.  Just stating a referenced analysis that suggests "initial satellites will go up on FH" may not be so certain.

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3921
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2607
  • Likes Given: 3342
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #145 on: 03/01/2018 03:08 PM »
Article on Bloomberg:

Musk Dares to Go Where Others Failed With Space-Based Web - Bloomberg

Overview from article:

Quote
When Elon Musk’s SpaceX heaved two communications satellites aloft last week, he joined a space race that’s foiled plenty of other dreamers.

Billions of dollars have vanished in the quest to provide internet service from low-earth orbit. Globalstar Inc. and Iridium Communications Inc. crashed into bankruptcy but are still at it, while another effort folded despite backing from Bill Gates, Boeing Co. and others.

That record hasn’t deterred almost two dozen ventures from raising money in an effort to reach broadband users, including many who are out of easy range of traditional mobile services.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #146 on: 03/01/2018 03:54 PM »
This bit is interesting:
Quote
Nothing has changed except the level of hysteria and the level of unrealistic expectations,” analyst Roger Rusch, president of the TelAstra Inc. consultancy in Palos Verdes, California, said in an interview.

...

But Rusch said the technical challenges are daunting. Low-earth orbit systems need complex software to run constellations of satellites, and sophisticated antennas on the ground to aim at spacecraft zooming from horizon to horizon. Costs quickly overwhelm savings from building smaller gear, Rusch said.

Added to those daunting challenges is low cost launch. 

Seems like you'd need a Silicon Valley leading edge software/custom hardware company that also has access to cheap launch services...

Hmmmmm...
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 03:57 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online JamesH65

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
  • Liked: 510
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #147 on: 03/01/2018 06:12 PM »
This bit is interesting:
Quote
Nothing has changed except the level of hysteria and the level of unrealistic expectations,” analyst Roger Rusch, president of the TelAstra Inc. consultancy in Palos Verdes, California, said in an interview.

...

But Rusch said the technical challenges are daunting. Low-earth orbit systems need complex software to run constellations of satellites, and sophisticated antennas on the ground to aim at spacecraft zooming from horizon to horizon. Costs quickly overwhelm savings from building smaller gear, Rusch said.

Added to those daunting challenges is low cost launch. 

Seems like you'd need a Silicon Valley leading edge software/custom hardware company that also has access to cheap launch services...

Hmmmmm...

As I understand it, you don't need those sort of antenna for this sort of system, you just lock on to the satellite approximately above you at any time. You don't track them. I also think he is overestimating the software complexity. Given a clean sheet design, using modern transmission algorithms, without having to worry about fitting in to terrestrial frequencies bands etc, it seems fairly doable.

Online speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1058
  • Likes Given: 1187
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #148 on: 03/01/2018 06:21 PM »
As I understand it, you don't need those sort of antenna for this sort of system, you just lock on to the satellite approximately above you at any time.
The antenna is not physically pointed at the satellite, however, it is electronically steered in order to form a precisely pointed beam to the satellite, and the satellite does the opposite on the downlink to the user.

Offline AndyE

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
  • Liked: 29
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #149 on: 03/01/2018 07:22 PM »
Ignorant question: is it true, as the article states, that you can't connect to a satellite from inside a building?* I'm sure I've used a satellite phone indoors before now.

*without some external relay / aerial
Acronyms are the enemy of understanding. Why not spell them out and let everyone understand what you are saying?

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4105
  • Liked: 2123
  • Likes Given: 1269
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #150 on: 03/01/2018 07:35 PM »
Ignorant question: is it true, as the article states, that you can't connect to a satellite from inside a building?* I'm sure I've used a satellite phone indoors before now.

*without some external relay / aerial

Satellite phones can't support broadband internet speeds. That bandwidth requires a larger antenna that can see the sky.

SpaceX service might go to a cell tower, a house, a car, a ship, a plane, or a spacecraft. But it won't go directly to a mobile phone.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 07:36 PM by envy887 »

Offline Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3149
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5131
  • Likes Given: 313
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #151 on: 03/01/2018 07:52 PM »
Ignorant question: is it true, as the article states, that you can't connect to a satellite from inside a building?* I'm sure I've used a satellite phone indoors before now.

