Author Topic: Starlink v2 mini satellites  (Read 67272 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Starlink v2 mini satellites
« on: 02/26/2023 04:43 pm »
First launch of v2 mini Starlinks tomorrow from the Cape:

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1629898468373192707

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We call them “V2 Mini”. They represent a step forward in Starlink capability

twitter.com/spacex/status/1629898472722776066

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V2 minis include key technologies—such as more powerful phased array antennas and the use of E-band for backhaul—which will allow Starlink to provide ~4x more capacity per satellite than earlier iterations

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1629898475042140160

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This means Starlink can provide more bandwidth with increased reliability and connect millions of more people around the world with high-speed internet → starlink.com/resources

twitter.com/spacex/status/1629898794874687489

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Among other enhancements, V2 minis are equipped with new argon Hall thrusters for on orbit maneuvering

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1629898798968328201

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Developed by SpaceX engineers, they have 2.4x the thrust and 1.5x the specific impulse of our first gen thrusters. This will also be the first time ever that argon Hall thrusters are operated in space
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 04:44 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #1 on: 02/26/2023 04:50 pm »
https://api.starlink.com/public-files/Gen2StarlinkSatellites.pdf

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SECOND GENERATION STARLINK SATELLITES

Since the original license to operate the Starlink Generation 1 network was granted in March 2018, SpaceX has rapidly deployed satellites to bring internet to the hardest to reach places in the United States and abroad. Five years later, SpaceX has launched nearly 4,000 satellites and is providing high-speed internet to more than one million locations around the world, the majority of which are households. Starlink continues to grow rapidly, and SpaceX has raced to keep up with a surging demand for connectivity across the globe, especially in areas where few, if any, options for broadband connections have existed before now.

With the recent authorization of our second-generation network, or "Gen2," SpaceX will provide even faster speeds to more users. This new authorization enables SpaceX to launch additional, much-improved spacecraft with significantly more throughput per satellite than the first-generation systems. For the end consumer, this means more bandwidth and increased reliability. As a result, millions of more people will have access to high-speed internet no matter where they live.


V2 Mini

SpaceX will soon launch a new generation of satellites that are larger and more capable than earlier generations. We call these satellites "V2," and there will be two separate versions of this satellite design: one that is compatible with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, and one that is compatible with the Starship launch vehicle. When we launch V2 satellites on Falcon 9, they won’t be the full-size version that are designed to be launched on Starship. The V2 satellites launched on Falcon 9 are a bit smaller, so we affectionately refer to them as "V2 Mini" satellites. But don’t let the name fool you, a V2 Mini satellite has four times the capacity for serving users compared to its earlier counterparts.
 
Space Sustainability and Safety

As we begin to deploy our Gen2 network, SpaceX will continue to lead the industry in creating a safe and sustainable space environment. SpaceX includes sustainability as a critical design element for its satellite operations, ensuring that no debris remains in space longer than five years, should a satellite become non-maneuverable. SpaceX adheres to, and significantly exceeds, any applicable requirements or industry best practices, and operates with full transparency, even going beyond what is required by U.S. regulations. As we've detailed in a previous update, numerous filings with the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC"), and an "Industry Best Practices" guide, SpaceX’s space safety approach includes many elements that greatly enhance sustainability.

