Author Topic: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 1  (Read 1222869 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #120 on: 01/17/2015 03:36 am »
SpaceX is competing with Wyler/Oneweb, VG on an identical system. But EM wants a more ambitious system. OneWeb has spectrum already.

10 billion dollars. Ouch.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2015-01-17/elon-musk-and-spacex-plan-a-space-internet#p2

Might be a bridge too far, IMO.

Qualcomm is also an investor with Virgin on OneWeb.  Qualcomm has experience in the satellite communications business from Globalstar, which they were partners with when it started up in the 90's.  Globalstar didn't work out, as cell phone networks grew too fast, so it will be interesting to see what they see in OneWeb.

I wonder if they got the spectrum for OneWeb from Qualcomm?  And where is Musk going to get spectrum from?

Funny how they announced so close together, but it would be odd for Musk to not have known about possible spectrum issues, so maybe he's not targeting the same end user OneWeb is?
Globalstar went bankrupt, but the constellation is still up and a new company formed in 2006 which runs it. In that sense, it did indeed work out, just took longer than investors and creditors may have hoped.
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 TrevorMonty

Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #121 on: 01/17/2015 03:41 am »
Will these be launched from Vandenberg?. There was talk a year ago about a lot of launches from here.

Wonder where Google stand in all this?. They've not with Oneweb anymore. If they partner with Elon then funding shouldn't be a problem.

As for launching OneWeb satellites, Spacex is still cheapest LV provider and likely to get cheaper.
« Last Edit: 01/17/2015 03:44 am by TrevorMonty »

Offline AJW

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #122 on: 01/17/2015 04:08 am »
Could Musk be counting on picking up WorldVu's Ku spectrum rights that expire in 2019 if they can't get a system operational?   Even if WorldVu raises $3 Billion, maybe they can move pretty far on design and engineering, but launching 650 sats will eat through that cash after just a handful of launches.
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Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #123 on: 01/17/2015 05:13 am »
SpaceX also has the advantage of being privately held (and, as a growing company, probably has access to plenty of capital if they need it) whereas Iridium had to put on a whole bunch of debt in order to build out their network. It took a really long time for Iridium to get enough subscribers (they needed 600,000 to pay for everything including debt but had only about 55,000 at time of bankruptcy), although now Iridium has I think over 750,000.
Also the way it would be structured would likely be with much of the spending happening late in the project. They'd want to keep the cash burn rate low while they're designing the basic pieces like the hall thrusters.

Offline meekGee

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #124 on: 01/17/2015 05:24 am »
How is worldVu going to launch competitively?  Will SpaceX sell them launches?

The demand for global internet coverage is obvious, and is only increasing.  You can't supply that with a handful of satellites, and you don't build an entire factory just to make 700 of them.  But with 4000, even if they live 5 years, you need to make 800 satellites each and every year.  Now we're talking.

Some folks whine about how "there isn't a market" or "the market is not elastic", and then others go and make it happen.

Oh, and a company I like might do good business with these:
http://www.tethers.com/tt.html



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Offline ggr

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #125 on: 01/17/2015 05:42 am »
I don't think Musk is being outrageous. Iridium's satellites cost (in real terms, today's money) about $7-8 million each with a mass of 700kg, and less than 100 have been produced. $10 billion for 4000 satellites works out to $2 million (only $500,000 for launch, assuming near today's Falcon Heavy prices or some improvement), which is not an unreasonable cost reduction if you assume they have about half the mass and you're making at very least 40 times as many of them (allowing you to invest in a more automated production line), leveraging in-house existing experience. Iridium also took about 5 years to build from when Motorola started work in 1993 to 1998 when the constellation was operational. And given that SpaceX will have the world's first (at least partial) RLV family (and a large one at that) by the time the constellation is filled out, they will have access to much, much lower launch costs than Iridium did.

I don't have figures to hand, and it's too late in the evening for me to search for them, but Iridium satellites are HUGE! I'd believe 700kg for Globalstar satellites though.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #126 on: 01/17/2015 05:47 am »
I already looked up the figures.
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 meekGee

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #127 on: 01/17/2015 05:53 am »
From Twitter @malderi
Quote
Normal satellites, big, huge testing, very important. But with large constellation, can afford to have some not work.

