Author Topic: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing  (Read 60164 times)

Online gongora

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Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« on: 01/21/2020 11:41 pm »
For links to other Starlink discussion threads, launch threads, and FCC filings take a look at the Starlink Index Thread


Discussion of Starlink hardware (satellite, gateway and user terminal)

Offline Tulse

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #1 on: 01/22/2020 08:37 pm »
What is the current information on when we might see a version of the hardware with laser interlinks?

Online gongora

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #2 on: 01/22/2020 08:39 pm »
What is the current information on when we might see a version of the hardware with laser interlinks?

Late 2020 (if they don't get delayed again.)

Offline Roy_H

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #3 on: 01/26/2020 01:13 am »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?
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Online gongora

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #4 on: 01/26/2020 01:19 am »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?

Mature technology?  Please name a few satellites currently using laser inter-satellite relays.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #5 on: 01/26/2020 01:28 am »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?

Mature technology?  Please name a few satellites currently using laser inter-satellite relays.
I'd bet the software is 90% of the work. I'd think something mesh based, but knowing these guys, they're liable to be starting from scratch.
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Online ulm_atms

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #6 on: 01/26/2020 01:31 am »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?

Can you tell me where they are in use currently?  I was under the impression that RF-Interlinks were mature, but lasers are cutting edge in this application.  I know of no setup where you have hundreds of objects flying at 27.5Km/hr all trying to focus lasers at each other and transmit data.  P2P lasers are available commercially..but they sure ain't the smallest or lightest thing...that's for sure.

Offline Eka

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #7 on: 01/26/2020 08:36 pm »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?

Can you tell me where they are in use currently?  I was under the impression that RF-Interlinks were mature, but lasers are cutting edge in this application.  I know of no setup where you have hundreds of objects flying at 27.5Km/hr all trying to focus lasers at each other and transmit data.  P2P lasers are available commercially..but they sure ain't the smallest or lightest thing...that's for sure.
It can be done. I can see how to do it. I don't have the time to detail how. It's rather involved when the platform is light weight.

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Offline Eka

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #8 on: 01/27/2020 01:29 am »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?

Can you tell me where they are in use currently?  I was under the impression that RF-Interlinks were mature, but lasers are cutting edge in this application.  I know of no setup where you have hundreds of objects flying at 27.5Km/hr all trying to focus lasers at each other and transmit data.  P2P lasers are available commercially..but they sure ain't the smallest or lightest thing...that's for sure.
It can be done. I can see how to do it. I don't have the time to detail how. It's rather involved when the platform is light weight.
As I was sitting here specifying the requirements for a fast slew pan tilt telescope style system, I figured out a method that is massively better, and has no moving parts that require repeated flexing of flexible couplings for power or signals, and the remaining moving parts are much much lighter. It also incorporates a system that allows slop in assembly, and deployment alignment, yet still provides high accuracy fine tuned aiming to lock onto the other satellite. Also, the only flex electrical coupling only flexes at deployment. It's a bit complex for a text description.
We talk about creating a Star Trek future, but will end up with The Expanse if radical change doesn't happen.

Online gongora

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #9 on: 01/27/2020 02:38 am »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?

Can you tell me where they are in use currently?  I was under the impression that RF-Interlinks were mature, but lasers are cutting edge in this application.  I know of no setup where you have hundreds of objects flying at 27.5Km/hr all trying to focus lasers at each other and transmit data.  P2P lasers are available commercially..but they sure ain't the smallest or lightest thing...that's for sure.
It can be done. I can see how to do it. I don't have the time to detail how. It's rather involved when the platform is light weight.
As I was sitting here specifying the requirements for a fast slew pan tilt telescope style system, I figured out a method that is massively better, and has no moving parts that require repeated flexing of flexible couplings for power or signals, and the remaining moving parts are much much lighter. It also incorporates a system that allows slop in assembly, and deployment alignment, yet still provides high accuracy fine tuned aiming to lock onto the other satellite. Also, the only flex electrical coupling only flexes at deployment. It's a bit complex for a text description.

