Author Topic: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)  (Read 697760 times)

Offline DistantTemple

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2580 on: 03/11/2019 10:21 pm »
once they have a design to run with.... it doesn't look hard to ramp up production.... we're not talking 5000 per week here!!! But with many hundreds to make setting up a "production line" and quality control procedures properly will will be essential.... I bet there is a drive to keep the cost down and to keep them as simple as possible. - and designed for manufacture...
We can always grow new new dendrites. Reach out and make connections and your world will burst with new insights. Then repose in consciousness.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2581 on: 03/12/2019 05:05 pm »
The hardware is not the most significant development cost and risk on the satellite design. It is software with only one hardware element running a close second, the phased array. Most of the hardware SpaceX has built similar and flown before. The exception is the propulsion. Even the GNC software for orbit station keeping is a mature product. They would probably use a version similar to that used on D2. The maturity of the GNC software and hardware represents a low risk. It is comm primary subsystems and software that may go through updates. Hopefully the computer hardware is over capable to allow for software growth.

Offline AC in NC

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2582 on: 03/12/2019 05:44 pm »
It is software with only one hardware element running a close second, the phased array.

I recall Greg Wyler being pretty proud of his self-funded side-project's Phased Array prototype.

Can you share any insight as to whether I'm inferring too much from that article?  It had me a bit worried that Starlink may run into problems replicating without running afoul on patents.


edit:  Typos.
« Last Edit: 03/12/2019 09:08 pm by AC in NC »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2583 on: 03/12/2019 07:23 pm »
It is software with only one hardware element running a close second, the phased array.

I recall Greg Wyler being pretty proud of his self-funded side-projects Phased Array prototype.

Can you share any insight as to whether I'm inferring too much from that article?  It had me a bit worried that Starlink my run into problems replicating without running afoul on patents.
The side project is for the ground units to provided cheap and mass reproducible units in the 100s of thousands per year. There is not much likelihood of SpaceX infringing on patents with its in space phased arrays. These will have at best just a few 100s per year.

Online guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2584 on: 03/12/2019 08:33 pm »
It is software with only one hardware element running a close second, the phased array.

I recall Greg Wyler being pretty proud of his self-funded side-projects Phased Array prototype.

Can you share any insight as to whether I'm inferring too much from that article?  It had me a bit worried that Starlink my run into problems replicating without running afoul on patents.
The side project is for the ground units to provided cheap and mass reproducible units in the 100s of thousands per year. There is not much likelihood of SpaceX infringing on patents with its in space phased arrays. These will have at best just a few 100s per year.

SpaceX will need cheap phased array antennas for their end customer terminals too. I am sure they have been working on them for a while. If One Web patents will be an obstacle I don't know.

Edit: They may need 800 sats a year with 4 phased array antennas. That's 3200 a year. Not the same class as ground terminals, true.
« Last Edit: 03/12/2019 08:35 pm by guckyfan »

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2585 on: 03/14/2019 04:03 am »
Been waiting for this one...

Quote
Due to SpaceX’s decision to minimize risk by using the low injection altitude of 350 km, in the unlikely event any satellites after the initial launch experience immediate failure upon deployment, they would decay to the point of demise very quickly – as little as two weeks to at most eight months depending on the solar cycle.
...
As discussed in its application, SpaceX plans to deploy two versions of its initial satellites with configurations that include a slightly different set of components. The first version, comprising fewer than 75 satellites, will include an iron thruster and steel reaction wheels on each satellite. As a result of its continuing efforts to attain full demisability, SpaceX now expects to replace the thruster and reaction wheel components in subsequent satellites to use components that will demise fully in the atmosphere. SpaceX no longer intends to deploy any satellites that include the silicon carbide component originally contemplated.

Changing the construction of the inter-satellite laser components?  It's hard to imagine them getting rid of interconnects altogether.

Online Semmel

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2586 on: 03/14/2019 08:52 am »
Been waiting for this one...

Quote
Due to SpaceX’s decision to minimize risk by using the low injection altitude of 350 km, in the unlikely event any satellites after the initial launch experience immediate failure upon deployment, they would decay to the point of demise very quickly – as little as two weeks to at most eight months depending on the solar cycle.
...
As discussed in its application, SpaceX plans to deploy two versions of its initial satellites with configurations that include a slightly different set of components. The first version, comprising fewer than 75 satellites, will include an iron thruster and steel reaction wheels on each satellite. As a result of its continuing efforts to attain full demisability, SpaceX now expects to replace the thruster and reaction wheel components in subsequent satellites to use components that will demise fully in the atmosphere. SpaceX no longer intends to deploy any satellites that include the silicon carbide component originally contemplated.

Changing the construction of the inter-satellite laser components?  It's hard to imagine them getting rid of interconnects altogether.

Ok, whats an "iron thruster"? Do they mean "ion thruster"? Also, how do they want to get rid of reaction wheels in the future, micro-thrusters?

Online eriblo

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2587 on: 03/14/2019 10:56 am »
Been waiting for this one...

Quote
Due to SpaceX’s decision to minimize risk by using the low injection altitude of 350 km, in the unlikely event any satellites after the initial launch experience immediate failure upon deployment, they would decay to the point of demise very quickly – as little as two weeks to at most eight months depending on the solar cycle.
...
As discussed in its application, SpaceX plans to deploy two versions of its initial satellites with configurations that include a slightly different set of components. The first version, comprising fewer than 75 satellites, will include an iron thruster and steel reaction wheels on each satellite. As a result of its continuing efforts to attain full demisability, SpaceX now expects to replace the thruster and reaction wheel components in subsequent satellites to use components that will demise fully in the atmosphere. SpaceX no longer intends to deploy any satellites that include the silicon carbide component originally contemplated.