We had long arguments about that in this forum in the past.  (How rapid launch of a large number of satellites is "impossible" since you need a checkout campaign before you launch each one.)   Glad to see they've put this issue front and center.  Duds in orbit are allowed.
« Last Edit: 01/17/2015 05:55 am by meekGee »
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Offline Port

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #128 on: 01/17/2015 06:23 am »
just wanted to note, that with a distance related latency of just ~50ms@750km orbit this could really replace optical lines - even for latency-dependant things like onlinegames and such (which are okay even at about 75ms or so imho)

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #129 on: 01/17/2015 06:51 am »
Also twitter from @malderi

"Musk: Have to pay attention to security. Bad if hacked, either by AI or people."
    - very important IMO, this would get round state censorship, so attack by states possible.

"Musk: biggest concern about success: important to assume that competitors get better, too. Teledesic didn't."
 - it will be interesting to see how they build a system that can be expanded to more bandwidth and increased capabilities. This is one of the biggest system design problems IMO, get it wrong and the system is doomed in the long term.

"Musk: Hopeful that we can structure this to work with different countries. Don't want China shooting out our satellites."
 - setting up a global sales network will take time, need financing and other options that are sensitive to local circumstances.

"Musk: Plan on using Hall thrusters. Easy to make, no real production difficulty. Doesn't make sense to outsource."
- good choice.

"Musk: Cheaper to have a bunch of PCs on racks than a few mainframes, this is the same idea."
- distributed aspect more similar to PCs on desks

"Musk: Don't see bandwidth as difficult issue. Space to ground has plenty of usable spectrum."
- doesn't explain how he expects to get permission to use that spectrum

"Musk: Going to cost a lot to build. Ten or fifteen billion dollars, or more. But revenues fund city on Mars."
- SpaceX does not have the resources to fund this internally
- Such a high investment, with significant chance of failure risks taking down SpaceX as well.

"Musk: Smaller satellites, few hundred kg, but capability of much larger satellites."
- my guess is optimum size is somewhere in 300-600 kg range, driven mainly by antenna size.

"Musk: (timeline?) In the past, I've been optimistic on schedule. Recalibrating. Envision version 1 in about 5 years."
- my translation - I'm aiming for 3 years, but I've been optimistic
- planning on multiple versions from the start

"Musk: Talking about around 4000 satellites. 4025 exactly in current design."
- that is probably 100s of launches, maybe 50/year.

"Musk: Talking mostly around 1100km level. Space debris not much of a problem there."
- with that number of satellites, they will have to take great care to dispose of them at end of life.

"Musk: 20-30ms latency everywhere on earth. Expand tech to Mars, not much fiber there yet."
- a unique selling point, lower latency for long distances than earth bound networks

"Musk: Developing world, but also options for people stuck with comcast."
- big problem in developing world is that it needs to be very cheap both in cost of equipment and charges. Larger antennae on satellites mean smaller cheaper ground stations.
- significant numbers in developed world have poor internet speeds and few prospects of significant improvement, not enough of a market on its own but still maybe $1B/year.

"Musk: More than half of global long haul comm over this system."
- this is a biggie, global long haul market is massive. Competes directly with GEO telecom sats.

"Musk: Long term, rebuilding Internet in space. 10% of local business traffic."
- another biggie, business traffic is concentrated in a far smaller number of customers than consumer, but generally needs higher quality of service and grade of service guarantees.

"Musk: Start by developing our own constellation. Comm, earth science, space science. Focus is global comm system."
- looks like long term they plan for more than just this initial 4025 satellite global internet system.

Offline Halidon

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #130 on: 01/17/2015 07:10 am »
Dragon in Seattle. Couldn't sneak in :(
Hey I was there too, hanging over the railing.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #131 on: 01/17/2015 07:55 am »
How is worldVu going to launch competitively?  Will SpaceX sell them launches?

The demand for global internet coverage is obvious, and is only increasing.  You can't supply that with a handful of satellites, and you don't build an entire factory just to make 700 of them.  But with 4000, even if they live 5 years, you need to make 800 satellites each and every year.  Now we're talking.

Some folks whine about how "there isn't a market" or "the market is not elastic", and then others go and make it happen.

Oh, and a company I like might do good business with these:
http://www.tethers.com/tt.html
Still need something to deorbit dead satellites ie don' t deploy this tape. I can see a market for a fleet of cubesats that can attach themselves to dead satellites and deploy this deorbit tape.

Offline Port

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #132 on: 01/17/2015 08:36 am »

"Musk: Talking mostly around 1100km level. Space debris not much of a problem there."
- with that number of satellites, they will have to take great care to dispose of them at end of life.