Does this actually have anything to do with Starlink?  Maybe we need another thread for ISL designs/speculation.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #10 on: 01/30/2020 12:49 pm »
I am under the impression that laser inter-satellite communication is a relatively mature technology. I.E. already commercially available. The only challenge is to make the mirrors out of something that will burn up on re-entry. Is making that kind of mirror really a major challenge, or is there some other reason for the delay?

Mature technology?  Please name a few satellites currently using laser inter-satellite relays.
EDRS and the Sentinel EO use it.

Offline dondar

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #11 on: 01/30/2020 01:05 pm »
beside SpaceDataGateway (EDRS +sentinels) lasercom is used by ICEYE sats.

The thing is laser communications are good as relay stations only if you have enough sats close enough to make relay when needed and not when possible. you need something like Starlink constellation....

Online gongora

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #12 on: 01/30/2020 03:37 pm »
beside SpaceDataGateway (EDRS +sentinels) lasercom is used by ICEYE sats.

The thing is laser communications are good as relay stations only if you have enough sats close enough to make relay when needed and not when possible. you need something like Starlink constellation....

A test sat that included an ICEYE payload also was testing a laser downlink payload (doesn't seem to be ISL) from Bridgesat.  Do any other ICEYE sats have optical communications?

Offline Kansan52

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #13 on: 01/30/2020 03:48 pm »
Mylar mirror. Might not burn up but it may flutter down.

Offline PADave

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #14 on: 01/31/2020 07:41 pm »
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5680175

Quote
Optical inter-satellite communication based on TESAT Laser Communication Terminals (LCT's) is operational by now on LEO satellites for more than two years. The LCT's demonstrate their performance in LEO-LEO inter-satellite links (ISL)

Offline dondar

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #15 on: 02/01/2020 11:49 am »
beside SpaceDataGateway (EDRS +sentinels) lasercom is used by ICEYE sats.

The thing is laser communications are good as relay stations only if you have enough sats close enough to make relay when needed and not when possible. you need something like Starlink constellation....

A test sat that included an ICEYE payload also was testing a laser downlink payload (doesn't seem to be ISL) from Bridgesat.  Do any other ICEYE sats have optical communications?
No, in it's current form  laser communication sets don't offer conclusive improvements over existing radio down-link variant. They don't offer it as a feature quite yet.
 (As far as I heard all existing and prospect clients ICEYE clients have  sat communication installations).

 But the test was successful and they plan to use it in the subsequent designs. I believe an article describing some details is in the final processing.

Offline dondar

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #16 on: 02/01/2020 11:59 am »
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5680175

Quote
Optical inter-satellite communication based on TESAT Laser Communication Terminals (LCT's) is operational by now on LEO satellites for more than two years. The LCT's demonstrate their performance in LEO-LEO inter-satellite links (ISL)
You have forgotten to put a date :D.
TerraSAR-X was launched 2007 and was linked with NFIRE (which was launched in april 2007). They were linked a couple of months later after initial shake-off. these two years were full 2008 till 2010.

Offline Tulse

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #17 on: 02/03/2020 02:38 pm »
Telesats constellation will also use laser interlinks, but I haven't heard much about the state of their technology.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #18 on: 02/15/2020 08:05 am »
twitter.com/inzilya777/status/1228589762799378433

Quote
I keep wanting to ask, but I forget. How does the starlink test satellite designed to reduce the albedo feel (did I understand correctly that it has a matte surface?)

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1228598015247536129

Quote
🛰 albedo will drop significantly on almost every successive launch

twitter.com/flcnhvy/status/1228601785364905984

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When are you going to add laser links for comms? Is that even necessary for starting to offer service later this year?

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1228604628750626816

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Direct links arenít needed to offer service. Starlink will initially bounce signals off ground/ocean relays to get from 🛰 to 🛰.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2020 01:17 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FlattestEarth

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Re: Starlink : Hardware Design / Manufacturing
« Reply #19 on: 02/15/2020 12:06 pm »
No comment on lasers suggests it won't be production ready anytime soon, especially if they are going to build ocean relays.

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