Author Topic: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)  (Read 56267 times)

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« on: 03/11/2020 05:50 am »
search didn't pull up a thread for this so...


A competitor in the satellite cellular telecomms market, SpaceMobile is aiming to bring 4G/5G cellular service from space. Built/backed by AST & Science.

https://ast-science.com/

There's an overview article which mentions their recent $110 investment round

https://spacenews.com/megaconstellation-startup-raises-110-million-to-connect-smartphones-via-satellite/

 Early constellation is in the low 10's of satellites, likely similar to Lynk.Global so are initially targeting hourly access. The design of the satellites is somewhat unique. Allegedly a relay, not a full spaceborne 4G/5G base station, where they intend to sell relay access to existing terrestrial cellular providers, and using the licensed band permissions of those providers, so turning the relay on and off as it passes over regions, switching frequencies to the scheduled partner. Additionally, they describe a modular architecture with a very large antenna, which seems to suggest either some sort of direct aggregate satellite (think cubesat blocks merging together as a large phased array) or close formation flying with a distributed antenna (or maybe something in between, like a SpiderFabbed truss mounting antenna modules?). Yet other articles suggest their satellite (singular, not plural) will weigh more than IridiumNext (though that could be net total mass after on-orbit assembly).


The $110 million investment had Vodaphone and Rakuten involved. Rakuten in particular is interesting, as they are currently transitioning from an MVNO to a fully virtualized 4G/5G RAN core based cellular provider as a full fledged cellphone carrier in japan with their own base stations/towers and their own frequencies/bands, while investing in gapfiller solutions such as UAV flying wing drone HAPS flying at high altitude (as an alternative to free floating balloons like Google's Project Loon, or blimps), so investing in another relay gapfiller solution works for them, and lays the stage for easily expanding globally due to the virtualized network core (which appears to be provided by Nokia?).

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #1 on: 04/15/2020 03:47 am »
FCC Filing: SAT-LOI-20200413-00034
Their 243 satellite constellation is registered through Papua New Guinea.

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #2 on: 04/15/2020 06:55 am »
FCC Filing: SAT-LOI-20200413-00034
Their 243 satellite constellation is registered through Papua New Guinea.

V-band though?

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #3 on: 04/15/2020 10:43 am »
FCC Filing: SAT-LOI-20200413-00034
Their 243 satellite constellation is registered through Papua New Guinea.

V-band though?

V-band to gateways, that should be interesting.  And of course they don't want to start another processing round.  The filing mentions slightly increasing power when needed due to fade.  Is anyone successfully using V-band yet?  I know a few sats have it.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #4 on: 11/03/2020 10:19 am »
NASA filed objection to this constellation at FCC, due to collision concerns: NASA objects to new megaconstellation, citing risk of “catastrophic collison”

Quote
NASA has formally commented (PDF) on a request by a US company to build a megaconstellation of satellites at an altitude of 720km above the Earth's surface, citing concerns about collisions. This appears to be the first time that NASA has publicly commented on such an application for market access, which is pending before the Federal Communications Commission

"NASA submits this letter during the public comment period for the purpose of providing a better understanding of NASA's concerns with respect to its assets on-orbit, to further mitigate the risks of collisions for the mutual benefit of all involved," wrote Samantha Fonder, an engineer for the space agency.

At issue are plans put forth by AST & Science, which intends to build a constellation of more than 240 large satellites, essentially deploying "cell towers" in space to provide 4G and possibly 5G broadband connection directly to cell phones on Earth. The company, based in Midland, Texas, calls its constellation "SpaceMobile" and has raised an estimated $120 million.

FCC filing: https://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs/download.do?attachment_key=2765834

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #5 on: 11/03/2020 09:30 pm »
While the A-train objections have merit, that could in theory be remedied by A-train participants contracting with tug services like a MEV or even a Vigoride in the face of increased propellant consumption.

The more interesting takeaway is that the AST sats will have a 900 square meter phased array. Is that a fixed but deployable antenna, or something built by an Archinaut/SpiderFab builder device? Maybe something like the concepts TUI was putting out related to Orbweaver, which had these giant hexagon tile dome antennas.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #6 on: 11/05/2020 03:46 pm »
Texas satellite company defends itself against NASA criticisms

Quote
The founder of a Texas-based company that wants to put more than 200 very large satellites into low-Earth orbit has pushed back on concerns from NASA that these spacecraft pose an orbital debris threat.

“We’re not a bunch of cowboys launching satellites,” said Abel Avellan, founder of AST & Science, in an interview. "This is a serious, well-funded project."

Quote
Each of the satellites will include a large antenna, comprising an area as large as 900 meters squared. However, Avellan said the satellites will fly edge-on, "like a frisbee, but without the spinning." He said the satellites' cross-section along the direction of motion is only about 3 meters squared. The company has calculated that the probability of a collision occurring at random—assuming no avoidance maneuver—to be only about 1-in-5,000 over its lifetime, or 1-in-20 across the entire constellation.

Online DigitalMan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1669
  • Liked: 1170
  • Likes Given: 76
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #7 on: 11/05/2020 04:46 pm »
Texas satellite company defends itself against NASA criticisms

Quote
The founder of a Texas-based company that wants to put more than 200 very large satellites into low-Earth orbit has pushed back on concerns from NASA that these spacecraft pose an orbital debris threat.

“We’re not a bunch of cowboys launching satellites,” said Abel Avellan, founder of AST & Science, in an interview. "This is a serious, well-funded project."

Quote
Each of the satellites will include a large antenna, comprising an area as large as 900 meters squared. However, Avellan said the satellites will fly edge-on, "like a frisbee, but without the spinning." He said the satellites' cross-section along the direction of motion is only about 3 meters squared. The company has calculated that the probability of a collision occurring at random—assuming no avoidance maneuver—to be only about 1-in-5,000 over its lifetime, or 1-in-20 across the entire constellation.

I haven't been able to find any comments on this from astronomers. No concerns?

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #8 on: 11/06/2020 01:06 am »
Texas satellite company defends itself against NASA criticisms

Quote
The founder of a Texas-based company that wants to put more than 200 very large satellites into low-Earth orbit has pushed back on concerns from NASA that these spacecraft pose an orbital debris threat.

“We’re not a bunch of cowboys launching satellites,” said Abel Avellan, founder of AST & Science, in an interview. "This is a serious, well-funded project."

Quote
Each of the satellites will include a large antenna, comprising an area as large as 900 meters squared. However, Avellan said the satellites will fly edge-on, "like a frisbee, but without the spinning." He said the satellites' cross-section along the direction of motion is only about 3 meters squared. The company has calculated that the probability of a collision occurring at random—assuming no avoidance maneuver—to be only about 1-in-5,000 over its lifetime, or 1-in-20 across the entire constellation.

Disclosure: I am an investor in Lynk Global.

What NASA is pointing out is that a 900 square meter object is going to be hit by debris - a lot. Some of those collisions will generate more debris.

It doesn’t matter that the satellites will be flying edge on in the direction of flight, orbital debris flies in many directions.

Perhaps someone here can explain why NASA is wrong.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #9 on: 11/06/2020 03:14 am »
Updated FCC links since the one above apparently changed:
SAT-PDR-20200413-00034
SAT-APL-20200727-00088
SAT-APL-20201028-00126

Online DigitalMan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1669
  • Liked: 1170
  • Likes Given: 76
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #10 on: 11/06/2020 05:32 am »
Texas satellite company defends itself against NASA criticisms

Quote
The founder of a Texas-based company that wants to put more than 200 very large satellites into low-Earth orbit has pushed back on concerns from NASA that these spacecraft pose an orbital debris threat.

“We’re not a bunch of cowboys launching satellites,” said Abel Avellan, founder of AST & Science, in an interview. "This is a serious, well-funded project."

Quote
Each of the satellites will include a large antenna, comprising an area as large as 900 meters squared. However, Avellan said the satellites will fly edge-on, "like a frisbee, but without the spinning." He said the satellites' cross-section along the direction of motion is only about 3 meters squared. The company has calculated that the probability of a collision occurring at random—assuming no avoidance maneuver—to be only about 1-in-5,000 over its lifetime, or 1-in-20 across the entire constellation.

Disclosure: I am an investor in Lynk Global.

What NASA is pointing out is that a 900 square meter object is going to be hit by debris - a lot. Some of those collisions will generate more debris.

It doesn’t matter that the satellites will be flying edge on in the direction of flight, orbital debris flies in many directions.

Perhaps someone here can explain why NASA is wrong.


I considered it but I keep coming to the conclusion that probability is in NASA's favor. Everything would be a lot simpler if debris only travelled in nice circular orbits.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #11 on: 11/15/2020 06:00 am »
SpaceX Starlink partially mitigates orbital debris issues by initial injection to a very low orbit. That prevents satellites that die immediately from becoming a long term debris risk.

So, does AST plan to do the same - to inject to a low parking orbit and then maneuver up to 735 km?

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #12 on: 12/13/2020 08:21 am »
I saw somewhere else that AST modified their satellites from 900m2 to 450m2 in response to the NASA comments.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #13 on: 12/17/2020 02:48 am »
Vodafone and AST SpaceMobile unveil launch plans for space-based mobile network initially reaching 1.6 billion people

Quote
AST & Science LLC (“AST SpaceMobile”) secures necessary funding for first phase commercial launch of space-based mobile network.

Project aims to transform mobile network coverage for the 49 largest countries in the equatorial regions – including Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, and Tanzania – from 2023.

SpaceMobile will be the first space-based mobile network to connect directly to 4G and 5G smartphones without any need for specialised hardware.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #14 on: 12/17/2020 02:49 am »
AST & Science to Become Pubic Company Through Combination with New Providence Acquisition Corp.

Quote
AST & Science LLC (“AST SpaceMobile”) is building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones

AST SpaceMobile to become publicly listed through a business combination with New Providence Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: NPA, NPAUU and NPAWW)

Combined company to have an estimated post-transaction enterprise value of $1.4 billion and will become listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “ASTS” following expected transaction close in the first quarter of 2021

Transaction to provide up to $462 million in gross proceeds, comprised of New Providence Acquisition Corp.’s $232 million of cash held in trust (assuming no redemptions) and a $230 million fully committed common stock PIPE at $10.00 per share, including investments from Rakuten, Vodafone, American Tower, UBS O’Connor and a broad base of financial institutions

AST SpaceMobile LLC shareholders Vodafone, Rakuten, American Tower, and Cisneros will increase their equity holding through participation in the PIPE financing in support of AST SpaceMobile’s transition into the publicly listed company

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #15 on: 12/17/2020 02:53 am »
Satellite-to-smartphone broadband company AST & Science to go public through a SPAC

Quote
“We get to revenue when we launch our first 20 [satellites] in the second half of 2022 for commercial operation in 2023,” Avellan said.

The SPAC deal funds AST’s development of SpaceMobile through “phase one” construction, giving the company “enough capital to launch our first 20 satellites,” Avellan said. The company expects to have $541 million in total capital when it goes public, just more than the $510 million cost it estimates for the first phase, which will provide service in equatorial regions. That includes $259 million to build and launch 20 satellites, $146 million in operating expenses, $30 million to further build out its Texas facility, and $27 million for development of space ground infrastructure.