"Musk: 20-30ms latency everywhere on earth. Expand tech to Mars, not much fiber there yet."
- a unique selling point, lower latency for long distances than earth bound networks


i dont see how this add's up, 1100km/c is not 20-30ms ONE-WAY
(it's 36,69ms for up and again for down, add transmission between the satalites..)
« Last Edit: 01/17/2015 08:40 am by Port »

Offline Barrie

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #133 on: 01/17/2015 09:18 am »

"Musk: Talking mostly around 1100km level. Space debris not much of a problem there."
- with that number of satellites, they will have to take great care to dispose of them at end of life.

"Musk: 20-30ms latency everywhere on earth. Expand tech to Mars, not much fiber there yet."
- a unique selling point, lower latency for long distances than earth bound networks


i dont see how this add's up, 1100km/c is not 20-30ms ONE-WAY
(it's 36,69ms for up and again for down, add transmission between the satalites..)
I make it 3.37ms, so one of us has got the decimal point in the wrong place

Offline hrissan

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #134 on: 01/17/2015 09:20 am »

"Musk: Talking mostly around 1100km level. Space debris not much of a problem there."
- with that number of satellites, they will have to take great care to dispose of them at end of life.

"Musk: 20-30ms latency everywhere on earth. Expand tech to Mars, not much fiber there yet."
- a unique selling point, lower latency for long distances than earth bound networks


i dont see how this add's up, 1100km/c is not 20-30ms ONE-WAY
(it's 36,69ms for up and again for down, add transmission between the satalites..)
I calculated that 1100km altitude, so speed of light up and down is just 7ms, but around-the globe path of 20000+km is indeed ~80ms, but that cannot be better with a cable (cable also goes around the globe at about the same altitude, 6400 vs 7500).

Satellites may offer more direct channel than existing ocean cables, so could be even faster, than cable (unless you wire your cable right through the center of the Earth :)).

Offline rklaehn

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #135 on: 01/17/2015 09:39 am »

"Musk: Talking mostly around 1100km level. Space debris not much of a problem there."
- with that number of satellites, they will have to take great care to dispose of them at end of life.

"Musk: 20-30ms latency everywhere on earth. Expand tech to Mars, not much fiber there yet."
- a unique selling point, lower latency for long distances than earth bound networks


i dont see how this add's up, 1100km/c is not 20-30ms ONE-WAY
(it's 36,69ms for up and again for down, add transmission between the satalites..)
I calculated that 1100km altitude, so speed of light up and down is just 7ms, but around-the globe path of 20000+km is indeed ~80ms, but that cannot be better with a cable (cable also goes around the globe at about the same altitude, 6400 vs 7500).

Satellites may offer more direct channel than existing ocean cables, so could be even faster, than cable (unless you wire your cable right through the center of the Earth :)).

For long distances, this will definitely be better than fiber. The speed of light in fiber optic cables is just 2/3 of the vacuum value, and as you say fiber optic cables often don't go the direct route.

There are also large bottlenecks in the earth fiber network. E.g.: a lot of traffic from europe to asia goes through egypt.

Offline Port

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #136 on: 01/17/2015 10:33 am »
yeah i got the decimal point wrong, so its 3,669ms or 3,7ms (used the correct value vor c not approximated :P)

also the longest distance possible is half-way around the globe or was that implied by the term "arround the globe"?

Offline mfck

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #137 on: 01/17/2015 10:58 am »
It does smell like a Google moonshot. I wonder if Project Loon is only an initial R&D phase for this.

 Relocation of the backbone to LEO is a naughty idea which potentially threatens to deprive governments of any control of information their population consumes or produces

Scary shit, ladies and gentlemen.

Remembering the recent involvement ($10M) of Musk in Beneficial AI research and Google involvement in AGI... Are they preparing the stage for the arrival of our Saviour the Digital Overlord?

"Don't be evil"

Offline pospa

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #138 on: 01/17/2015 12:32 pm »
Pictures and few comments from the event in Seattle center on Friday.
http://www.geekwire.com/2015/photos-spacex-founder-elon-musk-unveils-new-10b-space-internet-plan-private-seattle-event/

I like this one:
« Last Edit: 01/17/2015 12:33 pm by pospa »

Offline pospa

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #139 on: 01/17/2015 12:36 pm »
SpX new office is located in Redmond a few minutes down the highway from Microsoft’s Xbox campus and the Nintendo of America headquarters, and in the midst of numerous video-game startups. They are seeking permits to make extensive renovations of that building.
http://www.geekwire.com/2015/spacexs-new-seattle-area-office-redmond-elon-musk-visit-region-week/

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