*without some external relay / aerial
You might get Iridium through a thin, wood roof, but I wouldn't count on it. They're pure line of sight and every bit of metal you walk under would kill the connection. Even when you're outside you have to be aware of obstructions around you. You might have used one of the setups with a satellite link from a small dish outside that has remote handsets.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 07:54 PM by Nomadd »

Offline Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3149
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5131
  • Likes Given: 313
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #152 on: 03/01/2018 07:57 PM »


Satellite phones can't support broadband internet speeds. That bandwidth requires a larger antenna that can see the sky.

What are you talking about? I've seen Iridium handhelds reach a blistering 2400bps.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4105
  • Liked: 2123
  • Likes Given: 1269
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #153 on: 03/01/2018 07:59 PM »


Satellite phones can't support broadband internet speeds. That bandwidth requires a larger antenna that can see the sky.

What are you talking about? I've seen Iridium handhelds reach a blistering 2400bps.

1/10th the speed of the slowest dialup? Amazing.

Offline Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3149
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5131
  • Likes Given: 313
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #154 on: 03/01/2018 08:11 PM »


Satellite phones can't support broadband internet speeds. That bandwidth requires a larger antenna that can see the sky.

What are you talking about? I've seen Iridium handhelds reach a blistering 2400bps.

1/10th the speed of the slowest dialup? Amazing.
Well, I did start out on a 110bps Decwriter. I took the FCC exam when it still had vacuum tubes.

Offline joek

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2919
  • Liked: 677
  • Likes Given: 363
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #155 on: 03/01/2018 08:34 PM »
Well, I did start out on a 110bps Decwriter. I took the FCC exam when it still had vacuum tubes.
You must mean a DECwriter with a 110 baud modem (acoustic coupler)?[1]  Even the original DECwriter LA-30's were good for 30cps (hence the name).  Or you were using a Teletype with a DEC sticker on it (not a DECwriter).

[1]  Edit: Specifically, an external modem.  DECwriters never came with a built-in modem, unlike some ASR-33/Teletypes.  Early DECwriters came with only one of two interfaces: RS-232 or 20ma current loop; later versions (DECwriter III etc. came only with RS-232 interfaces).

Also, please note that 1 baud != 1 bit.  110 baud (which is what you are likely referring to) is not 110bps; more likely effective 80bps assuming 8 bits/symbol = 10 chr/sec (the rest being consumed by start-stop-parity, depending on your settings).
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 11:55 PM by joek »

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Liked: 2016
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #156 on: 03/01/2018 11:26 PM »
Regardless of our war stories (RadioShack TRS-80 model 100, 300 baud modem), I think the idea is that Starlink will power portable base stations, either 5G or wifi, which will sit outside with a clear view of the sky and relay the bits to the device in your pocket inside.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #157 on: 03/02/2018 01:55 AM »
>
I think the idea is that Starlink will power portable base stations, either 5G or wifi, which will sit outside with a clear view of the sky and relay the bits to the device in your pocket inside.

My interpretation is similar, with different levels of base station for home, business, etc.
DM

Offline DanielW

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 477
  • L-22
  • Liked: 338
  • Likes Given: 62
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #158 on: 03/02/2018 04:02 AM »
>
I think the idea is that Starlink will power portable base stations, either 5G or wifi, which will sit outside with a clear view of the sky and relay the bits to the device in your pocket inside.

My interpretation is similar, with different levels of base station for home, business, etc.

I only hope that regardless of service level they follow the ipv6 recommendation and give everyone a /48 prefix. It is beyond annoying that I can't play with ipv6 at home because charter hands out /64's (which in case anyone cares you can't subnet)

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #159 on: 03/02/2018 05:14 AM »


>
I think the idea is that Starlink will power portable base stations, either 5G or wifi, which will sit outside with a clear view of the sky and relay the bits to the device in your pocket inside.

My interpretation is similar, with different levels of base station for home, business, etc.

I only hope that regardless of service level they follow the ipv6 recommendation and give everyone a /48 prefix. It is beyond annoying that I can't play with ipv6 at home because charter hands out /64's (which in case anyone cares you can't subnet)

@andrestaltz:
If SpaceX's Starlink will provide internet access, obviously it will also provide a single IPv6 network, and could be a great opportunity for NAT-less peer-to-peer connections within Starlink only.
I hope @elonmusk chooses wisely.

@elonmusk
It'll be simpler than IPv6 and have tiny packet overhead. Definitely peer-to-peer.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967712110661615616

@cheresh
Encryption?