After phase one, AST expects it will cost another $1.2 billion to launch an additional 148 satellites to provide global coverage with SpaceMobile.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #16 on: 12/25/2020 09:36 am »
I wonder if AST has launch contracts for their first 20 satellites?

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #17 on: 12/26/2020 07:17 am »
Satellite-to-smartphone broadband company AST & Science to go public through a SPAC

Quote
“We get to revenue when we launch our first 20 [satellites] in the second half of 2022 for commercial operation in 2023,” Avellan said.

The SPAC deal funds AST’s development of SpaceMobile through “phase one” construction, giving the company “enough capital to launch our first 20 satellites,” Avellan said. The company expects to have $541 million in total capital when it goes public, just more than the $510 million cost it estimates for the first phase, which will provide service in equatorial regions. That includes $259 million to build and launch 20 satellites, $146 million in operating expenses, $30 million to further build out its Texas facility, and $27 million for development of space ground infrastructure.

After phase one, AST expects it will cost another $1.2 billion to launch an additional 148 satellites to provide global coverage with SpaceMobile.

There have been a couple of space companies that performed a maneuver to effectively go public before getting to full operations or serious revenue. One was SpaceDev, which bought out a shell company and used that as a holding company to sell shares.

The other was Sky and Space Global.

SpaceDev effectively wiped out its initial shareholders by the takeover of the shell company. That wasn't fun. And SpaceDev isn't around anymore, and I don't know how the next batch of shareholders did down the road.

As far as I know, Sky and Space Global is dead in the water. I might be wrong on that, but I haven't seen any new launches from them.


Online Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38606
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 31822
  • Likes Given: 7759
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #18 on: 12/27/2020 01:00 am »
I believe Sky and Space Global are still around. VO recently took a stake in the company.

https://spacenews.com/virgin-orbit-to-take-stake-in-sky-and-space-global/
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #19 on: 12/27/2020 05:25 am »
I believe Sky and Space Global are still around. VO recently took a stake in the company.

https://spacenews.com/virgin-orbit-to-take-stake-in-sky-and-space-global/

My point was and is that companies that go public early on have not been kind to early stockholders.

I have no idea if this will be true for AST.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #20 on: 12/28/2020 03:38 am »
I wonder if AST has launch contracts for their first 20 satellites?

From the CNBC article:

Quote
AST plans to launch the satellites into orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometers — or almost twice as high as the International Space Station’s orbit. Avellan declined to name any rocket companies that AST has contracts with, instead describing launch as a buyer’s market. AST’s investor presentation named Elon Musk’s SpaceX, European ArianeGroup, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Russian GK Launch and Indian PSLV as potential launch providers.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #21 on: 12/30/2020 05:34 am »
I wonder if AST has launch contracts for their first 20 satellites?

From the CNBC article:

Quote
AST plans to launch the satellites into orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometers — or almost twice as high as the International Space Station’s orbit. Avellan declined to name any rocket companies that AST has contracts with, instead describing launch as a buyer’s market. AST’s investor presentation named Elon Musk’s SpaceX, European ArianeGroup, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Russian GK Launch and Indian PSLV as potential launch providers.

Common sense would indicate that AST does not have launch contracts, based on the non-answer. How does AST plan to put up a large constellation Real Soon Now without launch contracts?

Of course, I am ignoring the 2022 launch of a test satellite. That will probably go as a rideshare on one of the potential launch services mentioned above. I assume that contract is a done deal.

Also, the effective date of any launch contract would be after the SPAC has raised money. There may be provisional contracts based on a relatively small down payment, but nothing serious until AST has generated funds from their new offering.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2020 09:29 am by Danderman »

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #23 on: 01/05/2021 05:37 am »
https://twitter.com/AvellanAbel/status/1345189123158638593

BlueWalker 3 will have a mass of 1.5 tons.

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #24 on: 01/05/2021 06:41 am »
A recent SEC filing concerning AST:

https://sec.report/Document/0001213900-20-044208/prem14a2020_newprovid.htm

There's a lowrez shot of sat in there. That's a whole lot of folded panels there...

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #27 on: 04/15/2021 04:08 pm »
The hive mind seems to have missed this: SpaceMobile is now publicly traded under the symbol ASTS.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #28 on: 04/21/2021 02:45 am »
This tweet has a rendering of their satellite:

https://twitter.com/AST_SpaceMobile/status/1384320948468396034
« Last Edit: 04/21/2021 02:47 am by su27k »

Online Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38606
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 31822
  • Likes Given: 7759
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #29 on: 04/21/2021 08:01 am »
Image from the video.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #30 on: 04/21/2021 11:19 pm »
Interesting, sparse/mesh antenna with nothing that looks like local nodes. They had previously talked about aggregate satellites, so I had thought they would effectively have a docked swarm of cubesats for the antenna, but on the face of it that doesn't appear to be the case judging from the render. Just looks like repeating holed tiles, so perhaps no deployment mechanism and expect something else to assemble the array?

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #31 on: 04/21/2021 11:25 pm »
They deploy, and there isn't any aggregation that I'm aware of.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #32 on: 04/21/2021 11:58 pm »
Image from the video.

That side should be the solar arrays, with the antenna structure on the earth facing side.  They say their solar arrays are around 100kW

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #33 on: 05/18/2021 12:54 am »
Rumors from Reddit:

AST to launch on Soyuz in late 2021, as a secondary payload, but the primary payload is delayed.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #34 on: 06/19/2021 06:01 am »
Looking at this image, it looks like the satellite has a unibody design, ie the solar arrays are glued to back of the earth facing phased array antenna (so to speak). Since the solar arrays don’t seem to be deployable, this means that they will rarely face the Sun, and at high beta angles when most satellites are receiving sunlight almost 24 hours a day, the AST arrays would face away from the Sun. Perhaps there is something I am missing, but it seems that AST is going to have problems with their planned 100Kw power generation, except for short periods at low Beta angles.

Note that Starlink faced a similar issue, and chose a deployable  array, which is what is causing the problems for astronomers.  AST arrays won’t face the Earth, which is good for astronomy.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #35 on: 06/19/2021 04:32 pm »
Note that Starlink faced a similar issue, and chose a deployable  array, which is what is causing the problems for astronomers.  AST arrays won’t face the Earth, which is good for astronomy.

The side of the SpaceMobile sats that faces Earth will still reflect light, and these things are huge.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #36 on: 06/27/2021 02:33 am »
Op-Ed | Who wants to step up to a $10 billion risk?

Quote
But the greater problem is that rather than seek a license directly from the FCC for their enormous satellites, AST & Science got a license for its system from Papua New Guinea (PNG). This is more than a “flag of convenience” situation, however, as PNG has signed neither the 1971 Liability Convention nor the 1974 Registration Convention. While PNG has signed the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST), those latter two treaties are what put actual “meat on the bone” of the OST. Choosing not to sign these leaves PNG outside of the sphere of countries which have agreed to both norms of governance and resolution procedures for outer space disputes.

In short, PNG has not stepped up to accept specific international responsibility or liability for the activities of commercial entities it has licensed. Under the Liability Convention, countries agree to be liable for any damages caused in space “due to its fault or the fault of persons for whom it is responsible.” AST & Science recently admitted to the FCC that PNG has not “acceded” to the Registration Convention but claimed that PNG would voluntarily register the constellation. This narrative brushes over the fact that voluntarily registering the constellation, which PNG has only done once previously, isn’t the same as taking legal responsibility for it.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #37 on: 06/30/2021 01:09 am »
Note that Starlink faced a similar issue, and chose a deployable  array, which is what is causing the problems for astronomers.  AST arrays won’t face the Earth, which is good for astronomy.

The side of the SpaceMobile sats that faces Earth will still reflect light, and these things are huge.

It’s unclear how reflective the phased array antennas will be.

And, as long as the solar panels are affixed to the back of the ground facing antennas, astronomers will never see glare from the solar panels. The problem is affixing solar panels to the back of a ground facing antenna means the solar panels will rarely see the sun.  Trying to provide power to a spacecraft that has to operate continuously is difficult enough, but if the solar panels cannot be deployed and pointed at the sun, then AST is going to have to do something very clever to address that issue.

Offline panyagua

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 17
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #38 on: 07/19/2021 01:06 pm »
Op-Ed | Who wants to step up to a $10 billion risk?


Can anyone shed more light on the status of this issue?  Looking at the FCC filing https://www.fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-APL-20201028-00126 which was filed 2020-10-28, has a status of "Action Taken Public Notice".  I have read each of the petitions and SpaceMobile's response.  However, I cannot tell if the FCC has approved this or not.  Given the SpaceNews article is dated 2021-06-25 can we assume there has not been approval? I do see that the other Experimental License are currently pending perhaps that is what the author is referring to?

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #39 on: 07/20/2021 02:11 am »
Op-Ed | Who wants to step up to a $10 billion risk?


Can anyone shed more light on the status of this issue?  Looking at the FCC filing https://www.fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-APL-20201028-00126 which was filed 2020-10-28, has a status of "Action Taken Public Notice".  I have read each of the petitions and SpaceMobile's response.  However, I cannot tell if the FCC has approved this or not.  Given the SpaceNews article is dated 2021-06-25 can we assume there has not been approval? I do see that the other Experimental License are currently pending perhaps that is what the author is referring to?

It was "accepted for filing" in November, which is when the FCC has looked to see if the application is complete enough to start processing it, and public commenting on it can start.  It can stay in that status for quite a while (anywhere from days to years).

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #40 on: 07/23/2021 03:11 am »
Note that Starlink faced a similar issue, and chose a deployable  array, which is what is causing the problems for astronomers.  AST arrays won’t face the Earth, which is good for astronomy.

The side of the SpaceMobile sats that faces Earth will still reflect light, and these things are huge.

I don’t think there have been many objects in LEO with very large fixed antennas pointing at the Earth. But, I don’t think that the AST phased array antennas are going to cause many problems for astronomers (neither will the solar arrays, but that’s another issue).

First off, I’m not sure how reflective the antennas will be.

Secondly, the beta angles will almost always be very low. Remember that for an object to be visible from the ground, the object must reflect sunlight, and the observer must be in darkness, or at least not in sunlight. This condition can only occur around sunset and sunrise. So, for an observer to see reflection from the phased array, the times of day this happens are short, and the spacecraft antennas must see the sun. Since the antennas are nadir pointing, there are only two points in the orbit when this is possible. And those points must coincide with the time of day when the observer is in darkness. So, it will be rare.

Conversely, Starlink sats have steerable antennas.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #41 on: 07/23/2021 03:42 am »
Conversely, Starlink sats have steerable antennas.

The steerable antennas on the Starlinks don't seem to be the main problem, those are not being shaded (although they were darkened at some point).  It's the flat ESAs that are so reflective on Starlink.  Size also matters a lot.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #42 on: 07/24/2021 02:20 pm »
Conversely, Starlink sats have steerable antennas.