These include:
  • Design and build reliability. SpaceX satellites are designed and built with high reliability, around 99% after the deployment of nearly 4,000 satellites.
  • Operations below 600 km. SpaceX has chosen to operate the vast majority of our satellites at an altitude below 600 km. At these altitudes, objects will decay and reenter due to atmospheric drag within a short period of time in rare off-nominal scenarios, eliminating the risk of persistent orbital debris.
  • Deployment into low-insertion orbit below space stations. At these low altitudes (below 400 km), any SpaceX satellites that do not pass initial system checkouts are quickly deorbited actively, or by atmospheric drag.
  • Radical transparency and data sharing with the U.S. government and other satellite owners/operators to ensure full space situational awareness. SpaceX openly shares high-fidelity future position and velocity prediction data for all SpaceX spacecraft, along with uncertainties on those predictions. In addition, SpaceX is the only operator that provides routine system “health reports” to the FCC.
  • Advanced collision avoidance systems protect SpaceX and other satellites. SpaceX satellites utilize an autonomous collision avoidance system that ensures spacecraft have the most up to date information to mitigate close approaches with tracked objects (including debris and active satellites). SpaceX’s autonomous collision avoidance system has been scrutinized by NASA’s Conjunction Assessment and Risk Analysis (CARA) program, which deemed it sufficiently trustworthy to rely on to avoid collisions with NASA spacecraft.
  • Post-mission disposal. SpaceX satellites are propulsively deorbited within weeks of spacecraft end of mission. This vastly exceeds the international standard of 25 years.
  • Starlink spacecraft are 100% demisable. At end of life, SpaceX satellites are designed to fully demise upon atmospheric reentry, eliminating the risk of falling debris.
  • Best Practices. SpaceX’s approach to space safety relies on extreme transparency in operations, and SpaceX has collaborated with other operators and experts in developing “Industry Best Practices” based on operational lessons learned. SpaceX encourages all operators to implement these best practices to keep space safe and sustainable.

Brightness Mitigations

SpaceX has also prioritized collaboration with astronomers and scientists to mitigate the impact of Starlink satellite streaks on their observations. For our Gen1 network, SpaceX proactively requested two license modifications from the FCC to reflect two different deployment phases to lower the operating altitude of the satellites. These modifications were a crucial mitigation for astronomers and one endorsed by the American Astronomical Society to reduce impacts on astronomy, as well as improve space safety with respect to orbital debris mitigation. More recently, the National Science Foundation and SpaceX announcedan updated coordination agreement to protect astronomy and continue collaboration on mitigation practices.

As we've detailed in an earlier update, SpaceX has proactively collaborated with astronomers and the U.S. government by dedicating engineers and resources to design and deploy mitigations and run experiments to test their efficacy. Initially, for example, SpaceX experimented with a dark paint to absorb sunlight. But when in-space experiments showed this mitigation was less effective than desired, SpaceX pivoted to development of a visor—VisorSat—to block sunlight from hitting the satellite and reflecting back to the Earth. SpaceX also implemented flight configuration changes to minimize the surface area of the spacecraft from which a reflection could result—both highly effective mitigations. SpaceX also started using dielectric mirror film on many surfaces of the satellite, which reflects light away from the ground and leads to less reflectivity.

Since the first use of mirrors on our satellites, we’ve made significant improvements in mirror film technology and its application. We’ve also developed an industry leading space-qualified black paint for angled surfaces or those not conducive to mirror adhesion. SpaceX continues development with additional technologies, including a combination of dielectric mirror film (developed and made by SpaceX), which reflects sunlight away from the Earth, and the SpaceX-developed, low-reflectivity black paint, which reduces lower specular peak by a factor of five compared to the darkest available space stable paint. These improvements are implemented on our V2 satellites. With several years of experience and the ability to design, test, and field mitigation strategies, mitigations were able to be “baked into” the design of the V2 satellites from the start. Additionally, we’ve designed our solar arrays to allow off-pointing to reduce reflections as a satellite approaches the terminator. So, while our V2 Mini satellites are larger than earlier versions, we’re still expecting them to be as dark or darker once the full range of mitigations are implemented and the satellites reach their operational orbit. These V2 Mini satellites may be somewhat bright initially, especially during orbit raising and initial operations

However, we want to emphasize that even though brightness component measurements, ground modeling, and analysis show effective brightness mitigations, we won’t know the full efficacy of our efforts until on-orbit observations are made of the satellites and data is collected and analyzed. What we learn from early observations will help us improve and refine mitigations. These V2 Mini satellites may be somewhat bright initially, but as our track record demonstrates, SpaceX will work tirelessly to refine design/manufacturing/materials and operational mitigations and continue to work with astronomers toward reducing the brightness of our satellites. Critically, we will also share our insights with other operators to protect the shared space domain. To that end, SpaceX will continue to make the dielectric mirror film and dark paint we’ve developed available at cost to other satellite developers and owner/operators.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 05:01 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #2 on: 02/26/2023 05:14 pm »
Stupid question: How many per launch? This has a huge impact on concerns regarding space debris and astronomical impact.