@elonmusk
End-to-end encryption encoded at firmware level. Unlikely to be hacked w/current computing tech. If it is (and we learn about it), a crypto fix will go out immediately via network-wide firmware update.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967728299282595840
DM

Offline Mader Levap

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 963
  • Liked: 430
  • Likes Given: 470
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #160 on: 03/02/2018 10:18 AM »

@andrestaltz:
If SpaceX's Starlink will provide internet access, obviously it will also provide a single IPv6 network, and could be a great opportunity for NAT-less peer-to-peer connections within Starlink only.
I hope @elonmusk chooses wisely.

@elonmusk
It'll be simpler than IPv6 and have tiny packet overhead. Definitely peer-to-peer.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967712110661615616

@cheresh
Encryption?

@elonmusk
End-to-end encryption encoded at firmware level. Unlikely to be hacked w/current computing tech. If it is (and we learn about it), a crypto fix will go out immediately via network-wide firmware update.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967728299282595840

Problem with this dialogue is that musk answered different question than was asked...
« Last Edit: 03/02/2018 10:18 AM by Mader Levap »
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
...and if you have failure, tell it anyway.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #161 on: 03/02/2018 10:35 AM »
As I understand it, you don't need those sort of antenna for this sort of system, you just lock on to the satellite approximately above you at any time.
The antenna is not physically pointed at the satellite, however, it is electronically steered in order to form a precisely pointed beam to the satellite, and the satellite does the opposite on the downlink to the user.

There are a thousand beams simultaneously from each satellite IIRC.
Each delivers 1Gigabit per second. 12,000 1Tb satellites.

Ground stations should be able to access multiple satellites simultaneously, too.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Liked: 2016
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #162 on: 03/02/2018 02:20 PM »

@andrestaltz:
If SpaceX's Starlink will provide internet access, obviously it will also provide a single IPv6 network, and could be a great opportunity for NAT-less peer-to-peer connections within Starlink only.
I hope @elonmusk chooses wisely.

@elonmusk
It'll be simpler than IPv6 and have tiny packet overhead. Definitely peer-to-peer.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967712110661615616

@cheresh
Encryption?

@elonmusk
End-to-end encryption encoded at firmware level. Unlikely to be hacked w/current computing tech. If it is (and we learn about it), a crypto fix will go out immediately via network-wide firmware update.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967728299282595840

Problem with this dialogue is that musk answered different question than was asked...
...which I pointed out at the time, both upthread and on Twitter.
https://twitter.com/cscottnet/status/967771219813720064
https://twitter.com/cscottnet/status/967771575650013184
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44288.msg1792995#msg1792995
« Last Edit: 03/02/2018 02:23 PM by cscott »

Offline GeneBelcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 37
  • Colorado
  • Liked: 22
  • Likes Given: 248
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #163 on: 03/02/2018 08:53 PM »
Could someone with a WSJ subscription summarize any useful information from this article?

SpaceX Indicates Satellite-Based Internet System Will Take Longer Than Anticipated

If you're still interested, running WSJ through archive.is gets you the full article: http://archive.is/Ewrek

Offline hrissan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
  • Novosibirsk, Russia
  • Liked: 309
  • Likes Given: 1942
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #164 on: 03/05/2018 04:51 PM »

@andrestaltz:
If SpaceX's Starlink will provide internet access, obviously it will also provide a single IPv6 network, and could be a great opportunity for NAT-less peer-to-peer connections within Starlink only.
I hope @elonmusk chooses wisely.

@elonmusk
It'll be simpler than IPv6 and have tiny packet overhead. Definitely peer-to-peer.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967712110661615616

@cheresh
Encryption?

@elonmusk
End-to-end encryption encoded at firmware level. Unlikely to be hacked w/current computing tech. If it is (and we learn about it), a crypto fix will go out immediately via network-wide firmware update.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967728299282595840

Problem with this dialogue is that musk answered different question than was asked...
There is a few people who can ask right questions...

Simplest start-of-century XXI routing:
1. Network address is a public key you register in the network with message signed with corresponding private key (proving ownership). All packets to your address are encrypted using that public key, so only you can decrypt... So addresses are layer-less, network just delivers packet to intended recipient.
2. Ideally that private key never leaves key storage in your smartphone or PC, so even your (SpaceX) access point cannot decrypt traffic directed to you.
3. You can play numerous crypto tricks with scheme like that.