The steerable antennas on the Starlinks don't seem to be the main problem, those are not being shaded (although they were darkened at some point).  It's the flat ESAs that are so reflective on Starlink.  Size also matters a lot.

Yikes, I had a brain fade. It’s the steerable solar panels on Starlink that are the problem. AST doesn’t have steerable solar panels, so no such problem.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #43 on: 07/29/2021 03:42 pm »
AST SpaceMobile Announces Launch Services Agreement to Deploy 693-Square-Foot Phased Array Spacecraft for Direct-to-Cell Phone Connectivity Testing

July 29, 2021 08:02 AM Eastern Daylight Time
MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced an agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”) for the launch of its next prototype spacecraft, BlueWalker 3.

BlueWalker 3 is expected to launch aboard a SpaceX mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in March 2022. The spacecraft has an aperture of 693 square feet and is designed to communicate directly with cell phones via 3GPP standard frequencies.

“We're pleased to launch with US-based SpaceX, which allows us to deploy BlueWalker 3 from our own backyard,“ said Scott Wisniewski, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “The spacecraft will be the second prototype to leverage our patented technology.”

AST SpaceMobile's mission is to eliminate the connectivity gaps faced by today's five billion mobile subscribers moving in and out of coverage zones, and bring cellular broadband to approximately half of the world's population who remain unconnected.

Partners in this effort are leading global wireless infrastructure companies, including Rakuten, Vodafone and American Tower. As of June 30, 2021, AST SpaceMobile has entered into agreements and understandings with mobile network operators which collectively cover approximately 1.4 billion mobile subscribers.

Click here to learn more about how the technology works.
« Last Edit: 07/29/2021 03:44 pm by gongora »

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #44 on: 07/29/2021 09:05 pm »
SEC filing showing the launch agreement with SpaceX.  Redacted details include the price and the word "Rideshare" wherever it occurred in the document  ::)

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/0001780312/000149315221018041/form424b3.htm

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #45 on: 08/24/2021 03:23 am »
Did FAA actually give approval for a 693 sq ft antenna?

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #46 on: 08/24/2021 05:28 pm »
Did FAA actually give approval for a 693 sq ft antenna?

It would be FCC.

edit:  still pending 1059-EX-CN-2020
« Last Edit: 08/24/2021 11:17 pm by gongora »

Offline panyagua

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 17
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #47 on: 08/31/2021 06:55 pm »
Did FAA actually give approval for a 693 sq ft antenna?

It would be FCC.

edit:  still pending 1059-EX-CN-2020

This is just for BW3 correct?  They will have to go through this entire process again for the new bluebird satellites with a full constellation correct?

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #48 on: 08/31/2021 08:24 pm »
This is just for BW3 correct?  They will have to go through this entire process again for the new bluebird satellites with a full constellation correct?

BW3 will be under an experimental permit.  They also have a pending license application for the constellation:
SAT-PDR-20200413-00034
« Last Edit: 08/31/2021 08:25 pm by gongora »

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #49 on: 10/18/2021 04:57 pm »
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1450063861193785351

Quote
@gk_launch & @AST_SpaceMobile reach agreement on AST switch from GK's Soyuz to @SpaceX ride-share for BlueWalker3 tech-demo sat when GK's main customer, Korea's #Kari, could not deliver #CAS500-2 Earth obs sat in time. GK will keep $2.7M from AST & use it for future GK launch.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #50 on: 11/20/2021 01:36 am »
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1780312/000149315221029031/form424b3.htm
Quote
On April 1, 2019, we launched our first test satellite, BlueWalker 1 (“BW1”), which was used to validate our satellite to cellular architecture and was capable of managing communications delays from LEO orbit and the effects of doppler in a satellite to ground cellular environment using the 4G-LTE protocol. We are currently assembling, integrating, and testing the satellite componentry required for our BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”) test satellite. As of September 30, 2021, we have incurred approximately $56.7 million of capitalized costs (including non-recurring engineering) relating to the BW3 test satellite and expect to incur an additional $10.0 to $12.0 million (including non-recurring engineering) to bring this project to completion. The BW3 test satellite will be using SpaceX as a launch services provider. The current available launch window with SpaceX runs from March 2022 through April 2022. However, the exact timing of such launch is contingent on a number of factors, including satisfactory and timely completion of construction and testing of BW3 test satellite. We have the option to select an alternate launch window if we deliver a rebooking notice to SpaceX by December 1, 2021 and pay a rebooking fee. While we have not yet determined if we will provide such rebooking notice and select an alternate mission and launch window, at this time we believe it is likely that we may elect to do so to provide additional time for BW3 testing and final launch preparation. If we exercise the option to rebook, we plan to target a BW3 launch within months of the original launch window; however, any alternate launch window would be subject to mutual agreement and coordination with SpaceX.

We are also in the development and design process of our first constellation phase of 20 satellites (the “BB1 Satellites”). We are currently planning our first commercial satellite launches for the BB1 Satellites to begin during the last quarter of 2022 and continue during the first two or potentially three quarters of 2023. This first phase of satellites is expected to provide satellite coverage in the 49 Equatorial countries, representing a total population of approximately 1.6 billion people, with 20 satellites. We currently plan to achieve full global mobile coverage after the completion of the launches required to deploy an additional 90 satellites which we are targeting to begin launching during the last quarter of 2023 and continue during 2024, assuming the first phase is successfully completed in the anticipated time frame. Assuming we are able to substantially achieve full global mobile coverage, we currently are planning to begin the launches required to deploy an additional 58 satellites with multiple input multiple output (“MIMO”) capabilities beginning in the fourth quarter of 2024 through the third quarter of 2025. While this represents our current planning, our launch plans and timelines are subject to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including, manufacturing timelines and our ability to successfully contract with launch providers that can accommodate the technical specifications of our BB1 Satellites, proposed orbits and resulting satellite coverage, and proposed launch timing and costs and other factors which could impact the determination of launch providers.

(h/t to Peter B. de Selding tweet)
« Last Edit: 11/20/2021 01:36 am by gongora »

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #51 on: 11/23/2021 09:37 pm »
https://twitter.com/AST_SpaceMobile/status/1463260467137327109
Quote
The Micron is the building block of our satellites. Each Micron has solar cells on one side, antennas on the other, and a lot of subsystems in-between. Our goal is to mass-produce these at scale to lower costs and deliver the SpaceMobile mission. 🚀 #ASTSpaceMobile #5G

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #52 on: 11/24/2021 02:34 am »
Cool, sandwich tiles like this is used in several Space Solar Power concepts, I was thinking if it can be used in communication satellite too. I wonder which method they'll use to solve the problem of having constant sunlight on the solar side.
« Last Edit: 11/24/2021 02:34 am by su27k »

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #53 on: 11/24/2021 02:58 am »
Cool, sandwich tiles like this is used in several Space Solar Power concepts, I was thinking if it can be used in communication satellite too. I wonder which method they'll use to solve the problem of having constant sunlight on the solar side.

I would assume since this isn't a GEO sat, the solar panels aren't sun facing all the time? The SPS sandwich panels did have a heat issue, which can be solved through geometry tricks like Z folds.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #54 on: 11/25/2021 02:43 am »
The AST sandwich will have a small issue with limited exposure of the panels to the Sun. They will require lots of batteries.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #55 on: 11/25/2021 03:20 am »
The AST sandwich will have a small issue with limited exposure of the panels to the Sun.

Yes, this is what I was asking in the previous comment. Although I think the Space Solar Power designs have some ways to mitigate this, by using mirrors and such.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #56 on: 11/25/2021 05:57 am »
AST has nothing to do with Space Solar Power.

Mirrors would create additional problems for astronomers, so it’s unlikely that AST will use mirrors.

Offline panyagua

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 17
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #57 on: 12/02/2021 12:51 pm »

Quote
Due to a change in circumstances, the BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”) test satellite that is associated with the above-noted application will be registered with the United Nations, pursuant to the Registration Convention,1 by the Spanish Ministry of Industry (Subdirección General de Áreas y Programas Industriales -Dirección General de Industria y Pyme). Applicant AST&Science LLC is a subsidiary of AST SpaceMobile, Inc., which has a facility in Spain (AST&Science Iberia, S.L.) that is manufacturing the solar arrays for the BW3 test satellite. In this way, the spacecraft will fully meet the terms of the Registration Convention.

https://fcc.report/ELS/AST-Science-LLC/1059-EX-CN-2020/286939

Is it odd they wont register it in the USA?

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #58 on: 12/07/2021 02:49 am »
[Via Satellite] AST SpaceMobile Pushes Back BlueWalker 3 Satellite Launch
Quote
AST SpaceMobile was set to launch with SpaceX between March 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022, and has now submitted a rebooking notice for a revised launch window targeting summer 2022. The final launch timing is dependent on SpaceX.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #59 on: 12/14/2021 04:28 pm »
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1470798375872348164
Quote
.@AST_SpaceMobile has reduced by 50%, to 450 m2, the size of the antenna for its operational LEO constellation to provide 4G/5G links to unmodified smartphones, Chief Strategy Officer Scott Wisniewski said at #WSBW.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #60 on: 12/24/2021 02:24 am »
https://twitter.com/AST_SpaceMobile/status/1474149060705767430

Quote
Over the holidays, teams are finalizing assembly tools for #BlueWalker3 in our 35,000-square-foot assembly room in Midland, Texas. Stay tuned for video of our crew in action to be released the first week of January. EyesCowboy hat faceFlag of United StatesRocket #ASTSpaceMobile #5G

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #61 on: 01/08/2022 07:21 am »
AST SpaceMobile Shows Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Video Tour

Quote from: satellitetoday.com
AST SpaceMobile shared a look into the company’s satellite manufacturing plant in Midland, Texas in a video released Wednesday. National Geographic documentary host Jason Silva toured the facility with CEO Abel Avellan.

The video did not show the full BlueWalker 3 satellite — the company said in recent quarterly update that the satellite is in the final integration and testing phase — but showed how antennas are assembled into microns, testing facilities, and the gateway antenna that will be onboard the satellite. 

AST SpaceMobile is building BlueWalker 3, which will be used to establish a space-to-cell network. The satellite is a massive 693-square-foot phased array, which must be folded up to fit into the launch vehicle fairing, and then unfurled in space.

Online Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38606
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 31822
  • Likes Given: 7759
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #62 on: 01/09/2022 02:46 am »
Here's the video.

« Last Edit: 01/09/2022 02:55 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #63 on: 01/26/2022 03:53 am »

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #64 on: 01/29/2022 03:17 am »
I don't think this will be a showstopper like he implies, but always good to know the numbers:

https://twitter.com/LionnetPierre/status/1486113053443776515

Quote
Always an interesting read from @CatSE___ApeX___ on $ASTS. This one includes a discussion on power, where the assumption is that each ASTS satellite will have 120 kW of power. This is interesting because power system drives both performance and costs. 1/

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #65 on: 03/10/2022 03:06 am »
AST SpaceMobile Announces Multi-Launch Agreement With SpaceX for Planned Direct-to-Cell Phone Connectivity

Quote from: businesswire.com
MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced it has signed a multi-launch agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”). In addition to the planned summer launch of the BlueWalker 3 test satellite (BW3), the agreement covers the launch of the first BlueBird satellite and provides a framework for future launches.