Stack looks to be 20 high but it's not clear if there are multiple satellites in each layer.

Offline Tommyboy

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #3 on: 02/26/2023 05:22 pm »
Stupid question: How many per launch? This has a huge impact on concerns regarding space debris and astronomical impact.

Stack looks to be 20 high but it's not clear if there are multiple satellites in each layer.
SpaceX tweeted 21 per launch:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1629898239066480640?t=mNgtxYvARzRcMzgET8K5rA&s=19
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 05:22 pm by Tommyboy »

Offline ZachF

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #4 on: 02/26/2023 05:33 pm »
21 per launch probably means ~750kg each now for mass.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #5 on: 02/26/2023 05:36 pm »
Argon is a pretty big deal for scalability. Xenon costs around $3000/kg & has limited world supply. Starlink would’ve used all of it & more. Plus, $3000/kg is more than F9’s launch costs and more than Starlink average manufacturing cost. So SpaceX went to Krypton, which is 10 times as plentiful and costs a tenth as much. But $300/kg is still much more than Starship’s long term launch costs, so it makes sense they’re moving to Argon, which is cheaper than $1/kg and much lower than Starship’s launch costs. It also is a plentiful byproduct of producing liquefied oxygen and nitrogen. For every 4000 tons of nitrogen, about 200 tons of Argon can be produced (argon is about 1% of Earth’s atmosphere), so SpaceX can get their own Argon from their own liquefaction process (or easily from Air Liquide or Linde or whatever, instead of as a specialized gas).

It can also be easily produced on Mars, where it’s about 2% of the atmosphere (plus 3% nitrogen, a bit of water vapor, and the rest CO2), so in principle it’s something a Mars city could launch to Earth for revenue.

If SEP propellant is 20% of Starlink’s launch mass, and Starlink is 40,000 satellites 2 tons each replenished every 5 years, that’s 3200 tons of SEP propellant per year. Not sure there’s that much Krypton in the world, and there’s certainly not that much Xenon.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #6 on: 02/26/2023 05:40 pm »
Only like 50-60 tons of Xenon produced per year, and about 800 tons of Neon. (Krypton probably somewhere in between.)

BTW, Ukraine is the largest producer of Xenon, Krypton, and Neon. Producing like 70% of the world’s Neon and 40% of Krypton.

Makes sense Starlink would go right to Argon. Starlink would otherwise use up all the world’s production capacity of heavier noble gases… which also is at war right now.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 05:42 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline ZachF

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #7 on: 02/26/2023 05:44 pm »
Any idea of an ISP range and efficiency for these argon thrusters?

There’s probably SEP tug possibilities down the line with argon being as cheap as it is.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 05:47 pm by ZachF »
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Offline ZachF

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #8 on: 02/26/2023 05:53 pm »
Also “4x more capacity per satellite” probably means 100 gbps per satellite which is pretty impressive… I mean China just a few days ago launched its first 100GBps satellite and that probably weighs multiple times more. One web sats are only like 7 GBps each.

Each launch will now be lofting 2+ TBps of bandwidth per launch.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 05:57 pm by ZachF »
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Offline Tywin

Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #9 on: 02/26/2023 05:58 pm »
Any idea of an ISP range and efficiency for these argon thrusters?

There’s probably SEP tug possibilities down the line with argon being as cheap as it is.


That is my idea here:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=53526.msg2461439#new
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Offline Tywin

Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #10 on: 02/26/2023 06:01 pm »
21 per launch probably means ~750kg each now for mass.

IF the mini have a mass of 750kg, how much could be the normal V2 satellite?

Maybe as big as the BlueWalker 3?
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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #11 on: 02/26/2023 06:13 pm »
Argon is a pretty big deal for scalability.

Also SpaceX likely to be saving millions of dollars per launch just from switching to Argon.

twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1629914293960597505

Quote
Vertical integration.  Part of the reason I have been so bearish on startups that JUST wanted to do a thruster (however novel) and license/sell it.  To optimize the end product its hard to just stitch a system together.

https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1629916604753661952

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And since SpaceX doesn't license or sell its components, startups will be born (in stealth) as soon as this week to work on Argon thrusters now that one has been seen in the wild as incorporated into a fleet.  Everyone will want one.


