upstart writes in with an IRC submission for Bytram:
How Does Starlink Work Anyway?:
No matter what you think of Elon Musk, it's hard to deny that he takes the dictum "There's no such thing as bad publicity" to heart. From hurling sports cars into orbit to solar-powered roof destroyers, there's little that Mr. Musk can't turn into a net positive for at least one of his many ventures, not to mention his image.Elon may have gotten in over his head, though. His plan to use his SpaceX rockets to fill the sky with thousands of satellites dedicated to providing cheap Internet access ran afoul of the astronomy community, which has decried the impact of the Starlink satellites on observations, both in the optical wavelengths and further down the spectrum in the radio bands. And that's with only a tiny fraction of the planned constellation deployed; once fully built-out, they fear Starlink will ruin Earth-based observation forever.What exactly the final Starlink constellation will look like and what impact it would have on observations depend greatly on the degree to which it can withstand regulatory efforts and market forces. Assuming it does survive and gets built out into a system that more or less resembles the current plan, what exactly will Starlink do? And more importantly, how will it accomplish its stated goals?
No matter what you think of Elon Musk, it's hard to deny that he takes the dictum "There's no such thing as bad publicity" to heart. From hurling sports cars into orbit to solar-powered roof destroyers, there's little that Mr. Musk can't turn into a net positive for at least one of his many ventures, not to mention his image.
Elon may have gotten in over his head, though. His plan to use his SpaceX rockets to fill the sky with thousands of satellites dedicated to providing cheap Internet access ran afoul of the astronomy community, which has decried the impact of the Starlink satellites on observations, both in the optical wavelengths and further down the spectrum in the radio bands. And that's with only a tiny fraction of the planned constellation deployed; once fully built-out, they fear Starlink will ruin Earth-based observation forever.
What exactly the final Starlink constellation will look like and what impact it would have on observations depend greatly on the degree to which it can withstand regulatory efforts and market forces. Assuming it does survive and gets built out into a system that more or less resembles the current plan, what exactly will Starlink do? And more importantly, how will it accomplish its stated goals?
Just think you can live anywhere and still have connectivity. Wireless carriers who won't upgrade will suddenly find themselves with real competition. It will affect the astronomy geeks but overall this is a step in the right direction.
It will affect the astronomy geeks
Not for long - how many astronomy geeks do you know that don't already use high numbers of exposures and heavy image processing software?
How hard do you think it is to identify a fast moving prick of light and erase it?
fast moving prick
Not the first time Elon's been called one of these...
I thought he was more a prick of attitude than a prick of light...
Wireless carriers who won't upgrade will suddenly find themselves with real competition.
It requires a large ("pizza box" sized) terminal to work. It won't be immediately usable with just a smartphone, although maybe a scheme to challenge mobile providers by using lots of the terminals could work. And it could provide good VOIP to people in areas with crap mobile service.
I live in a area where outside of towns the only option anyone has for internet is using a wireless carrier. So the size of the NID isn't going to matter. People in rural areas would not care if it was the size of a fridge.
Thanks for the clarification. Yup, rural folks have it real bad. Do you think the wireless carriers will even try to build up and compete with broadband constellations? It seems like a lost cause if you can get 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps from satellites.
Its mostly at and fee so no. They are all about the numbers and they have no idea how to build a market.
It is a lost cause. Whether you're talking about wireless carriers as the cellular companies, or wireless ISPs pushing data services.
Although, I highly doubt they're going to get the bandwidth out the satellites. Assuming that sat-to-sat comms are multi-gigabit, that's only going to carry one of your 1 Gbps service packages. The downlink to Earth is going to have to be low-latency and huge, not just 1 Gbps. More likely they're going to have a LOT of downlinks in different major cities coming from the sats, trying to route as efficiently as possible across the least number of sats.
Assuming they've got all of that..... how much bandwidth can one sat, in one coverage map, offer rural customers? I'll be very shocked if it's over the base of 8 Mbps.
As far as the ground is concerned, you have to run fiber. Even with wireless ISPs, you're pushing the end of that fiber out across dozens of miles. Ultimately though, it's gotta come back to fiber. Otherwise the cost of creating multi-gigabit links across 30+ miles is going to make that rural connection hundreds per month. Power backups, outdoor rated equipment, redundant links, all result in an expensive network. You can get 20 Mbps, but the farther you are from fiber, and the more hops you need to get back to it, the more expensive it is. Out at the fringes of the network the costs of increasing capacity can be very considerable. You have to increase capacity all the way back to fiber.
Why would you invest in that at all, when a sat company is going to offer 3 Mbps for 90$?
a terrestrial Starlink terminal with low power millimeter wave 5g nanocell equipment would work. at least until you try to incorporate access control, billing metrics, hand off, and so on...
Let's not forget OneWeb that plans to do the same and faster than Mask. While they are based in Florida, they use French launch facilities and Russian rockets. Therefore they could potentially ignore the US regulations.https://www.oneweb.world/ [www.oneweb.world]The tech is 5G. There got to be Huawei here somewhere.
OneWeb that plans to do the same and faster than Mask
Who is Mask? Are you sure that OneWeb plans do it faster? It looks like SpaceX and OneWeb are both targeting 2021 for wide availability. But SpaceX can spam its own rockets.
Therefore they could potentially ignore the US regulations.
No, not at all.
OneWeb asks FCC to authorize 1,200 more satellites [spacenews.com]
Let's not forget OneWeb that plans to do the same and faster than Mask.
[citation not needed]
They do ask, but they have a leverage: no? fuck off :)
Who is Mask?Mask is a pedo guy https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/03/media/elon-musk-testifies/index.html [cnn.com] who drives pedo truck.
Who is Mask?