That ipv6 thing often discussed here looks too outdated to have any value now. All current internet protocols do. Had to be mplemented as a compatibility layer only for legacy devices.

Hope Musk will change internet for the good of it...

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Liked: 2016
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #165 on: 03/06/2018 01:40 AM »

@andrestaltz:
If SpaceX's Starlink will provide internet access, obviously it will also provide a single IPv6 network, and could be a great opportunity for NAT-less peer-to-peer connections within Starlink only.
I hope @elonmusk chooses wisely.

@elonmusk
It'll be simpler than IPv6 and have tiny packet overhead. Definitely peer-to-peer.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967712110661615616

@cheresh
Encryption?

@elonmusk
End-to-end encryption encoded at firmware level. Unlikely to be hacked w/current computing tech. If it is (and we learn about it), a crypto fix will go out immediately via network-wide firmware update.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/967728299282595840

Problem with this dialogue is that musk answered different question than was asked...
There is a few people who can ask right questions...

Simplest start-of-century XXI routing:
1. Network address is a public key you register in the network with message signed with corresponding private key (proving ownership). All packets to your address are encrypted using that public key, so only you can decrypt... So addresses are layer-less, network just delivers packet to intended recipient.
2. Ideally that private key never leaves key storage in your smartphone or PC, so even your (SpaceX) access point cannot decrypt traffic directed to you.
3. You can play numerous crypto tricks with scheme like that.

That ipv6 thing often discussed here looks too outdated to have any value now. All current internet protocols do. Had to be mplemented as a compatibility layer only for legacy devices.

Hope Musk will change internet for the good of it...
Congratulations, you've reinvented Tor.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #166 on: 03/06/2018 02:17 AM »
Crypto that's hard to crack may mean no landing rights in some (many?) countries.
"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 Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3149
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5131
  • Likes Given: 313
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #167 on: 03/06/2018 03:10 AM »
 I miss Bell 202 and ASCII.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4760
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1852
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #168 on: 03/06/2018 09:01 AM »
Sounds like AFRL may try hooking a fighter up to Tintin A&B. A potential anchor tenant/cash cow.

Aviation Week....

Quote
Could F-16s In Battle Talk Via Commercial Space Internet?

What if warfighters could install an antenna on their F-16s, much like homeowners do on their roofs, and establish a commercial internet connection, allowing them to send critical battlefield information rapidly to the rest of the force?  The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is about to find out. 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 ...{paywalled}
« Last Edit: 03/06/2018 09:02 AM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline grythumn

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • Liked: 123
  • Likes Given: 140
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #169 on: 03/06/2018 08:21 PM »
I miss Bell 202 and ASCII.

IIRC, Caller ID (on a POTS line) and APRS still use Bell 202.

-Bob

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #170 on: 03/07/2018 06:30 PM »
Quote
Elon Musk’s Starlink gets challenge from China’s internet satellite constellation
Quote
On the heels of SpaceX’s successful launch of Starlink test satellites Tintin A and Tintin B, China has announced that it is also preparing to launch the first satellite of its own global internet constellation project later this year. Unlike Elon Musk’s idea of using 12,000 interlinked satellites to provide internet coverage to consumers on the surface, however, China’s space-bound internet system is a bit more conservative in number, with only 300 satellites set to be launched into low Earth orbit.

Quote
China’s planned internet constellation is expected to be rolled out in two stages, with the first stage involving the launch of 54 satellites into low Earth orbit. Once the first 54 are deployed, the rest of the 300 satellites that are planned for the system will be launched at a gradual pace within the next few years.
https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-starlink-challenge-china-internet-satellites/
« Last Edit: 03/07/2018 06:32 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Roy_H

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 866
  • Liked: 249
  • Likes Given: 1405
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #171 on: 03/07/2018 11:43 PM »
I wonder what frequencies China intends to use. The available spectrum is pretty crowded with SpaceX having to share frequencies with existing systems in their application. I assume they would be co-operative with international organizations.
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28101
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 7913
  • Likes Given: 5269
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #172 on: 03/07/2018 11:54 PM »
I wonder what frequencies China intends to use. The available spectrum is pretty crowded with SpaceX having to share frequencies with existing systems in their application. I assume they would be co-operative with international organizations.
Part of the whole point of phased arrays is you can reuse frequencies nearly indefinitely.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #173 on: 03/08/2018 01:25 PM »
Another article on China's constellation named Wild Goose.  Apparently China sees this as a soft power move into Africal and Central/South America.  Interesting.

