Author Topic: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield  (Read 8620 times)

Offline su27k

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SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« on: 11/14/2022 10:17 am »
On SpaceX's job listing on Greenhouse, a new department called "Starshield" is added, currently the jobs in it are all related to satellite.

SpaceX also filed a new trademark application for "Starshield" on 10/29/2022 with the following Goods and Services descriptions:

Quote
Global positioning system using satellite constellations; Internet server; Telecommunication hardware, namely, devices that allow wireless connection to global communication networks and wireless connection of electronic devices to global communication networks; Computer software to enable the transmission of information in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, and human and animal migration to telecommunications networks and navigation devices; Computer software to enable wireless connection to global communication networks and wireless connection of electronic devices to global communication networks; Electronic global positioning and geo-location systems devices, namely, global positioning satellite-based receivers; *all of the foregoing excluding the US government's global positioning systems; Equipment for receiving, processing, and transmitting voice, video, data and information via telecommunications and wireless signals, satellites, and computers, namely, satellite receivers, satellite receiver modules, transmitters of electronic signals, multiplexers, decoding boxes, data processors, integrated circuits; Computer operating hardware and software for use in the aforementioned goods, satellite terminals, and satellite earth stations

Internet service provider (ISP) services; Satellite telecommunications services, namely, transmission of a wireless internet signal via satellites; Providing third party users with access to satellite telecommunications infrastructure; Telecommunication services, namely, transmission and delivery of digital data, light files, sound files, data, information and image signals, by means of computer and satellite networks; Collecting and transmitting real-time data and images obtained via satellites and space vehicles; Satellite communication and transmission services; Wireless broadband communication services; Transmission of data, voice and video via satellite; Interactive satellite communication services; Delivery of messages by electronic transmission; Providing telecommunications connections to the Internet; Telecommunications gateway services; Providing high-speed wireless internet access; Providing multiple-user access to the internet, global computer networks, and electronic communications networks; Providing access to global computer information networks; Telecommunications services, namely, transmission of voice, data, graphics, images, audio and video by means of telecommunications networks, wireless communication networks, and the Internet; Providing a website featuring information in the field of satellite telecommunications services; Providing a website featuring information in the field of providing internet access via satellite

Providing information in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, and human and animal migration via telecommunications networks and satellite aided navigation devices; Providing global positioning and geo-location information via wireless and satellite networks, excluding the US government's global positioning systems; Providing a website featuring geographic data and images obtained via satellites and space vehicles

Cloud storage services for electronic data and files; Cloud computing services; Cloud computing featuring software for collecting, tracking, monitoring and analyzing data obtained via satellites and space vehicles in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, human and animal migration; Cloud computing featuring software for enabling and managing simultaneous, multiple modes of communication via satellites; Cloud computing featuring software for use in connection with data processing, data storage, data capture, data collection, data warehousing, data management, data mining, database analytics, and secure data sharing; Satellite telecommunications technology service; Design, development, and maintenance of telecommunications networks, software and apparatus in the field of satellite communications; Providing information in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, and human and animal migration via telecommunication networks and wireless navigation devices; Providing online computer mapping services; Research and development of technology in the field of satellite communications; Engineering services in the field of satellite communications; Scientific research; Scientific and technological services, namely, scientific research and analysis of data in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, and oceanography; Electronic monitoring of environmental and atmospheric conditions using satellites and sensors; Remote sensing services, namely, aerial surveying through the use of satellites; Searching and retrieving information, sites, and other resources available on computer networks for others in relation to satellite data, recordings, and measurements; Providing information concerning satellite internet services via a global information network

The Goods and Services is similar to Starlink, the "Shield" thing makes it sounds like military related, could be dedicated military branch of Starlink?
« Last Edit: 11/14/2022 10:34 am by su27k »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #1 on: 11/14/2022 03:30 pm »
Yes, the blurb on a job posting seems to make it clear that this is the military-related offerings, including comms and sensor platform.