“This agreement secures the availability for a reliable launch of our first production satellites out of the U.S.,” said AST SpaceMobile Founder, Chairman and CEO Abel Avellan. “Our summer launch of BlueWalker 3 will complete the development phase for our company. We have also been industrializing our technology and preparing for the launch of the BlueBird satellites, with this agreement as a key step.”

The BW3 satellite is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral on a Falcon 9 vehicle. The satellite has an aperture of 693 square feet and is designed to communicate directly with cell phones via 3GPP standard frequencies.



https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1501567300050296836?s=21

Quote
According to an SEC filing, AST SpaceMobile is paying $22.75 million, which covers “technical adjustments” to its earlier BlueWalker 3 launch contract, initial payment for the first BlueBird launch and a reservation fee for a future BlueBird launch. https://sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/1780312/000149315222006357/form8k.htm


https://spacenews.com/ast-spacemobile-books-more-spacex-rides-months-after-canceling-soyuz-reservation/

Quote
AST SpaceMobile is expanding a launch deal with SpaceX for its cellphone-compatible broadband constellation, following a 2021 decision to move its upcoming BlueWalker-3 prototype mission from Russia’s now-embargoed Soyuz to a Falcon 9.

BlueWalker-3 was booked on a Soyuz as a secondary payload but moved its reservation to Falcon 9 last August after Russia’s primary customer for the launch ran into delays, AST SpaceMobile chief strategy officer Scott Wisniewski told SpaceNews.

Wisniewski said BlueWalker-3 is slated to fly with SpaceX “this summer” with other undisclosed passengers, while the primary payload for AST SpaceMobile’s canceled Soyuz reservation has yet to launch.
« Last Edit: 03/15/2022 01:03 am by su27k »

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #66 on: 03/18/2022 07:51 pm »
https://twitter.com/AbelAvellan/status/1504920229868101639
Quote
Our BlueWalker 3 test satellite is 693 square feet in size, designed to generate power from space, and deliver cellular broadband directly to your phone!

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39254
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25206
  • Likes Given: 12104
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #67 on: 03/18/2022 08:14 pm »
Looks identical to what those modern space based solar power concepts are like, but in miniature.
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 su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #68 on: 03/19/2022 02:08 am »
Looks identical to what those modern space based solar power concepts are like, but in miniature.

Yep, I commented on it a few months ago:

Cool, sandwich tiles like this is used in several Space Solar Power concepts, I was thinking if it can be used in communication satellite too. I wonder which method they'll use to solve the problem of having constant sunlight on the solar side.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #69 on: 03/25/2022 03:03 am »
https://twitter.com/HH141/status/1506947491664703492

Quote
@orange just signed an agreement with @AST_SpaceMobile to be a stakeholder in the project.

@orange mobile phones will have connectivity through @AST_SpaceMobile satellites.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #70 on: 03/27/2022 12:25 am »
https://twitter.com/AbelAvellan/status/1507500700921741315

Quote
Our satellites compress into cubes, fit into Launch Vehicle Adapters, and are designed to deploy a very thin-profile phased array to provide cellular broadband from space. More than 1,600 patent and patent-pending claims to get here! 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀📦➡▦🌌 #ASTSpaceMobile

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #71 on: 04/02/2022 04:36 am »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1509626562613813256

Quote
AST SpaceMobile $ASTS Q4 results:

Revenue: $6.2 million

Total operating expenses: $31.3 million

Cash: $324.5 million


https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1509844536012558340

Quote
.@AST_SpaceMobile: We're on track to launch this summer w/ @SpaceX even without @FCC license. Our constellation's debris/collision risk no greater than other LEO networks since we fly edge-on. https://bit.ly/3uJ7nAl
« Last Edit: 04/02/2022 04:37 am by su27k »

Offline XRZ.YZ

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • Charlotte,NC
  • Liked: 150
  • Likes Given: 63
XQCR LLYZ GYZH HZSZ

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39254
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25206
  • Likes Given: 12104
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #73 on: 05/02/2022 09:40 pm »
Awesome.

This would be sweet even just for LTE SMS service.
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 Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39254
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25206
  • Likes Given: 12104
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #74 on: 05/02/2022 09:43 pm »
I hope these folks are thinking about Starship-level plans for service like this. This potentially could be a market bigger than Starlink, and launch demand bigger than Starlink, which would be super helpful for the fully reusable launch vehicles currently under development (Starship, New Glenn/Jarvis, Terran-R, Stoke, etc).

Mobile service is a $1 trillion annual industry. Telecoms generally is $3-4 trillion.
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 gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #75 on: 05/02/2022 10:12 pm »
BW3 orbit seems to have switched from SSO to 53 degrees with a 400km insertion altitude.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2022 10:13 pm by gongora »

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #76 on: 05/03/2022 12:24 pm »
BW3 orbit seems to have switched from SSO to 53 degrees with a 400km insertion altitude.

Speculation is they're ridesharing with a Starlink launch.

Offline Yiosie

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 456
  • Liked: 634
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #77 on: 05/17/2022 09:32 pm »
Operational AST SpaceMobile satellites could proceed without prototype [dated May 17]

Quote from: SpaceNews
AST SpaceMobile will start deploying operational satellites in 2023 “even in the event of any complication” with the BlueWalker 3 prototype slated to launch this summer, an executive for the cellphone-compatible broadband constellation said.

<snip>

The 1,500-kilogram BlueWalker 3 prototype, which AST SpaceMobile has said is significantly smaller than BlueBird, has a 64-square-meter phased array antenna designed to unfold in space to communicate with smartphones and other devices at broadband speeds.

<snip>

BlueWalker 3 is slated to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket with other passengers.

AST SpaceMobile also has a contract with SpaceX for launching the first BlueBird in 2023. Their agreement provides a framework for ordering additional launches until the end of 2024, when AST SpaceMobile expects to have deployed 110 satellites to achieve “substantial global” mobile coverage.

AST SpaceMobile remains open to using other launch providers for deploying its constellation, and has said more than one BlueBlird could fly on a heavy-lift vehicle.

Avellan said during the company’s earnings call that AST SpaceMobile is on track to complete a second manufacturing facility in Texas by the end of 2022, which would enable the company to ramp up to producing six satellites a month the following year.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #78 on: 06/12/2022 01:53 am »
https://twitter.com/AbelAvellan/status/1535364704264241155

Quote
BlueWalker 3 end-to-end test conducted successfully this week. We also got the satellite fueled for our planned summer launch.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #79 on: 06/13/2022 02:34 pm »
https://investors.ast-science.com/news-releases/news-release-details/ast-spacemobile-announces-summer-launch-date-bluewalker-3-direct

Quote
AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, has confirmed it plans to launch its BlueWalker 3 test satellite from Cape Canaveral, FL during the week of August 15, 2022.

Offline 007shaken

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #80 on: 06/14/2022 06:32 pm »


What do you guys think about the segment at 43 minutes discussing AST's satellite design and suggesting it could heat up and twist like a potato chip?

Offline Nole

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
  • Metro Atlanta
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 14
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #81 on: 06/15/2022 11:50 pm »
I hope these folks are thinking about Starship-level plans for service like this. This potentially could be a market bigger than Starlink, and launch demand bigger than Starlink, which would be super helpful for the fully reusable launch vehicles currently under development (Starship, New Glenn/Jarvis, Terran-R, Stoke, etc).

Mobile service is a $1 trillion annual industry. Telecoms generally is $3-4 trillion.

During the 1st quarter earnings call on 5/17, the CEO confirmed that AST is planning to utilize larger launch vehicles to deploy satellites.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #82 on: 06/29/2022 03:38 pm »
https://twitter.com/JasonRainbow/status/1542137264901324800

https://investors.ast-science.com/news-releases/news-release-details/ast-spacemobile-provides-updated-bluewalker-3-launch-timing
Quote
MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 29, 2022-- AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, provided revised timing guidance on the launch of its BlueWalker 3 test satellite from Cape Canaveral, FL.

AST SpaceMobile was notified by SpaceX, its launch provider, of an updated launch window for early to mid-September, from the previously announced window targeting the week of August 15, 2022. There has been no change to BlueWalker 3 satellite preparations and the AST SpaceMobile team remains on schedule.

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #83 on: 07/19/2022 02:10 am »
https://twitter.com/AbelAvellan/status/1549213346490114048
Quote
Getting BlueWalker 3 ready to leave Midland!

Offline Nole

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
  • Metro Atlanta
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 14

Offline Nole

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
  • Metro Atlanta
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 14

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10148
  • US
  • Liked: 13756
  • Likes Given: 5880
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #86 on: 09/15/2022 07:12 pm »
Hit pieces from short sellers don't need to be posted here.

Offline panyagua

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 17
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #87 on: 09/16/2022 01:26 pm »
That's pretty disappointing coming from this forum.  You will allow posts of PR marketing from a twitter feed but not discussion of the technical challenges the Kerrisdale report laid out? 


Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39254
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25206
  • Likes Given: 12104
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #88 on: 09/16/2022 01:37 pm »
That's pretty disappointing coming from this forum.  You will allow posts of PR marketing from a twitter feed but not discussion of the technical challenges the Kerrisdale report laid out?
Good faith skepticism allowed. Short seller hit pieces are not.
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 Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39254
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25206
  • Likes Given: 12104
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #89 on: 09/16/2022 01:49 pm »
120kW power per satellite? That’s insanely high. The only thing that gets close to that is ISS (about twice that at 250kW).

A thing to mention is that cost per watt of a radio transmitter ~monotonically decreases as frequency decreases. Efficiency also increases as frequency gets lower.

These satellites use relatively low frequencies compared to other satellite communications.

So you can’t just use power by itself as a direct analogue to costs. Lower frequency helps reduce cost and losses quite a bit.
« Last Edit: 09/16/2022 02:00 pm by Robotbeat »
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 M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Liked: 2896
  • Likes Given: 504
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #90 on: 09/16/2022 01:54 pm »
So I found and read the report. Found it interesting, for what it’s worth. Lot of good points made, short seller motives notwithstanding.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #91 on: 09/18/2022 08:14 pm »
I am already seeing media stories about how BW3 will be brighter than the Moon.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #92 on: 10/10/2022 04:48 am »
AT&T CEO Says His Satellite Service Has Lead on Musk’s

Quote from: bloomberg.com
“I would say we probably have an 18 month lead on this,” Stankey said in an interview Wednesday. “SpaceX is going to have to go through the same process. And they’re not going to have their satellite up for testing until the middle of next year.”

<snip>

“We are comfortable with our test data,” Stankey said. “The next step is to present our findings to the FCC, to support changing the license parameters.”

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #93 on: 10/25/2022 06:19 pm »
https://twitter.com/abelavellan/status/1584898785112727553

Quote
BW3 deployment date to be announced shortly. My teams are getting ready with me at our Maryland control center. BW3 is operating normally, sensors and actuators are ready. Solar conditions for deployment will become favorable starting late next week. #5G📶🌞🤠

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #94 on: 10/29/2022 06:17 am »
https://twitter.com/abelavellan/status/1586143949336580096

Quote
While our Maryland team preps to unfold
BlueWalker 3, the Midland team is tasked on BlueBirds planned for launch next year! Our two sites in Texas will have a combined 185,000 sq ft of space for manufacturing up to six BlueBirds per month. #5G 📶🇺🇸🤠

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #95 on: 11/12/2022 12:36 am »
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1591094680787222533

Quote
Reports on the Seesat mailing list suggest that AST Space Mobile's BlueWalker 3 satellite is now deploying its antenna array: observations showing it at mag 1 by Paul Maley

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #96 on: 11/14/2022 12:47 pm »
twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1592150330422177793

Quote
AST SpaceMobile $ASTS deployed the wide antenna array of its BlueWalker 3 test satellite, which partner AT&T $T noted is a "significant milestone" toward providing global 5G broadband service from space:

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/14/ast-spacemobile-deploys-bluewalker-3-satellite-antenna.html

Quote
AST SpaceMobile stock jumps after company hits key milestone toward satellite-to-smartphone 5G service
PUBLISHED MON, NOV 14 20228:39 AM EST

Michael Sheetz
@THESHEETZTWEETZ

KEY POINTS

Satellite-to-smartphone connectivity venture AST SpaceMobile announced on Monday that the wide antenna of its recently launched test satellite deployed successfully.

The unfolding of the BlueWalker 3 antenna marks a critical milestone in the company’s development of a global network to provide 5G broadband service directly to smartphones.

The company is among multiple contenders trying to create such a worldwide service, an untapped market that’s long been a dream for satellite communications.

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1592150926630047744

Quote
Here is $ASTS' animation of the satellite 693 sq ft antenna deploying, which the company calls the largest-ever array deployed in low Earth orbit.
cnbc.com/2022/11/14/ast…

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #97 on: 11/14/2022 12:48 pm »
Crosspost:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221114005574/en/AST-SpaceMobile-Deploys-Largest-Ever-Commercial-Communications-Array-in-Low-Earth-Orbit

Quote
AST SpaceMobile Deploys Largest-Ever Commercial Communications Array in Low Earth Orbit
693-square foot array on Blue Walker 3 successfully completed deployment

November 14, 2022 07:01 AM Eastern Standard Time

MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, announced today that it had successfully completed deployment of the communications array for its test satellite, BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”), in orbit.

“The successful unfolding of BlueWalker 3 is a major step forward for our patented space-based cellular broadband technology and paves the way for the ongoing production of our BlueBird satellites,” said @AbelAvellan, CEO of AST SpaceMobile.

BW3 is the largest-ever commercial communications array deployed in low Earth orbit and is designed to communicate directly with cellular devices via 3GPP standard frequencies at 5G speeds. Now that it has been unfolded, the satellite spans 693 square feet in size, a design feature critical to support a space-based cellular broadband network. The satellite is expected to have a field of view of over 300,000 square miles on the surface of the Earth.

The unfolding of BW3 was made possible by years of R&D, testing and operational preparation. AST SpaceMobile has a portfolio of more than 2,400 patent and patent-pending claims supporting its space-based cellular broadband technology. Additional details on the BlueWalker 3 mission can be seen in this video.

“Every person should have the right to access cellular broadband, regardless of where they live or work. Our goal is to close the connectivity gaps that negatively impact billions of lives around the world,” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “The successful unfolding of BlueWalker 3 is a major step forward for our patented space-based cellular broadband technology and paves the way for the ongoing production of our BlueBird satellites.”

AST SpaceMobile has agreements and understandings with mobile network operators (“MNOs”) globally that have over 1.8 billion existing subscribers, including a mutual exclusivity with Vodafone in 24 countries. Interconnecting with AST SpaceMobile’s planned network will allow MNOs, including Vodafone Group, Rakuten Mobile, AT&T, Bell Canada, MTN Group, Orange, Telefonica, Etisalat, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, Millicom, Smartfren, Telecom Argentina, Telstra, Africell, Liberty Latin America and others, the ability to offer extended cellular broadband coverage to their customers who live, work and travel in areas with poor or non-existent cell coverage, with the goal of eliminating dead zones with cellular broadband from space.

“We want to close coverage gaps in our markets, particularly in territories where terrain makes it extremely challenging to reach with a traditional ground-based network. Our partnership with AST SpaceMobile – connecting satellite directly to conventional mobile devices – will help in our efforts to close the digital divide,” said Luke Ibbetson, Head of Group R&D, Vodafone and an AST SpaceMobile director.

Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony and an AST SpaceMobile director, added “Our mission is to democratize access to mobile connectivity: That is why we are so excited about the potential of AST SpaceMobile to support disaster-readiness and meet our goal of 100% geographical coverage to our customers in Japan. I look forward not only to testing BW3 on our world-leading cloud-native network in Japan, but also working with AST SpaceMobile on integrating our virtualized radio network technology to help bring connectivity to the world.”

Chris Sambar, President – Network, AT&T, added “We’re excited to see AST SpaceMobile reach this significant milestone. AT&T’s core mission is connecting people to greater possibilities on the largest wireless network in America. Working with AST SpaceMobile, we believe there is a future opportunity to even further extend our network reach including to otherwise remote and off-grid locations.”

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #98 on: 11/14/2022 01:41 pm »
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1592160908561760258

Quote
AST Space Mobile confirms BlueWalker-3 has deployed its communications array, consistent with astronomical observations showing that it got 40 times brighter on Nov 12.

My emphasis

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #99 on: 11/14/2022 10:39 pm »
The sun side of the array seems, I dunno, ruffled? I would have thought it would be pretty flat?

Plus those panels normal to the array are interesting, wonder what their function is?

Offline Skyrocket

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2623
  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Liked: 924
  • Likes Given: 170
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #100 on: 11/15/2022 12:07 am »
The sun side of the array seems, I dunno, ruffled? I would have thought it would be pretty flat?
I guess, this is an illusion due to the trapezoidal shape of the solar cells.

Offline eeergo

-DaviD-

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #102 on: 11/17/2022 05:19 am »
An article summarising the various significant steps that still have to be achieved to deliver a usable service:

https://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/how-imminent-mobile-phone-connectivity-ast-spacemobile

Quote
How imminent is mobile phone connectivity via AST SpaceMobile?
By Linda Hardesty
Nov 16, 2022 09:25am

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #103 on: 11/17/2022 05:26 am »
OOpsie: https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1592562637107507203

Did Peter attach the wrong letter to the tweet? The letter appears to be about an export licence being rescinded that was needed to send satellites for launch on Soyuz (following the Russian invasion of Ukraine).

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #104 on: 11/19/2022 06:02 am »
https://twitter.com/abelavellan/status/1593814153470349312

Quote
BlueWalker 3 guidance and navigation is working and stable, phased array is pointing correctly, and main satellite systems are functioning well!! Space 5G here we come... 🇺🇸🇯🇵🇬🇧🤠📶#5G

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #105 on: 11/19/2022 07:22 am »
A different perspective:

twitter.com/co2esp_raydel/status/1593632234363305986

Quote
Yesterday observation of $AST #BlueWalker3  encrypted the UHF 437.500 downlink on 70cm #hamradio band.

AST justified the use of 70cm under an experimental license from the @FCC. But this doesn't change the fact this is a COMMERCIAL venture using a hamradio band worldwide.
🧵

https://twitter.com/co2esp_raydel/status/1593632388159938561

Quote
Instead of secure 400MHz commercial license and comply with proper regulatory requirements, they choose "the easy way" of an experimental license. Reflect on this, a commercial company watering down requirements and sending encrypted data over hamradio band. This's simply wrong!

https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1593772970987884549

Quote
Some great amateur detective work being done under the nose of @AST_SpaceMobile that operates their satellite under a flag of convenience, didn't encrypt until amateurs caught them out and put their shareholders at risk. Can they responsibly operate a constellation of satellites?

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #106 on: 11/20/2022 06:28 am »
As long as AST does not operate BW3 commercially, there is nothing wrong with operating its experimental spacecraft under an experimental license.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #107 on: 11/21/2022 02:31 am »
Some twitter drama about whether AST can do what they said they can do wrt beamforming:

https://twitter.com/CatSE___ApeX___/status/1592985692195684353

https://twitter.com/mikepuchol/status/1593670537129197570


Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #108 on: 11/28/2022 09:26 pm »
https://twitter.com/astro_jonny/status/1597334648908308480

Quote
IAU issues a statement on the BlueWalker 3 satellite, now confirmed as one of the brightest objects in the night sky.

“BlueWalker 3 is a big shift in the constellation satellite issue and should give us all reason to pause”

https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau2211/

Quote
iau2211 — Press Release

Subscribe to the IAU e-Newsletter.

IAU CPS Statement on BlueWalker 3
Global astronomy community troubled by unprecedented brightness and use of terrestrial frequencies from space of recently launched BlueWalker 3 satellite

The International Astronomical Union Center for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference expresses concern about the recently launched prototype BlueWalker 3 satellite’s impact on astronomy. New measurements reveal that this low Earth orbiting satellite is now one of the brightest objects in the night sky, outshining all but the brightest stars. In addition, the satellite’s use of terrestrial radio frequencies poses a new challenge to radio astronomy.

On 10 September 2022 AST SpaceMobile launched a prototype satellite called BlueWalker 3 into low Earth orbit. This satellite, which has a 64-square-meter (693-square-foot) antenna system (the largest commercial antenna system ever deployed into low Earth orbit), is the first of what is expected to be more than a hundred similar or even larger satellites.

New measurements by observers worldwide, coordinated by the International Astronomical Union’s CPS (IAU Center for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference), show that this satellite has become one of the brightest objects in the night sky — more so than other constellation satellites and at times as bright as some of the most recognizable stars [1].

Besides their visible brightness, these new satellites, which serve as “cell phone towers in space,” will transmit strong radio waves at frequencies currently reserved for terrestrial cell-phone communications. These orbiting transmitters, which are not subject to the same radio quiet zone restrictions [2] as ground-based cellular networks, have the potential to severely impact radio astronomy research as well as geodesy studies and space-physics experiments.

The IAU and its CPS co-hosts, NSF's NOIRLab and the SKA Observatory (SKAO), are concerned about the impact these satellites will have on fundamental research and humanity’s ability to experience the natural night sky.

“Astronomers build radio telescopes as far away as possible from human activity, looking for places on the planet where there is limited or no cell phone coverage. Frequencies allocated to cell phones are already challenging to observe even in radio quiet zones we have created for our facilities. New satellites such as BlueWalker 3 have the potential to worsen this situation and compromise our ability to do science if not properly mitigated,” said SKAO Director-General Philip Diamond. “This is a key reason why the SKAO is deeply involved in the IAU CPS and promoting the equitable and sustainable use of space.”

The night sky is a unique laboratory that allows scientists to conduct experiments that cannot be done in terrestrial laboratories. Astronomical observations have provided insights into fundamental physics and other research at the boundaries of our knowledge and changed humanity’s view of our place in the cosmos. The pristine night sky is also an important part of humanity’s shared cultural heritage and should be protected for society at large and for future generations.

“BlueWalker 3 is a big shift in the constellation satellite issue and should give us all reason to pause,” said Piero Benvenuti, Director of the IAU CPS.

The IAU and CPS partners recognize that the new satellite constellations have an important role in improving worldwide communications. However, their interference with astronomical observations could severely hamper progress in our understanding of the cosmos. Their deployment should therefore be conducted with due consideration of their side effects and with efforts made to minimize their impact on astronomy.

To better understand the effects of these new satellites, the IAU CPS invites further observations of BlueWalker 3. Visual and telescopic observations of BlueWalker 3 can be submitted online to SatHub, a worldwide public observing initiative of the IAU CPS.

The IAU recently wrote a letter on behalf of the global astronomy community to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging them to seriously consider the potential impacts of satellite constellations on astronomy, the appearance of the night sky, and the environment. Earlier this month, the FCC announced its intention to create an office dedicated to space, to better deal with this rapidly emerging issue, an action that the IAU CPS applauds.

Conversations between the IAU CPS and AST SpaceMobile have started. The IAU CPS fosters dialogue and cooperation between satellite operators and scientists. Recent discussions with some operators have led to mitigation measures but much more work is needed.

Notes

[1] The measurements show that BlueWalker 3 is around apparent visual magnitude 1 at its brightest — almost as bright as Antares or Spica (the 15th and 16th brightest stars in the night sky). Apparent magnitude in astronomy is a measure of the brightness of a star or other astronomical object as observed from Earth. The scale is reverse logarithmic: the brighter an object is, the lower its magnitude number. The brightest astronomical objects have negative apparent magnitudes: for example, Venus at −4.2 or Sirius at −1.46. The faintest stars visible with the naked eye on the darkest night have apparent magnitudes of about +6.5.

[2] There are several areas around the globe that have special protections for radio astronomy that prescribe how fixed radio transmitters can be used so they do not interfere with astronomical observations. The United States National Radio Quiet Zone is a 13,000 square mile (34,000 square kilometer) region in which broadcast antennas must operate at reduced power and use highly directional antennas.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organization that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.

2nd image caption:

Quote
Trail left by BlueWalker 3 over Kitt Peak National Observatory28 November 2022

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #109 on: 12/02/2022 02:12 am »
AST SpaceMobile plots $86 million share sale

Quote from: SpaceNews
AST SpaceMobile said Nov. 30 it could raise more than $86 million from selling a chunk of shares as the company looks to accelerate its direct-to-smartphone constellation plans.

The satellite operator agreed to sell shares in a public offering for $5.50 each, less than half what they were worth the day it became a public company in April 2021.

Investment bank B. Riley Securities is underwriting the sale of shares that would equate to about $75 million in gross proceeds for AST SpaceMobile. The underwriter has a 30-day option to buy additional shares that would bring this amount to $86.25 million.

AST SpaceMobile initially aimed to raise up to $74.8 million when it first announced plans for a share sale Nov. 29, but upsized the target following investor demand.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #110 on: 12/10/2022 02:39 am »
https://twitter.com/AbelAvellan/status/1601366708543197184

Quote
Working toward telco testing with BW3, the largest commercial comms array ever deployed in low Earth orbit! Also prepping for initial production next year of the AST 5000 ASIC chip for next-gen BlueBird sats. We believe this will be the most adv chip of its kind in space! 📶#5G

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #111 on: 12/13/2022 11:59 pm »
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221213005989/en/AST-SpaceMobiles-Bluewalker-3-on-Target-to-Deliver-the-First-and-Only-Space-Based-Cellular-Broadband

Quote
AST SpaceMobile's Bluewalker 3 on Target to Deliver the First and Only Space-Based Cellular Broadband
AST SpaceMobile provides interim operational update on its ongoing space-based cellular broadband satellite programs

December 13, 2022 07:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, provides an operational update on the BlueWalker 3 (BW3), Block 1 BlueBird and next-generation BlueBird programs.

“On the back of the successful deployment of BW3’s communications array, we look forward to initiating testing with our mobile network operator partners starting early in the first quarter of 2023,” said @AbelAvellan, Chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile.

“The achievements to date for BlueWalker 3 validate the design roadmap for our BlueBirds, including deploying and flying the largest-ever commercial communications array in low Earth orbit, a key fundamental and patented technology to deliver space-based cellular broadband directly to unmodified phones,” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile. “On the back of the successful deployment of BW3’s communications array, we look forward to initiating testing with our mobile network operator partners starting early in the first quarter of 2023.”

Update on BlueWalker 3 on-orbit activities, the largest-ever commercial communications array deployed in low Earth orbit

Achievements with nominal operations on BW3 satellite over the last 3 months

Built TT&C (Tracking, Telemetry & Control) network on Earth, with teams monitoring 24/7 BW3 orbit via earth stations in Maryland, Colorado and Australia

Achieved nominal operations for guidance, navigation and control of BW3 over the last 3 months at an altitude of ~515km and sustained velocity of ~17,000 mph

Upgraded onboard flight control software to incorporate BW3 on-orbit learnings and control the deployed communications array

Deployed the 693 square foot communications array, from stowed configuration, in November 2022

Powered the communications array in preparation for mobile network operator testing

Tested patented doppler and delay hardware and software solution on the ground with Rakuten Mobile and Nokia baseband technology

Completed installation of ground network for end-to-end testing in Texas, Hawaii and Japan

Received test licenses via partner mobile network operators from relevant regulatory bodies in the United States, Japan, Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, Philippines, and Indonesia in advance of mobile network operator testing

Updated ground Space Operations Center (SOC) system and processes to support planned low Earth orbit operations

Transition to testing of direct-to-cell satellite capabilities beginning in Q1 2023, supporting mobile network operator partners to interconnect with BlueWalker 3 and prepare for future commercial service with BlueBird satellites

Integrate with mobile network operator core networks, including AST SpaceMobile patented doppler and delay system, starting as early as January

Conduct initial 4G LTE and 5G end-to-end connectivity starting from communications array as early as January

Report speed test data in coordination with mobile network operator partners

Update on BlueBird programs, targeting launch of first 5 commercial satellites in late 2023

Confirmation of BW3 mechanical deployment system and system architecture expected to be used for first 5 Block 1 BlueBird satellites

Confirmation of main BW3 subsystems expected to be used for first 5 Block 1 BlueBird satellites, including guidance, navigation and control system in use on BW3

Assembly and production lines designed, and equipment ordered and partially installed, with significant flexibility to meet expected 2023 production needs in our 185,000 square foot Texas manufacturing facilities

Expect to begin initial chip production during 2023 of custom AST 5000 ASIC for future generation, higher capacity BlueBird satellites

Planned testing of the BW3 test satellite with mobile network operators may be delayed, may not prove successful, or may not be completed at all due to various factors, including, but not limited to, equipment failure, or other technical issues.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39254
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25206
  • Likes Given: 12104
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #112 on: 12/15/2022 01:25 am »
450m^2 is the area of the full scale satellites, right? That’s receiving over 600kW of sunlight and potentially producing 180kW of electricity…
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 edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 9162
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #113 on: 12/15/2022 08:01 am »
450m^2 is the area of the full scale satellites, right? That’s receiving over 600kW of sunlight and potentially producing 180kW of electricity…
When orthogonal. If they steer the array to point at (away from, because the solar panels are on the back) the Earth rather than the Sun, and take advantage of the existing antenna size requirement, they may just be using a vastly oversized - for their power requirements - flat array that spends most of its time at a high incidence angle rather than adding a smaller array on its own independent sun-tracking gimbal. Eliminates an extra deployment mechanism, and a moving part with its own failure mode.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #114 on: 12/15/2022 08:28 pm »
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-ast-science-sign-joint-spaceflight-safety-agreement

Quote
Dec 15, 2022
RELEASE 22-131

NASA, AST & Science Sign Joint Spaceflight Safety Agreement

NASA and AST & Science, a subsidiary of AST SpaceMobile, Inc., have signed a joint agreement to formalize both parties’ strong interest in the sharing of information to maintain and improve space safety.

This agreement enables a deeper level of coordination, cooperation, and data sharing, and defines the arrangement, responsibilities, and procedures for flight safety coordination. The focus of the agreement is on conjunction avoidance and launch collision avoidance between NASA spacecraft and AST SpaceMobile’s test satellite, BlueWalker 3, currently in orbit, including the company’s planned constellation of large satellites. A conjunction is defined as a close approach between two objects in space, usually at very high speed.

“Safety is one of NASA’s core goals – in the workplace, in our mission operations, and in our responsibility as global citizens,” said NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana. “We are always looking for opportunities to improve our safety, and by working more closely together with AST SpaceMobile, we can mitigate collisions that might otherwise adversely impact our mission success.”

AST SpaceMobile’s spacecraft, BlueWalker 3 test satellite and the BlueBird constellation, are equipped with a high impulse, low thrust maneuvering system that may require complex risk mitigation maneuver plans. Both NASA and AST SpaceMobile benefit from this enhanced interaction by ensuring all parties involved are fully aware of the exact location of spacecraft and debris in orbit resulting in a safer space environment for all.

NASA and the Department of Defense have decades of experience in proactively managing collision risks, as well as potential impacts. Effective mitigation relies on inter-operator coordination, accurate data, a sound technical basis for risk analysis, as well as proactive processes for appropriate actions to mitigate risks. By working together through this agreement, the approach to collision avoidance can be improved for all users.

In addition to this agreement, NASA is supporting growth in the U.S. commercial space sector through the release of the Spacecraft Conjunction Assessment and Collision Avoidance Best Practices Handbook, which the agency issued in December 2020 to improve global awareness of space activity and to share NASA lessons learned regarding close approach coordination and mitigation.

For more information about NASA’s programs and projects, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/

-end-

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #115 on: 12/31/2022 02:23 am »
https://twitter.com/mikeddano/status/1605215316799148037

Quote
NEW
AT&T's support for startup @AST_SpaceMobile has been relatively subdued over the past few years. But that ended today. 
"Really exciting chance ahead of us," said Chris Sambar, AT&T's chief networking executive. $T $ASTS

https://www.lightreading.com/satellite/atandt-gives-ast-spacemobile-big-public-shoutout/d/d-id/782457?_mc=RSS_LR_EDT

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #116 on: 01/07/2023 02:48 am »
Paper: The BlueWalker 3 Satellite Has Faded

Quote from: Abstract
Observations of BlueWalker 3 (BW3) beginning on December 8 of this year indicate that its apparent brightness had decreased. We postulate that the orbital beta angle and resultant solar power considerations required an adjustment to the satellite attitude around that time. So, the nominally zenith facing side of the flat-panel shaped spacecraft, which supports the solar array, was tilted toward the Sun. Consequently, the nadir side, which is seen by observers on the ground, was mostly dark. Thus, BW3 has generally appeared faint and on some occasions was not seen at all. The amount of fading was up to 4 magnitudes. Numerical modeling indicates that the amount of tilt was in the range 13° to 16°. This situation indicates the improvement in the appearance of BW3 from the ground that can be achieved with small tilts of the spacecraft. Satellite operators and astronomers can jointly address the adverse impact of bright satellites on celestial observations based on this finding.


Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #118 on: 02/01/2023 03:57 am »
https://twitter.com/CatSE___ApeX___/status/1620500704707383297

Quote
$ASTS filed a coordination request for the 368 satellite SpaceMobile constellation under name Micronsat-2.

Shows some nee stats such as modulation used and the way gain is higher on low elevation angles to keep beam cell size uniform irrespective of signal path length/angle.



Source https://itu.int/ITU-R/space/asreceived/Publication/AsReceived

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #119 on: 02/04/2023 05:03 am »
https://twitter.com/AbelAvellan/status/1621622052766552066

Quote
Great to host @ATT in Midland last week. Initial manufacturing lines at Site 1 and 2 are ramping up for our planned production! 🦾🤠#5G #ATT5G 📶🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #120 on: 02/09/2023 09:45 pm »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1623814646380769280

Quote
AST SpaceMobile $ASTS signs an updated agreement with SpaceX to launch the company's first five BlueBird satellites:

https://investors.ast-science.com/node/8236/html

Quote
On February 3, 2023, AST & Science LLC, a subsidiary of the Company, entered into a Launch Services Agreement (the “2023 Launch Agreement”) with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”) relating to the launch of the first five Block 1 BlueBird satellites.
 
The 2023 Launch Agreement supersedes both the March 3, 2022 Multi-Launch Agreement and the March 3, 2022 BlueBird 1 Launch Services Agreement between the parties.
 
The exact timing of the launch, which is expected to carry five Block 1 BlueBird satellites, is contingent on a number of factors, including satisfactory and timely completion of construction and testing and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2023 09:48 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #121 on: 04/21/2023 02:05 am »
The Starship launch failure is good news for AST, which will probably be able to deploy it's sats long before SpaceX can launch Starlink V2 with telephone payloads.

Offline lightleviathan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 160
  • Liked: 136
  • Likes Given: 43
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #122 on: 04/21/2023 02:19 am »
The Starship launch failure is good news for AST, which will probably be able to deploy it's sats long before SpaceX can launch Starlink V2 with telephone payloads.

In what way? This was an old test vehicle without a lot of the newer iterations, and they are literally contracting SpaceX to launch their satellites.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #123 on: 04/21/2023 02:29 am »
SpaceX requires Starship to deploy Starlink V2 satellites with telephone payloads. Until and unless Starship is operational, there will be no telephone service from Starlink.

Conversely, AST is launching on conventional rockets that are operational now.

Which company do you think will get to market first?

For telephone companies considering which satellite company to partner with, what will be impact of yesterday's failure?

Full disclosure: I am a shareholder in a company that competes with AST and SpaceX.
« Last Edit: 04/21/2023 06:00 am by Danderman »

Offline raptorx2

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 144
  • san diego, ca
  • Liked: 72
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #124 on: 06/13/2023 01:07 am »
SpaceX requires Starship to deploy Starlink V2 satellites with telephone payloads. Until and unless Starship is operational, there will be no telephone service from Starlink.

Conversely, AST is launching on conventional rockets that are operational now.

Which company do you think will get to market first?

For telephone companies considering which satellite company to partner with, what will be impact of yesterday's failure?

Full disclosure: I am a shareholder in a company that competes with AST and SpaceX.

SpaceX clarified this misconception that Starship is required, and Falcon 9 can not launch  SCS "telephone service" satellites.

SAT-MOD-20230207-00021

"The tables below present illustrative information for proposed form factors of SpaceX
Gen2 satellites with SCS capabilities: one of which will be launched on Falcon 9 rockets and one
that will be launched on Starship. For convenience, these satellites are labeled satellites F9-3 and
Starship-2, respectively, following the naming convention SpaceX used for its authorized Gen2
satellites"

The 3 satellites launched by AST to date are only "test" satellites BW-1, BW-2, BW3. None of which have the orbital parameters outlined in their April 2020 FCC "Petition for Market Entry" which is still laying dormant at the FCC.  AST "plans to launch" it's first 5 "Block 1" satellites in Q1 2024 on a Falcon 9. SpaceX will be lofting hundreds of SCS payloads by that time.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #125 on: 06/21/2023 12:03 pm »
https://twitter.com/ast_spacemobile/status/1671488626478202881

Quote
Breaking news: Another world-first achievement for #ASTSpaceMobile! Using @ATT cellular spectrum, we connected everyday smartphones to our BlueWalker 3 test satellite and recorded 4G LTE download speeds of >10 Mbps. Read more about this historic feat here:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230621154227/en/AST-SpaceMobile-Confirms-4G-Capabilities-to-Everyday-Smartphones-Directly-From-Space

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #126 on: 06/26/2023 12:54 pm »
Just to clarify, SpaceX *can* launch Starlink Gen2 sats on F9. They can't support cellphones, though.

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #127 on: 06/26/2023 03:00 pm »
Just to clarify, SpaceX *can* launch Starlink Gen2 sats on F9. They can't support cellphones, though.

Not yet, but they will eventually: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=58374.msg2493034#msg2493034

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #128 on: 06/27/2023 03:49 am »
This is wonderful, except that BW3 is in a very low orbit, compared with the operational sats. Lower = reduced range to the receiver = more power density.

Still, this indicates that the operational sats will be very capable.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #129 on: 06/27/2023 03:51 am »
I have to believe that this filing is handwaving in response to the Starship launch failure. Launching the V2 cellphone sats on F9 would take forever, whereas AST has a much smaller constellation.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #130 on: 06/28/2023 03:53 pm »
twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1674079464450342915

Quote
AST SpaceMobile $ASTS stock plunged as much as 30% in trading today after the company issued a response to an article published more than 2 weeks ago, which raised concerns about the company's burn rate and fundraising plans. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/06/27/stock-market-today-live-updates.html

From the SEC filing:

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1674082713937092608

Quote
Separately, AST also filed a supplementary prospectus to raise more funds through an offering of 12 million shares of common stock:
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1780312/000149315223022654/form424b5.htm

Offline M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Liked: 2896
  • Likes Given: 504

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #132 on: 07/14/2023 08:32 pm »
https://twitter.com/abelavellan/status/1679951654299267072

Quote
This avionics stack is the flight "brain" of our Block 1 BlueBirds. It's designed to control a 693 sq ft array moving at 17,000 mph in low Earth orbit. We're designing and building these to last!! 🦾🤠🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #133 on: 08/01/2023 04:45 pm »
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1686385899725373441

Quote
Absent further fundraising, it looks like AST SpaceMobile has about nine months of runway before running out money.

https://ast-science.com/2023/08/01/ast-spacemobile-to-provide-quarterly-business-update-on-august-14-2023-and-provides-preliminary-financial-results-for-second-quarter-2023-2/

Quote
AST SpaceMobile to Provide Quarterly Business Update on August 14, 2023 and Provides Preliminary Financial Results for Second Quarter 2023

August 1, 2023
MIDLAND, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced it will hold a quarterly business update conference call on Monday, August 14th at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The company is also providing its preliminary estimated financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2023.

AST SpaceMobile will be accepting questions from retail and institutional shareholders and management will answer select questions relating to AST SpaceMobile’s business and financial results on the conference call. Investors are encouraged to submit questions to [email protected] and will also be added to our Investor Relations mailing list.

The call will be accessible via a live webcast on the Events page of AST SpaceMobile’s Investor Relations website at https://ast-science.com/investors/. An archive of the webcast will be available shortly after the call.

Second Quarter 2023 Preliminary Estimated Financial Results

We ended the second quarter with cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash of approximately $191.5 million
We expect our total operating expenses to be between $57.1 and $59.1 million for the second quarter of 2023, including $19.1 to $20.1 million of depreciation and amortization and stock-based compensation expense
As of June 30, 2023, we have incurred approximately $156.9 million of capitalized property and equipment costs. This includes costs incurred in assembly, test, launch and deployment of the BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”) satellite which was ready for its intended use and started depreciating in April 2023; costs incurred for development of assembly, integration, and test facilities including purchases of assembly equipment; and purchases of satellite direct materials and antennas
Our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements for the three and six months ended June 30, 2023 are not yet available. The preliminary estimated financial results are management estimates based on currently available information and subject to completion of financial closing procedures as of and for the three and six months ended June 30, 2023. As a result, our actual results may vary materially from the preliminary estimated financial results included herein and will not be publicly available until we file our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023. These estimates constitute “forward-looking statements” as described in “Forward-Looking Statements” below. Our independent registered public accounting firm, KPMG LLP, has not reviewed, or performed any procedures with respect to these preliminary estimated financial results.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #134 on: 08/05/2023 05:21 am »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #135 on: 08/14/2023 08:33 pm »
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230814808384/en/AST-SpaceMobile-Provides-Second-Quarter-2023-Business-Update

Quote
AST SpaceMobile Provides Second Quarter 2023 Business Update

Confirmed historic space-based 4G LTE cellular broadband capabilities alongside AT&T, Vodafone and Nokia; and completed comprehensive interim financing package

August 14, 2023 04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time
MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, is providing its business update for the second quarter ended June 30, 2023.

We are happy to announce the completion of a comprehensive financing package providing us up to $179 million of cash and liquidity

“AST SpaceMobile continues to make history. This quarter we achieved space-based 4G LTE cellular broadband capabilities to everyday smartphones, reaching speeds above 10 Mbps during BlueWalker 3 testing alongside AT&T, Vodafone and Nokia,” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “We are now laser-focused on the manufacturing of our BlueBird satellites. The first five satellites are fully-funded with a planned launch in Q1 2024 as we target to offer initial commercial service in 2024.”

“On the back of the progress of our company technically, commercially and industrially, we have received multiple indications of interest for strategic investments with both equity-linked and non-dilutive commercial payments,” said Scott Wisniewski, Chief Strategy Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “Proceeds from this prospective capital raise are intended to fund the manufacturing and launch of additional BlueBird satellites launches beyond our first five commercial satellites.”

“We are happy to announce the completion of a comprehensive financing package providing us up to $179 million of cash and liquidity,” said Sean Wallace, Chief Financial Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “This financing package is comprised of an up to $100 million Senior Secured Credit Facility and a $15 million Equipment-Backed Loan completed today, in addition to a $57 million previously announced common stock offering in June 2023 and $7 million raised under the ATM program during the second quarter of 2023.”

Business Update

History made, again, with space-based 4G LTE cellular broadband capabilities confirmed to everyday smartphones, reaching speeds above 10 Mbps during BlueWalker 3 testing alongside AT&T, Vodafone and Nokia
Continued commercial and regulatory progress, with 40+ MOUs and agreements with mobile network operators globally that have ~2.4 billion subscribers
Block 1 BlueBird program is fully-funded, with manufacturing underway and ramping ahead of the planned launch in Q1 2024 of our first five commercial satellites
Raised cash and liquidity of up to $179 million, with a comprehensive financing package of non-dilutive debt and equity designed to support strategic investment process
Up to $100 million Senior Secured Credit Facility with an initial gross draw of $48.5 million
$15 million Equipment-Backed Loan
$57 million of previously announced common stock offering in June 2023
$7 million raised under the ATM program during the second quarter of 2023
Received multiple indications of interest for strategic investment, including both equity-linked investments and non-dilutive commercial payments
Second Quarter 2023 Financial Highlights

As of June 30, 2023, we had cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash of $191.5 million. After June 30, 2023, added incremental cash and liquidity of up to $115 million from an up to $100 million Senior Secured Credit Facility with an initial gross draw of $48.5 million in gross proceeds and a $15 million Equipment-Backed Loan.

Total Adjusted operating expenses for the second quarter of 2023 were $38.4 million, a decrease of $1.9 million as compared to $40.3 million in the first quarter of 2023, due to a $5.5 million decrease in research and development costs offset by a $3.3 million increase in Adjusted engineering services costs and a $0.3 million increase in Adjusted general and administrative costs.(1)

As of June 30, 2023, we have incurred approximately $194.1 million of gross capitalized property and equipment costs and accumulated depreciation and amortization of $22.5 million. The capitalized costs include costs of our BlueWalker 3 satellite, assembly and integration facilities including assembly and test equipment, satellite materials, advance launch payments and ground antennas.

(1) See reconciliation of Adjusted operating expenses to Total operating expenses, Adjusted engineering services costs to Engineering services costs and Adjusted general and administrative costs to General and administrative costs in the tables accompanying this press release.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures in this press release, including Adjusted operating expenses, Adjusted engineering services costs and Adjusted general and administrative costs. We believe these non-GAAP financial measures are useful measures across time in evaluating our operating performance as we use these measures to manage the business, including in preparing our annual operating budget and financial projections. These non-GAAP financial measures that have no standardized meaning prescribed by U.S. GAAP, and therefore have limits in their usefulness to investors. Because of the non-standardized definitions, these measures may not be comparable to the calculation of similar measures of other companies and are presented solely to provide investors with useful information to more fully understand how management assesses performance. These measures are not, and should not be viewed as, a substitute for their most directly comparable GAAP measures. Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the tables accompanying this press release.

Conference Call Information

AST SpaceMobile will hold a quarterly business update conference call at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Monday, August 14, 2023. The call will be accessible via a live webcast on the Events page of AST SpaceMobile’s Investor Relations website at https://ast-science.com/investors/. An archive of the webcast will be available shortly after the call.

[…]

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47434
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80289
  • Likes Given: 36328
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #136 on: 12/07/2023 08:30 pm »

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #137 on: 01/20/2024 02:05 am »
https://spacenews.com/google-and-att-join-155-million-ast-spacemobile-investment/

Quote
TAMPA, Fla. — Google and AT&T have joined a $155 million strategic investment in AST SpaceMobile, which is set to raise double that to help fund its direct-to-smartphone connectivity constellation.

The strategic investment also includes funds from existing shareholder Vodafone, one of Europe’s largest telcos with a significant presence across Africa. It comes alongside AST SpaceMobile’s plans to draw up to $51.5 million from an existing debt facility and raise at least $100 million by selling discounted shares.

The capital injection will support AST SpaceMobile’s ambitions to deploy commercial services this year as the venture prepares to start producing spacecraft that would be twice as big as its first five 1,500-kilogram operational BlueBird satellites, known as Block 1 and slated to launch on a dedicated SpaceX Falcon 9 before the end of March.

AST SpaceMobile has said each follow-on Block 2 BlueBird would have 10 times more capacity than a Block 1 satellite to deliver more performance for the low Earth orbit constellation, designed to enable AT&T, Vodafone, and other terrestrial mobile network partners to keep subscribers connected outside cell tower coverage.

Offline Tywin

The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline Overtone

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • Liked: 31
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #139 on: 01/24/2024 09:12 pm »
Some reflections on Supplemental Coverage from Space (SCS), inspired by the way AT&T talked up their (relatively small) investment in AST Spacemobile in that release. 

I've been mystified by the business case for SCS.  As a standalone play, cellular from orbit doesn't make sense. The cost of providing capacity is high, and anywhere there is a decent concentration of users on the ground, someone will put in a cell tower and steal your business. HOWEVER...

Nationwide providers like AT&T spend a lot of money to cover all of rural America.  If SCS works it means they could turn off many of those cell towers - all the costs of deploying and maintaining far-flung towers, electronics, backhaul.   They only have to put out base stations at places where there is positive ROI for that individual site. The savings is significant.  So although SCS is a financial lose by itself, it's very likely a big win if it's part of one of the big three providers.

There's also getting away from all the headaches of roaming agreements with the small operators, and land use agreements with a million different farmers.  The business simplification probably adds up to a lot as well.

From this perspective, I would expect to see a closer and closer alliance between individual SCS providers and individual operators.  The operators have outsourced the (extreme) financial and regulatory risk of creating this new capability by letting the startups get it going.  If coverage from orbit succeeds, the big operators then pony up the cash making the startup founders rich, and while they might not buy one of the startups they will be tightly joined at the hip with one of them. To the point that they can trust they have a long-term partnership enabling them to turn off the money losing cell sites.

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #140 on: 01/24/2024 11:05 pm »
Some reflections on Supplemental Coverage from Space (SCS), inspired by the way AT&T talked up their (relatively small) investment in AST Spacemobile in that release. 

I've been mystified by the business case for SCS.  As a standalone play, cellular from orbit doesn't make sense. The cost of providing capacity is high, and anywhere there is a decent concentration of users on the ground, someone will put in a cell tower and steal your business. HOWEVER...

Nationwide providers like AT&T spend a lot of money to cover all of rural America.  If SCS works it means they could turn off many of those cell towers - all the costs of deploying and maintaining far-flung towers, electronics, backhaul.   They only have to put out base stations at places where there is positive ROI for that individual site. The savings is significant.  So although SCS is a financial lose by itself, it's very likely a big win if it's part of one of the big three providers.

There's also getting away from all the headaches of roaming agreements with the small operators, and land use agreements with a million different farmers.  The business simplification probably adds up to a lot as well.

From this perspective, I would expect to see a closer and closer alliance between individual SCS providers and individual operators.  The operators have outsourced the (extreme) financial and regulatory risk of creating this new capability by letting the startups get it going.  If coverage from orbit succeeds, the big operators then pony up the cash making the startup founders rich, and while they might not buy one of the startups they will be tightly joined at the hip with one of them. To the point that they can trust they have a long-term partnership enabling them to turn off the money losing cell sites.

Getting the aggregate rural demand to fund the constellation from multiple carriers is an interesting business standpoint (where no individual operator could afford a minimum constellation population).

If there's a deliberate rural tower divestment plan, this implies tower operators/leasers in rural areas are gonna have a bad day, as big 5G MNO ops could turn their attention to capitalizing urban areas with more mmWave and high bandwidth basestations since the capitalization requirements for 5G is frighteningly enormous.

Time to short standalone tower operators?

This also has implications for non-US MNO's who have trouble expanding their coverage in geographically diverse areas with poor backhaul too. Island archipelagos and vast land masses (africa, southeast asia) would be able to ride the coattails of this at western MNO expense.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #141 on: 01/25/2024 10:03 am »
The smartphone to satellite business case is larger than you think.

For example, there are a lot of people who have cell coverage at work, but not near their home.

I got into the business while I lived in a place where I could see the cell tower  but I had no cell coverage.

Offline Tywin

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #142 on: 01/25/2024 03:14 pm »
And with this you can use your phone in any country...
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 9162
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #143 on: 01/30/2024 02:55 pm »
And with this you can use your phone in any country...
That's an orthogonal problem.
Today you can take a GSM-standards-based mobile device and it can talk to the mobile network in pretty much any country... but you won't necessarily get service unless you have a service plan in that country. Likewise, if you move the cell mast from a few tens of metres above the surface to 100km above the surface, that does not change the need for a local service contract.

Offline Tywin

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #144 on: 01/30/2024 06:19 pm »
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Liked: 1062
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #145 on: 02/01/2024 11:33 pm »
Very important company coming insine...

https://twitter.com/ASTS_Investors/status/1752101210058846367

Vulture PE homing in on you is not a good look...

Offline Tywin

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #146 on: 02/02/2024 04:52 am »
I don't undestand that phrase?

« Last Edit: 02/02/2024 04:53 am by Tywin »
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Online Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38606
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 31822
  • Likes Given: 7759
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #147 on: 02/02/2024 05:44 am »
PE stands for Private Equity. Vulture PE's take over companies and strip them of their assets.

https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/wealth-management/vulture-capitalist/
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline eeergo

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #148 on: 02/06/2024 09:16 am »
FWIW their stock has hit their all-time low yesterday ($2.70)

-DaviD-

Offline Tywin

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #149 on: 02/06/2024 02:24 pm »
FWIW their stock has hit their all-time low yesterday ($2.70)

They have make an Ampliation of Capital, is normal that the stock go down, but when they launch new Bluewalker, they will recovery...
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Liked: 682
  • Likes Given: 721
Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #150 on: 02/07/2024 02:44 pm »
FWIW their stock has hit their all-time low yesterday ($2.70)

They have make an Ampliation of Capital, is normal that the stock go down, but when they launch new Bluewalker, they will recovery...

What is an ampilation of capital?

Offline Tywin

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #151 on: 02/07/2024 03:00 pm »
New offer of new stocks to raise money with the investors...
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline Tywin

Re: SpaceMobile Constellation (AST & Science)
« Reply #152 on: 02/08/2024 12:33 pm »
Great news...

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240207651001/en
Quote
AST SpaceMobile Announces New Contract Award with United States Government Through Prime Contractor
February 08, 2024 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by everyday smartphones, today announced a new contract award from a prime contractor working with the United States Government.

“We are thrilled to announce this initiative with the United States Government,” said Chris Ivory, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Government Business of AST SpaceMobile. “We believe our patented technology, leveraging our large phased array antenna technology in space, creates opportunities for new mission-critical capabilities in the government sector. We are creating new robust and resilient communications solutions while also facilitating new use cases.”

AST SpaceMobile was awarded a revenue-generating contract to perform certain tasks on the company’s space-based network in low Earth orbit. This initial firm-fixed-priced contract, for an undisclosed amount, will be supported by the company’s BlueWalker 3 satellite in orbit today, as well as its next five commercial satellites. Revenue-generating contracts like this mark a significant milestone in AST SpaceMobile’s growth trajectory and highlight the versatile, dual-use capabilities of its technology.

[zubenelgenubi: It's a press release.  One can quote it in full.]
« Last Edit: 02/08/2024 12:54 pm by zubenelgenubi »
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
0