Quote
NSR Reports China's Ambitious Constellation of 300 Small Satellites in LEO

Quote
In late-February 2018, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced plans to build a constellation of 300 small satellites in LEO for global communications and other services. The Hongyan (translated as “wild goose”) constellation, which is targeted to be operational by 2021, was originally designed for 60 satellites. The current plan expands to 300 satellites reportedly due in part to a deal with Thailand Kasetsart University and the China Great Wall Industry Corp, a CASC subsidiary.


Quote
Hongyan will not apply U.S. or Western-style market penetration strategies but follow or create a new market dynamic where pure market forces will not be applied.  In a sense, China will change or un-level the playing field. These can or will include financing packages that minimize risks to their “clients” that will favor Hongyan over offerings made by the “FCC Players” based on traditional or Western-style ROI strategies in Eurasia and other low income countries across the globe.

http://www.satnews.com/story.php?number=257303683
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6178
  • Liked: 3969
  • Likes Given: 5460
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #174 on: 03/09/2018 03:43 PM »
More interest/competition:
Quote
LEO momentum builds with Eutelsat smallsat purchase, Optus-Telesat partnership
Quote
WASHINGTON — In a surprise shift, Eutelsat Communications, a staunch defender of geostationary satellites as the way forward, on March 8 said it is buying a low Earth orbit (LEO) demonstration nanosatellite.
http://spacenews.com/leo-momentum-builds-with-eutelsat-smallsat-purchase-optus-telesat-partnership/
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22455
  • Liked: 767
  • Likes Given: 286
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #175 on: 03/10/2018 08:54 AM »
Sounds like AFRL may try hooking a fighter up to Tintin A&B. A potential anchor tenant/cash cow.

Aviation Week....


Aviation Week just removed the paywall, the article mentions the SpaceX constellation as well as OneWeb as examples, not as a definitive provider just yet

Quote
To explore the art of the possible, AFRL is planning to contract with at least one commercial internet provider for a set of antennas that can be mounted onto Air Force test aircraft, Beal says. The team will then fly the aircraft, a Beechcraft C-12J based at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, directly under the associated satellites and establish a communications path.
« Last Edit: 03/10/2018 08:55 AM by Ronsmytheiii »
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline jpo234

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Liked: 752
  • Likes Given: 112
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #176 on: 03/10/2018 01:18 PM »
A potential anchor tenant/cash cow.

I think Starlink already has one: Google/Alphabet.

Evidence:

 * Hard evidence: The Google/Fidelity investment in SpaceX (January 2015)
 * Hard evidence: US Patent US20170005719A1
 * Hard evidence: Mark Krebs (inventor of the previous patent) moved to SpaceX in July 2016
 * Circumstantial: Google acquisition of Webpass (June 2016)
 * Circumstantial: Google scales back Google Fiber (October 2016)
 * Circumstantial: Google becomes a player in the TV market with YouTube TV in April 2017
 * Circumstantial: Larry Page is a big fan of Musk's Mars plans
 * Circumstantial: Larry Page and Elon are best buddies
 
It looks very much like Google and SpaceX plan an all out assault at the cable industry. It seems the crucial agreement was signed in the middle of 2016. This was when the other moves started.

SpaceX provides the backbone infrastructure while Google will provide the last mile (WebPass), content (YouTube Red, YouTube TV) and services. With Google Cloud a lot of other content is hosted on Google networks (Apple iCloud, for instance). Google Cloud delivers about 25% of all internet traffic.

There is an interesting Blog post by André Staltz that shows how dominant a force Google is. It has some interesting statistics that show the amount of traffic the different Google properties generate.

Then there are WayMo's autonomous cabs. These will require huge bandwidth.
« Last Edit: 03/10/2018 01:54 PM by jpo234 »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Celestar

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #177 on: 03/11/2018 06:04 AM »
Crypto that's hard to crack may mean no landing rights in some (many?) countries.
Problem is, crypto that is not hard to crack is completely useless (as is any crypto without publicly available source code IMHO).