Quote
As a DSP engineer on the SpaceX satellite R&D project team, you will be a part of a mission to provide global connectivity to the US government including immediate access to critical intelligence and national security data anywhere it is needed. You will work with a team of RF engineers, DSP engineers, software engineers, hardware engineers and end users to design and build systems for proliferated sensing in low earth orbit. You will work in a highly collaborative and fast-paced environment, where we are exploring unsolved problems and applying the SpaceX mindset of iterating rapidly to go from design and demo to operational capability at lightning pace.

https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/6455306002?gh_jid=6455306002

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #2 on: 11/14/2022 04:43 pm »
Makes me think of this is the concentration of the satellite software and protocols to collect/distribute info/data. Including design of protocols all to help more easily feed data packet streams into and out of the Microsoft Cloud specialized global services. For which Microsoft has paired with Starlink over a year ago.

It also increases the opening of the cis LEO continuous comm capabilities model. Which can also greatly drop the cost of high data rates for organizations like colleges and even high schools to operate and gather data from their cubesats and for others that have more significant sats as well that will also likely affect the worldwide only partial comm and tracking data of the commercial, educational and scientific sat assets. The cubesat or etc operater just logs into Microsoft Azure and it gives a immediate access to the sat for upload and interaction. All downloaded data is continuously collected and stored in the Microsoft cloud and is accessible through the Internet login from practically anywhere in the world.

Also there may be a advanced concepts from the standpoint of what can be learned by combining and analyzing collected data from multiple sources from multiple sats close to or even at same time observing same with different instruments. This can bring a rapid expansion of knowledge about our world as well as near space around our world. Eventually when such constellation high bandwidth comm sats become available in cis lunar and eventual like at Mars the explosion of information keeps expanding and the needs for analysis services, collection, storage, and distribution will grow grately as well.

This Starshield service can be a rapid expanding service business case in itself when combined with a powerful and large cloud computing and storage service. Its expansion will also expand the paired cloud services provider immensely as well.

Never forget Musk is a visionary in what can be with new and smart use of existing technology combined with aggressive business expansion to lower costs across the board.

Online Hog

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #3 on: 11/14/2022 04:54 pm »


The Goods and Services is similar to Starlink, the "Shield" thing makes it sounds like military related, could be dedicated military branch of Starlink?
Or some sort of product warranty company.   ""Buy your brand new Elon merch and have your investment covered by the optional "StarShield" lifetime warranty.  It's outta this world.""

With a name like that, it could also be a prophylactic company.  ""Too much Starlinking without using StarShield leads to too many mini-Musks being delivered via StarStorks.""
Paul

Offline Asteroza

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #4 on: 11/15/2022 12:13 am »
It could be SDA Constellation++ transport layer, coexisting on civil Starlink. They basically bailed out of that constellation as is, probably under the valid assumption they can do better, faster, using an extant megaconstellation. Also implying a giant middle finger to core network interoperability, which is the heart of SDA's constellation due to it's heterogeneous nature.

The RF job description description basically says abuse Starlink's SDR's and phased array antennas for fun and profit.

The current planned SDA constellation is "small", and it's obvious the US government won't shell out for a private independent megaconstellation but like any glutton, wants that sweet sweet military capability. Also, data use expands to fill capacity. Field units are already getting a taste with BACN nodes as it is, next they want 8K gorgon stare video on demand.

If Musk honestly believes Gen2 has enough routable/spare capacity (which implies redlining straight to the 42k sats), then this will become an additional money printer that goes brrrrrrrrrrrrt.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #5 on: 11/15/2022 01:16 am »
Musk's comparison on Starlink V2 sats to the V1.5s is that the Starship deployed V2s have 10X the sat to ground throughput of the V1.5 sats. Likely delivery being of about 60 too 72 of them (possibly a few more) per Starship launch at about 15 to 30 launches per year starting somewhere close to 2024 and increase launch rate rapidly each year after that. Prior to that just a few launches to test deployment and the sats design in groups of 24, 48 or 72 as Starship capabilities improve in 2023 and 2024. We shall see just how fast things actual unfold though which may be slightly slower. Although the deployment of the first gen group of 4400 or I should say first half was to be by April 2024 of some 2200 sats. All 4400 sats will be up and operational by at least mid year 2023 now. a full 6 years ahead of schedule. So other than Starship mass use. V2's will begin deployment in 2023 on F9 of the 4X throughput increase version at about 25+ sats per launch.