Changing the construction of the inter-satellite laser components?  It's hard to imagine them getting rid of interconnects altogether.

Ok, whats an "iron thruster"? Do they mean "ion thruster"? Also, how do they want to get rid of reaction wheels in the future, micro-thrusters?
I believe most Hall-effect thruster designs use fairly hefty iron components to complete the magnetic circuit. Think standard electromagnet or transformer core. If you read on to the part I underlined above they do not state that they will get rid of the thrusters or the reaction wheels completely (although that would be a solution), but they will replace specific components. This is also why I (like gongora) still have some hope for inter-satellite laser links, we only know about laser system components  if they have a potential to reach the ground as they do not need any frequency allocations.

For a large constellation of low thrust and relatively short life time satellites like Starlink there is a much larger incentive to redesign standard components such as thrusters, mirrors and reaction wheels to disintegrate completely on reentry.

Online jpo234

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2588 on: 03/14/2019 02:16 pm »
Former SpaceX Starlink exec joins German lasercomm startup

Quote
Altan said his move to Mynaric doesn’t indicate any business relationship between SpaceX and Mynaric, but that he hopes to facilitate one.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline ThomasGadd

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2589 on: 03/14/2019 06:56 pm »
Been waiting for this one...

Quote
Due to SpaceX’s decision to minimize risk by using the low injection altitude of 350 km, in the unlikely event any satellites after the initial launch experience immediate failure upon deployment, they would decay to the point of demise very quickly – as little as two weeks to at most eight months depending on the solar cycle.
...
As discussed in its application, SpaceX plans to deploy two versions of its initial satellites with configurations that include a slightly different set of components. The first version, comprising fewer than 75 satellites, will include an iron thruster and steel reaction wheels on each satellite. As a result of its continuing efforts to attain full demisability, SpaceX now expects to replace the thruster and reaction wheel components in subsequent satellites to use components that will demise fully in the atmosphere. SpaceX no longer intends to deploy any satellites that include the silicon carbide component originally contemplated.

Changing the construction of the inter-satellite laser components?  It's hard to imagine them getting rid of interconnects altogether.

Ok, whats an "iron thruster"? Do they mean "ion thruster"? Also, how do they want to get rid of reaction wheels in the future, micro-thrusters?
I believe most Hall-effect thruster designs use fairly hefty iron components to complete the magnetic circuit. Think standard electromagnet or transformer core. If you read on to the part I underlined above they do not state that they will get rid of the thrusters or the reaction wheels completely (although that would be a solution), but they will replace specific components. This is also why I (like gongora) still have some hope for inter-satellite laser links, we only know about laser system components  if they have a potential to reach the ground as they do not need any frequency allocations.

For a large constellation of low thrust and relatively short life time satellites like Starlink there is a much larger incentive to redesign standard components such as thrusters, mirrors and reaction wheels to disintegrate completely on reentry.

The  silicon carbide is for the lens's right?  Are there other materials they could for the laser's? 

Online Semmel

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2590 on: 03/14/2019 08:29 pm »
The  silicon carbide is for the lens's right?  Are there other materials they could for the laser's?

Silicon Carbide is a good mirror material because it has a very low expansion coefficient and is mechanically very stable. Its used in space telescopes for exactly these reasons. However, for laser link communication, I cant imagine that this kind of high precision is necessary. A regular glass mirror would probably do.

Offline Asteroza

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2591 on: 03/15/2019 01:03 am »
The  silicon carbide is for the lens's right?  Are there other materials they could for the laser's?

Silicon Carbide is a good mirror material because it has a very low expansion coefficient and is mechanically very stable. Its used in space telescopes for exactly these reasons. However, for laser link communication, I cant imagine that this kind of high precision is necessary. A regular glass mirror would probably do.

The SiC mirror/telescope/beam director structure is for launch vibration survivability probably, versus glass mirrors...

Offline IainMcClatchie

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2592 on: 03/15/2019 08:39 pm »
Silicon Carbide is actually a bit of an odd choice for a space mirror.

Thermally, it's very good because it's conductive.  Basically it's poor man's Beryllium.
   CTE 4 ppm/K
   Conductivity 120 W/m-K
   Thermal capacity 0.75 J/g-K

Here's the equivalent numbers for Zerodur (glass-ceramic):
   CTE 0.1 to 0.02 ppm/K
   Conductivity 1.63 W/m-K
   Thermal capacity 0.9 J/g-K

So a Zerodur mirror will take 88 times as long to get into thermal equilibrium when it does something like switching from daylight to night, but it'll warp 200 times less than SiC.  This is why Zerodur was invented for and is used in lots of telescope mirrors.

If they want to switch to Zerodur to avoid reentry debris, they can get it done with proper baffling around the mirror to keep sunlight off it.

Offline gosnold

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2593 on: 03/16/2019 10:31 am »
Silicon Carbide is actually a bit of an odd choice for a space mirror.

Airbus uses it for all of its mirrors and supporting structures.

Offline AC in NC

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2594 on: 03/16/2019 04:30 pm »
SpaceX raising $500 million, pushing valuation to $30.5 billion:

Report Posted by PCN Staff Writer on March 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm

https://parkercitynews.com/spacex-raising-500-million-pushing-valuation-to-30-5-billion-report/250550/

This "outlet" appears to be one of those "click-bait"-ish sites just trying to manufacture an audience.  Topic (aside from being chock full of incomplete sentences seems to be a rehash of the December raise:

https://www.google.com/search?q=SpaceX+and+Baillie+Gifford&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS839US839&oq=SpaceX+and+Baillie+Gifford&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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