Offline ZachF

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #12 on: 02/26/2023 06:17 pm »
Argon is a pretty big deal for scalability.

Also SpaceX likely to be saving millions of dollars per launch just from switching to Argon.
[/quote]

If 20% of a ~16t Starlink launch mass is krypton and it’s about $300/kg as robotbeat says, that’s about $1m in savings per launch on just krypton.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 06:21 pm by ZachF »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #13 on: 02/26/2023 06:26 pm »
Maybe not millions, but possibly a million. As I showed above.
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #14 on: 02/26/2023 06:41 pm »
Stupid question: How many per launch? This has a huge impact on concerns regarding space debris and astronomical impact.

Stack looks to be 20 high but it's not clear if there are multiple satellites in each layer.
SpaceX tweeted 21 per launch:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1629898239066480640?t=mNgtxYvARzRcMzgET8K5rA&s=19
There is one sat per layer. The PLF volume wise can support 30 sats but mass wise will be around 20 depending upon factors such as launch site, launch azimuth and targeted inclination and seasonal weather.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 06:42 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline Tomness

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #15 on: 02/26/2023 06:42 pm »
Stupid question: How many per launch? This has a huge impact on concerns regarding space debris and astronomical impact.

Stack looks to be 20 high but it's not clear if there are multiple satellites in each layer.
SpaceX tweeted 21 per launch:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1629898239066480640?t=mNgtxYvARzRcMzgET8K5rA&s=19
The PLF volume wise can support 30 sats but mass wise will be around 20 depending upon factors such as launch site, launch azimuth and targeted inclination and seasonal weather.

They might upgrade to Extended Fairing with Recovery.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #16 on: 02/26/2023 06:46 pm »
A savings of ~$48,000 per V2 Mini sat. Or on the full size V2 a probable $90,000 to $100,000 per sat. Note on the 7,500 sats in this first phase of deployments a likely cost savings of up to $675M.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #17 on: 02/26/2023 06:47 pm »
Stupid question: How many per launch? This has a huge impact on concerns regarding space debris and astronomical impact.

Stack looks to be 20 high but it's not clear if there are multiple satellites in each layer.
SpaceX tweeted 21 per launch:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1629898239066480640?t=mNgtxYvARzRcMzgET8K5rA&s=19
The PLF volume wise can support 30 sats but mass wise will be around 20 depending upon factors such as launch site, launch azimuth and targeted inclination and seasonal weather.

They might upgrade to Extended Fairing with Recovery.
That would necessitate using Falcon Heavy as the combined payload stacks' wet mass is the constraint not the fairing. The stack is 9 minis short of the of the v1.0 stack height which was two parallel stacks of 30 totalling 60.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2023 06:48 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline Tomness

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #18 on: 02/26/2023 07:34 pm »
Stupid question: How many per launch? This has a huge impact on concerns regarding space debris and astronomical impact.

Stack looks to be 20 high but it's not clear if there are multiple satellites in each layer.
SpaceX tweeted 21 per launch:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1629898239066480640?t=mNgtxYvARzRcMzgET8K5rA&s=19
The PLF volume wise can support 30 sats but mass wise will be around 20 depending upon factors such as launch site, launch azimuth and targeted inclination and seasonal weather.

They might upgrade to Extended Fairing with Recovery.
That would necessitate using Falcon Heavy as the combined payload stacks' wet mass is the constraint not the fairing. The stack is 9 minis short of the of the v1.0 stack height which was two parallel stacks of 30 totalling 60.

FH every month until Starship is launching would be wild.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Starlink v2 mini satellites
« Reply #19 on: 02/26/2023 08:03 pm »
We knew the v2 full sized satellites will have 4x the bandwidth of the v1.5 satellites. Guess I am a little surprised that v2 mini's have 4x the bandwidth.  Guess it makes sense,  other than the antennas which are half the size,  everything else in the payload is the same.  Smaller antennas just means they don't have the sensitivity and beam forming capabilities of their larger brothers.

Can not wait to see them in orbit... or not see them if the new coatings work.
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