So even with V2s start arriving on orbit soon as in less than a year from now. V2 deployments will remain far behind the demand curve for quite some time as in multiple years. This new Starshield service could also exacerbate that demand curve which may or may not affect any price subscription reductions until much later just due to demand.
« Last Edit: 11/15/2022 01:17 am by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #6 on: 11/15/2022 01:28 am »
It could be SDA Constellation++ transport layer, coexisting on civil Starlink. They basically bailed out of that constellation as is, probably under the valid assumption they can do better, faster, using an extant megaconstellation. Also implying a giant middle finger to core network interoperability, which is the heart of SDA's constellation due to it's heterogeneous nature.

I very much agree with the assessment wrt SDA constellation here, although I do wonder if SpaceX has a contract for this new service or not. We haven't seen any contract or intention from DoD to buy something like this, and I'm not sure SpaceX would invest their own money into this without a firm commitment from DoD.

Online meekGee

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #7 on: 11/15/2022 04:19 am »
I don't think a military application needs a trade mark...

But a general law-enforcement system that is basically aimed at municipalities definitely needs to be marketed...

Real-time fire detection, for example, or traffic monitoring.  Your eye-in-the-sky, 24/7.

From a PR perspective, these are things that will make people nervous, and therefore need to be given a reassuring name like "shield".
« Last Edit: 11/17/2022 09:07 pm by meekGee »
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Offline raptorx2

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #8 on: 11/19/2022 03:52 am »
Likely delivery being of about 60 too 72 of them (possibly a few more) per Starship launch at about 15 to 30 launches per year starting somewhere close to 2024 and increase launch rate rapidly each year after that. Prior to that just a few launches to test deployment and the sats design in groups of 24, 48 or 72 as Starship capabilities improve in 2023 and 2024.

But, Iridium provides "Global Coverage" with near polor orbits  (86 degree direct inclination) 6 planes/11 satellites per plane at 780km.  66 active satellites. 

V2.0 shows  18 planes, with 18 satellites per plane. with a retrograde inclination of 115 degrees at 614km 324 satellites total.

If they could launch 72 satellites per launch, they could populate 4 planes per launch (obviously up to 1 year to phase the satellites into the 4 planes.) So it would take ~5 launches to populate the 614km tranche of V2.0 satellites providing perhaps initial global Direct to Handset services with CMRS payloads?

Offline bulkmail

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #9 on: 11/22/2022 11:08 am »
On SpaceX's job listing on Greenhouse, a new department called "Starshield" is added, currently the jobs in it are all related to satellite.

SpaceX also filed a new trademark application for "Starshield" on 10/29/2022 with the following Goods and Services descriptions:

Quote
Global positioning system using satellite constellations; Internet server; Telecommunication hardware, namely, devices that allow wireless connection to global communication networks and wireless connection of electronic devices to global communication networks; Computer software to enable the transmission of information in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, and human and animal migration to telecommunications networks and navigation devices; Computer software to enable wireless connection to global communication networks and wireless connection of electronic devices to global communication networks; Electronic global positioning and geo-location systems devices, namely, global positioning satellite-based receivers; *all of the foregoing excluding the US government's global positioning systems; Equipment for receiving, processing, and transmitting voice, video, data and information via telecommunications and wireless signals, satellites, and computers, namely, satellite receivers, satellite receiver modules, transmitters of electronic signals, multiplexers, decoding boxes, data processors, integrated circuits; Computer operating hardware and software for use in the aforementioned goods, satellite terminals, and satellite earth stations