Celestar

Sent from my G8441 using Tapatalk


Online DAZ

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 128
  • Everett WA
  • Liked: 103
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #178 on: 03/11/2018 04:46 PM »
Crypto that's hard to crack may mean no landing rights in some (many?) countries.
Problem is, crypto that is not hard to crack is completely useless (as is any crypto without publicly available source code IMHO).

Celestar

Sent from my G8441 using Tapatalk

End to end encryption was a model developed for TTY and circuit switch systems.  Starlink is only talking about link encryption.  We are now talking about computer-generated traffic and packet-switched systems.  Using only end to end encryption leaves open a virtual cornucopia of back-office and side channel vulnerabilities.  An encryption model that incorporates multiple encryption standards at every level, all the time, and for every link (encryption everywhere all the time) is what is required for a modern system.

For a country like China, Starlink’s encryption system would not be much of a problem.  To get around this link encryption would be relatively simple.  This is somewhat similar to some of the operations they already do in China.  They make only one authorized company to sell Starlink in the country.  They configure the satellite terminal to only talk to their router, and this router only talks to the great firewall.  This is essentially the same as now and makes any link encryption irrelevant to China.

This doesn’t mean that China is going to grant Starlink landing rights.  China has recently announced that they are going to develop their own LEO satellite communications system.  If they are successful with the system, they may not grant landing rights to any other satellite system.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10115
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6956
  • Likes Given: 4748
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #179 on: 03/11/2018 06:40 PM »
That would be analogous to how China doesn't allow Facebok, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat. All are blocked in China, as is Wikipedia. 

Only their own homegrown social media and encyclopedias are allowed. This dovetails with that prette effectively.
"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 Ludus

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1057
  • Liked: 449
  • Likes Given: 227
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #180 on: 03/12/2018 01:11 AM »
That would be analogous to how China doesn't allow Facebok, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat. All are blocked in China, as is Wikipedia. 

Only their own homegrown social media and encyclopedias are allowed. This dovetails with that prette effectively.

Though Starlink may offer significant capabilities well beyond Social Media that aren’t available for some time from Chinese sources. It’s a major sacrifice to give up high bandwidth low latency cheap internet in places and circumstances where there are few alternatives. If it doesn’t challenge the great firewall and benefits Chinese content it’s not an easy call.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3366
  • US
  • Liked: 2722
  • Likes Given: 1639
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #181 on: 03/12/2018 01:58 AM »
That would be analogous to how China doesn't allow Facebok, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat. All are blocked in China, as is Wikipedia. 

Only their own homegrown social media and encyclopedias are allowed. This dovetails with that prette effectively.

Though Starlink may offer significant capabilities well beyond Social Media that aren’t available for some time from Chinese sources. It’s a major sacrifice to give up high bandwidth low latency cheap internet in places and circumstances where there are few alternatives. If it doesn’t challenge the great firewall and benefits Chinese content it’s not an easy call.

Governments that value strict control over the communications in their country won't consider it a major sacrifice.

Offline jpo234

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Liked: 752
  • Likes Given: 112
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #182 on: 03/12/2018 11:57 AM »
That would be analogous to how China doesn't allow Facebok, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat. All are blocked in China, as is Wikipedia. 

Only their own homegrown social media and encyclopedias are allowed. This dovetails with that prette effectively.

Though Starlink may offer significant capabilities well beyond Social Media that aren’t available for some time from Chinese sources. It’s a major sacrifice to give up high bandwidth low latency cheap internet in places and circumstances where there are few alternatives. If it doesn’t challenge the great firewall and benefits Chinese content it’s not an easy call.

Governments that value strict control over the communications in their country won't consider it a major sacrifice.

Especially if their previous steps to limit Western competition where a major success: Tencent, Baidu or Alibaba thrived thanks to the closed Chinese market.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline jpo234

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Liked: 752
  • Likes Given: 112
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #183 on: 03/14/2018 01:50 PM »
Interesting article about an urgent need for broadband satellites and how St. Helena tries to leverage mega constellations (that lack inter-satellite links, so not StarLink):

http://spacenews.com/st-helena-looks-to-unlikely-patron-to-pay-its-subsea-cable-bill-the-satellite-industry/
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Craig_VG

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Liked: 620
  • Likes Given: 422
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #184 on: 03/22/2018 03:21 PM »
Some jobs posted in San Jose to help develop their wireless protocol:


Tags: