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How Does The Starlink System Work? - Imamkunblog.com

How Does The Starlink System Work? - Imamkunblog.com

 How does the starlink system work?

Today we live in the era of the internet. The Internet has changed the way we live and interact  with each other. It has brought education, entertainment, comfort and even democracy.  Imagining a world without the internet is hard.

We are able  to make this video and get it our favorite subscribers, only because of the internet.  But did you know that almost 50% of the world still does not have access to the internet?  That seems strange right? But it’s the truth. To counter this and make the internet accessible to  everyone on earth, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is launching starlink Satellites which plan to provide global  internet coverage.

How Does The <strong>starlink</strong> System Work?

But How does the internet work from space?

How can starlink satellites provide  internet service from space? Will they transform our world? Let’s talk about all that and more. starlink is a global initiative by SpaceX to create a global broadband network by using a  constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to provide high-speed internet services.

This  system is ideally suited to provide internet coverage in rural and geographically isolated  areas where internet services do not exist. starlink uses satellite internet service  technology that has been around for decades. Instead of employing cable technologies like fiber  optics to deliver internet data, a satellite system sends radio signals across space.  Ground stations provide signals to satellites in space, which then transfer the information  to starlink users on Earth.

The goal of starlink is to create low latency internet all across the  world

However starlink isn’t the only company today in the competition of providing internet  via satellites. Oneweb, Amazon Kuiper, Viasat etc are all targeting this new thriving market.  But SpaceX edges past everyone because of the following reasons. starlink employs thousands  of tiny satellites rather than a few huge ones. starlink employs LEO satellites that orbit the  Earth at only 300 miles above sea level.

 This reduced geostationary orbit increases  internet speeds and decreases latency. The most recent starlink satellites contain  laser communication parts that allow signals to be sent between satellites,  minimizing reliance on several ground stations. In the near future, SpaceX plans to launch up to  40,000 satellites, assuring worldwide and distant satellite coverage with fewer service disruptions.  starlink has the benefit of being a subsidiary of SpaceX, which, in addition to launching starlink  satellites, also undertakes partner launches on a regular basis.

Due to the significant costs  involved, other satellite internet providers may be unable to arrange frequent satellite launches.

Despite various big achievements by SpaceX with their starship or crew dragon programs,  starlink remains the most frequently launched project by SpaceX. Elon Musk recently stated  that SpaceX plans to do a Falcon 9 launch every week and most of them might do starlink launches  if not any major missions. Even the upcoming starship launch vehicles will be used to launch  bigger batches of starlink satellites and upcoming starlink 2.0 versions in the future.

So, how do  satellite mega constellations like starlink work?

 And why do they need so many darn satellites? The starlink satellites are smallsat-class cubsesats of about 100 to 500 kg mass,  and are launched in Low Earth Orbit at an altitude of about 600 kilometers only.  SpaceX launched their first batch of 60 starlink satellites back in May 2019, each weighing around  230 kg. The initial plan of SpaceX was to launch a satellite constellation made up of  4000 cross linked satellites. That number today has increased much more.

The technology behind  starlink is even more amazing. According to the US FCC, the satellites use optical inter-satellite  communications, digital processing technology in the Ku and Ka bands and phased array beamforming.  While details of the phased array technology were revealed as part of the frequency application,  SpaceX maintained secrecy on the optical inter-satellite links.  The Early starlink satellites did not have laser connections.  In late 2020, the inter-satellite laser connections were successfully tested.

In a recent interview Elon shared his plan to mass produce starlink satellites at a far cheaper cost  per unit. "We're going to try to accomplish for satellites what we've done for rockets,"  Musk stated.

"We must address both satellites and rockets in order to change space." Smaller  satellites are essential for reducing the cost of space-based Internet and communications",  said Elon. Because SpaceX is a new player in the satellite communications industry, SpaceX  requested the FCC in February 2015 to explore potential creative applications of the Ka-band  spectrum before committing to 5G communications regulations that might impose obstacles to entry.

  SpaceX's non-geostationary orbit communications satellite constellation will operate in  high-frequency bands above 24 GHz, "where steerable Earth station transmit antennas  would have a wider geographic impact and significantly lower satellite altitudes  magnify the impact of aggregate interference from terrestrial transmissions." The minimal  theoretical round-trip delay for Internet transmission through a geostationary satellite  is 477 milliseconds, although contemporary satellites have latencies of 600 ms or higher.  starlink satellites orbit at 1105 to 130 times the height of geostationary orbits, providing more  feasible Earth-to-sat latencies of 25 to 35 ms, comparable to existing cable and fiber networks.  The system will employ a peer-to-peer protocol that is said to be "simpler than IPv6," as well  as end-to-end encryption. For orbit raising and station holding, starlink satellites  employ Hall-effect thrusters using krypton gas as the reaction mass.

When compared to a  comparable electric propulsion system operated with xenon, krypton Hall thrusters demonstrate  much higher flow channel erosion, although krypton is far more common and has a lower market price. That is how the satellite constellation is designed to work. But the technology does  not connect directly from satellites to phones which is the case with various constellations  like Thuraya, Iridium, Inmarsat and Globalstar. Instead it uses flat user terminals the size of  a pizza box that follows the satellites using phased array antennas.

The terminals must be  placed anyplace under the view of the sky.

 The first photographs of the antennas were  first sighted back in 2020, which Elon Musk asserted looks like a “UFO on a stick”.  This antenna is confusingly labeled as a "starlink," but more generally referred to  as a “UFO on a Stick'' or "Dishy McFloatface." When it's cranked up, the self-pointing antenna  instantly scans the sky and latches onto the nearest overhead satellite — that is,  if the ambient temperature is below 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, it seamlessly maintains that  connection as each new starlink satellite comes into view and the previous one fades beyond the  horizon. starlink terminals have motors to self-adjust the best angle to view the night  sky and continuously maintain connection.

SpaceX also maintains at least 32 ground stations in the  United States and has approvals for many more in future.

starlink uses the Ka-band to connect with  the ground stations. A normal starlink ground station includes nine 2.86 meter antennas in  a 400 square meter fenced off area. SpaceX's ground stations, according to their filing,  would also be installed on-site at Google data centers around the world.

As a result,  service is now reliant on a network of ground stations known as gateways. These stations are  positioned across the world and exchange signals with the starlink satellites, tapping them into  existing fiber-optic infrastructure. So, a user's home antenna connects to a starlink  satellite as it passes overhead, which in turn ties them into the nearby gateway. As a result,  in order to get service, customers must have a ground station within 500 miles of their location,  in addition to their own antenna.

Things won't stay that way for long. starlink developers have  previously experimented with a set of prototype satellites that communicate using lasers.  Rather than linking people to a local ground station, the lasers would allow satellites to  communicate directly at the speed of light, which is quicker in space than in fiber optic cables. Once launched, a Falcon 9 launch vehicle deploys its batch of 60 starlink satellites into an  initial "parking orbit" at around 270 miles (440 kilometers) above Earth. From there, the  individual satellites unfurl their solar panels and slowly start to spread out around the planet.  Each satellite also uses its rockets to progressively propel itself to a greater  height, rising into its eventual final orbit some 100 miles (160 km) above the  International Space Station's orbit.

The satellites become dimmer as they ascend,  reflecting less sunlight back to Earth. In the past, communications satellites for  things like TV utilized much higher orbits. This is because sitting relatively far from  Earth makes them "visible" to satellite dishes across a larger geographical area. starlink will be able to solve high-speed internet problems in rural areas. And with  more and more starlink satellites launching in the future, almost all parts of the world will have  internet connectivity.

starlink satellites will even help with internet communications on mars  as in the future humanity might look to terraform the planet.

So what do you think about Starling's  mega constellation? Will it be able to provide internet connectivity all over the world? Let  us know what you think in the comment.

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