Mask is a pedo guy https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/03/media/elon-musk-testifies/index.html [cnn.com] who drives pedo truck.
My wife freaked out when she saw a string of them going across the twilight sky in San Diego. She thought Russia launched nukes this way.
At just after twilight their magnitude was almost as bright as Venus, fading slowly as they crossed overhead.How to find Starlink satellites with Stellarium... https://imgur.com/a/6eeNJRE [imgur.com]
That was almost definitely not a Starlink. Here [nasa.gov] is a link where you can sign up to SpotTheStation - it's for the ISS. The ISS is flying quite a lot higher than the Starlinks and so its perceived velocity would be lower. It's also about the size of a football field rather than a whatever the StarLink sats are - probably a square meter or two, if that?
The point of this is that it should be way brighter, and way slower than a Starlink - and it's *definitely* not what you'd call a "bright spot just hanging there." Maybe a Chinese lantern? As they reach higher altitudes they start to seem to stand still until they gradually fade from distance (or burn out) and could look somewhat similar to what you're describing, especially if it had an orangish glow.
I'm not the grandparent AC, but I saw them between Christmas and New Years. I don't know the exact magnitude, but in my part of the world, they were as bright as planets. They sailed across the sky as large dots of light -- in a row, one after another. Each one stayed visible for about 90 to 120 seconds, appearing at an approximate similar point and disappearing at another approximate point. They traversed about half the sky. I saw about 3 to 5 at them at any one time. I watched for about 10 minutes before I had to leave.
It was only the next morning when I looked up specific satellites that I figured out exactly what I had seen. I knew I had seen satellites (the spacing between each dot of light was very regular and the speed was exactly the same between each), but I didn't know which ones.
"A Russian company called StartRocket says it’s going to launch a cluster of cubesats into space that will act as an “orbital billboard,” projecting enormous advertisements into the night sky like artificial constellations. And its first client, it says, will be Pepsi."Can't wait for someone to hack them into a goatse ad covering 1/3 of the night sky.
That's no planet...
... moon whatever
Fair game for hacking and destruction then.
Satellites - predictable tracks, just about the easiest possible thing to automatically edit out of a long exposure, once you've done the math.
If they were obscuring 10% of the incoming radiation, sure... but these are tiny tiny pinpricks moving in super-predictable paths - the kind of thing your image processing software could intelligently remove even without a database of tracks.
Obvious solution: build 1000s of space telescopes. Put them in lunar orbit. And at the Earth-Moon Lagrange points. And very high orbits of Earth. Now, if only someone will pay for all that, I suspect the astronomers would view it as a fair trade in exchange for losing the ability to make ground based observations at the frequencies these commsats use.
Who should pay? The polluters, no? Not the public. We already see the treasury routinely looted to pay for cleaning up other's messes. Not just Superfund. TARP. Privatize the gains, socialize the losses. So, Mr. Musk, how about it? Willing to foot the bill to fund the creation of this huge asset for astronomic studies?
A few years back, I was thinking about getting into astronomy - like: work on Mauna Loa. I briefly toyed with the idea of getting a hobby telescope and doing some of my own backyard work - you can do some really impressive stuff these days with less than $10K in equipment, but... in the end, no matter how much you spend, you're working from a relatively tiny aperture, in a horrible light pollution soup, and it's really nothing like working with the "real stuff," which, by the way, is available for free amateur downloading and processing to your heart's content.
Offtopic tangent: Ultimately, Hilo turned us off by reminding me too much of what happened to West Coast Florida in the 1970s-90s, same general crap seems to be going down in Hilo today - massive influx of new people, overdevelopment of natural resources. In Florida, my parents have been resident since birth in the 1940s - I just couldn't imagine being "part of the problem" in Hilo with my family.
Somewhat more ontopic tangent: If you're really serious about astronomy, you probably use the serious data collected from the serious instruments - the only thing a backyard scope has that the big (free) ones don't is the ability to choose your targets, but if you don't mind data that's a year or two old (nothing, in cosmic timescales), then you can get orders of magnitude better images out of the pro-community scopes of just about any target you can imagine.
You just need to find something the amateur scope is still useful for.
Maybe you could automate a telescope to look at predicted occultations as well as checking random stars:
Distant Kuiper Belt Planetesimal Found Using Occultation [soylentnews.org]
This fills an interesting niche. Amateur quality equipment and poor viewing conditions aren't a total impediment, as much data as possible is helpful, you can discover new objects, etc.
It's not that backyard astronomy is useless, more data is always good and there are valuable things that a wide blanket of fuzzy eyes can do that a small number of sharp ones can't, but... they are quite different, and most of the WOW (translate: funding) does tend to come from the sharp eyes' data.
Musk is footing the bill for Starship, which will be far more beneficial to astronomy than Starlink will be detrimental. NASA will be able to get more than 10x done with their budget, should they choose to do so. Your dream of thousands of space telescopes will be realized. Most of them can work just fine in LEO, even underneath the broadband constellations, and focus on small targets. Wide field-of-view telescopes can use orbits like the one TESS uses.
If you're going to fuck up the sky for every single person that would fall in love with astronomy, then the least you owe us is obviating the need for ground based observatories. Use that massive amount of bandwidth to deliver high quality astronomy images to everyone in the world that wants to look at it. Starlink Astronomical CDN built-in to each satellite to more easily distribute popular astronomical data. For for scientific community, those very high earth orbit satellite installations you spoke off.
If a kid could point his tablet up to the sky, and then received a processed image of the sky with zoom capabilities, then yes, perhaps proper compensation has been made for taking the stars from us.
Buncha socialist nonsense!
Camera in the front, monitor in the back! Problem solved. You're welcome.
We'll mullet over.