Internet service provider (ISP) services; Satellite telecommunications services, namely, transmission of a wireless internet signal via satellites; Providing third party users with access to satellite telecommunications infrastructure; Telecommunication services, namely, transmission and delivery of digital data, light files, sound files, data, information and image signals, by means of computer and satellite networks; Collecting and transmitting real-time data and images obtained via satellites and space vehicles; Satellite communication and transmission services; Wireless broadband communication services; Transmission of data, voice and video via satellite; Interactive satellite communication services; Delivery of messages by electronic transmission; Providing telecommunications connections to the Internet; Telecommunications gateway services; Providing high-speed wireless internet access; Providing multiple-user access to the internet, global computer networks, and electronic communications networks; Providing access to global computer information networks; Telecommunications services, namely, transmission of voice, data, graphics, images, audio and video by means of telecommunications networks, wireless communication networks, and the Internet; Providing a website featuring information in the field of satellite telecommunications services; Providing a website featuring information in the field of providing internet access via satellite

Providing information in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, and human and animal migration via telecommunications networks and satellite aided navigation devices; Providing global positioning and geo-location information via wireless and satellite networks, excluding the US government's global positioning systems; Providing a website featuring geographic data and images obtained via satellites and space vehicles

Cloud storage services for electronic data and files; Cloud computing services; Cloud computing featuring software for collecting, tracking, monitoring and analyzing data obtained via satellites and space vehicles in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, human and animal migration; Cloud computing featuring software for enabling and managing simultaneous, multiple modes of communication via satellites; Cloud computing featuring software for use in connection with data processing, data storage, data capture, data collection, data warehousing, data management, data mining, database analytics, and secure data sharing; Satellite telecommunications technology service; Design, development, and maintenance of telecommunications networks, software and apparatus in the field of satellite communications; Providing information in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, oceanography, and human and animal migration via telecommunication networks and wireless navigation devices; Providing online computer mapping services; Research and development of technology in the field of satellite communications; Engineering services in the field of satellite communications; Scientific research; Scientific and technological services, namely, scientific research and analysis of data in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geography, topography, and oceanography; Electronic monitoring of environmental and atmospheric conditions using satellites and sensors; Remote sensing services, namely, aerial surveying through the use of satellites; Searching and retrieving information, sites, and other resources available on computer networks for others in relation to satellite data, recordings, and measurements; Providing information concerning satellite internet services via a global information network

The Goods and Services is similar to Starlink, the "Shield" thing makes it sounds like military related, could be dedicated military branch of Starlink?

Assumption based on bolded text: this is extending Starlink to provide items 54/55:
- navigation (like GPS, but independent of it - as backup/redundancy?)
- observation (definitely visual light, maybe later other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum), 24/7 global video coverage...?

I see those as interesting both for civilian and military customers.
And of course, going to the Moon/Mars you'll want the same there... and interconnecting the Earth/Moon/Mars constellations will require nodes at the Lagrange points (Earth-Moon, Earth-Sun, Mars-Sun, Mars-Phobos, Mars-Deimos, etc.?)

Saturating LEO and the inner Solar system with cameras may also help (especially if there are cameras looking outwardly) with detecting asteroids/debris that are small enough to remain undetected so far, but big enough to cause trouble? Which also matches the branding as "Shield"...

Offline matthewkantar

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #10 on: 11/22/2022 02:31 pm »
Mentions cloud services.  I guess if Amazon can use Cloud money to build a constellation, SpaceX can use constellation money to add cloud services to it offering.

Offline Asteroza

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #11 on: 11/22/2022 10:45 pm »
I think there was work on weather monitoring using GPS reflections, so that's an interesting merge of pseudo-GPS and meteorology in the RF realm.

Online JayWee

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #12 on: 11/22/2022 11:02 pm »
With ISL, assuming precise time synchronization,  - can the Starlinks be used as one giant SAR ?

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #13 on: 11/22/2022 11:13 pm »
I think there was work on weather monitoring using GPS reflections, so that's an interesting merge of pseudo-GPS and meteorology in the RF realm.
You get an amazing amount of information just from the signal strength data during normal operations. Even with GEO systems I remember watching storm fronts go through an area affecting terminals one after the other. LEO system would provide much more information because the paths vary as the satellites move. However, I know of no studies or experimental systems that are trying to use this data. The GEO systems I worked with monitored signal strength in both uplink and downlink for each terminal pretty much continuously as part of the adaptive protocol. I suspect Starlink and other LEO systems do the same, for the same reasons.

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #14 on: 11/23/2022 11:31 am »
I don't think a military application needs a trade mark...

But a general law-enforcement system that is basically aimed at municipalities definitely needs to be marketed...

Real-time fire detection, for example, or traffic monitoring.  Your eye-in-the-sky, 24/7.

From a PR perspective, these are things that will make people nervous, and therefore need to be given a reassuring name like "shield".

While I like the idea of selling real time global surveillance to municipalities, I do believe weapons manufacturers register trademarks, for example Raytheon owns the trademark for "Stinger", and Lockheed Martin owns the trademark for "Javelin".

Online niwax

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #15 on: 11/23/2022 12:13 pm »
Mentions cloud services.  I guess if Amazon can use Cloud money to build a constellation, SpaceX can use constellation money to add cloud services to it offering.

I've been playing around with ideas for cloud applications on satellites and one I think is genuinely attractive is in-situ data processing. Imagine that instead of requesting imagery of a specific area, you can request images or data of objects. Streaming down high-resolution global video would require an extraordinary amount of bandwidth, but you could put a fairly small optimized <<1kW AI accelerator on the satellite itself and upload customer-supplied detectors. Now you can answer questions like a full survey of tree types worldwide, number of cars by state or images of every solar farm/ship/animal herd in the world.
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Online meekGee

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #16 on: 11/23/2022 02:41 pm »
I don't think a military application needs a trade mark...

But a general law-enforcement system that is basically aimed at municipalities definitely needs to be marketed...

Real-time fire detection, for example, or traffic monitoring.  Your eye-in-the-sky, 24/7.

From a PR perspective, these are things that will make people nervous, and therefore need to be given a reassuring name like "shield".

While I like the idea of selling real time global surveillance to municipalities, I do believe weapons manufacturers register trademarks, for example Raytheon owns the trademark for "Stinger", and Lockheed Martin owns the trademark for "Javelin".
Ok sure there are definitely counter examples, I agree.

But yeah - I almost can't see how they'll skip this application.  It's an obvious service, they are positioned to provide it, and are the only ones that can.

It gets them a completely new revenue stream, and quickly makes them indispensable.
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Offline jstrotha0975

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #17 on: 11/23/2022 08:32 pm »
Maybe Starshield has to be with the Missile detection satellites that the DOD wants. It was mentioned a couple years ago the US Gov. was interested in missile detection from SpaceX. Don't ask me to find the article.

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #18 on: 11/24/2022 02:21 am »
Maybe Starshield has to be with the Missile detection satellites that the DOD wants. It was mentioned a couple years ago the US Gov. was interested in missile detection from SpaceX. Don't ask me to find the article.

That's the Space Development Agency (SDA) Constellation, SpaceX won a contract to build 4 missile warning satellites, it was discussed in this thread. But it seems that SpaceX didn't bid on the follow on contract, I think Asteroza is correct in saying SpaceX has realized SDA constellation is becoming a bureaucratic mess and they can build a better military constellation faster and cheaper. What would be surprising is SpaceX doing this without being paid first (unless something crazy happened).
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 02:26 am by su27k »

Online JayWee

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Re: SpaceX's new product/department: Starshield
« Reply #19 on: 11/24/2022 03:09 am »
I think Asteroza is correct in saying SpaceX has realized SDA constellation is becoming a bureaucratic mess and they can build a better military constellation faster and cheaper. What would be surprising is SpaceX doing this without being paid first (unless something crazy happened).
Placing hosted payload on starlink wouldn't be that expensive. Most of the cost of the constellation is paid for by the commercial side.
Besides - any military constellation would be smaller than your already existing 30k starlink v2 one.
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 03:09 am by JayWee »

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