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Old 11-11-2019, 23:23   #1
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Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

This is a general question about how you all feel about the new SpaceX Starlink satellite internet constellation and whether you think that will be useful for sailors in the future when it becomes operational?
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Old 11-11-2019, 23:52   #2
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

Not a fan of space junk. ESA already had to shift the orbit of one of its satellites to avoid hitting a starlink. We are inching closer and closer to being trapped in a shell of trash we can't escape.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:15   #3
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

It's going to be great, eventually, but a lot more satellites need to be launched before it reaches a point of any real utility and broad coverage.

SpaceX is already working with the military on testing for aircraft and other mobile units, so we can only hope that some of that technology trickles down in the form of affordable, usable mobile applications.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:42   #4
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

Soon as they start selling , I'll be signing up. Will take a while for marine suitable receivers to hit the streets but it will be a game changer. The recent aircraft test got 610 megabits per-second ! if I could get 5mbs to the boat I'd be delighted.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:23   #5
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

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Originally Posted by kevinof View Post
Soon as they start selling , I'll be signing up. Will take a while for marine suitable receivers to hit the streets but it will be a game changer. The recent aircraft test got 610 megabits per-second ! if I could get 5mbs to the boat I'd be delighted.
The receiver and antenna for Starlink should work just as well for marine as for anything else. The antenna is typically the biggest issue, hence the big domes you see for the traditional marine satellite systems. There's a mechanically steered antenna below the dome, but Starlink will use waveguide technology to "steer" the antenna, the physical array remains stationary. This is great from a marine perspective, not only because the flat pizza-box sized antenna can just be mounted statically, but the waveguide can "point" at the satellites in milliseconds rather than the multi-second slew time of a mechanical array. And it uses a lot less power too.

Very keen to see where things go with Starlink!
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:55   #6
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

The future. I can hardly wait. Can you imagine dumping the current incredibly expensive low performance domes, including tracking dishes, for an inexpensive reasonably highspeed internet system that can stream video anywhere.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:03   #7
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

Assuming they can hit the $80/month price point being bandied about the web (or even double that, for that matter), this goes on the must-buy list for me. Sign me up. Totally enables remote work from anywhere. Already told my boss to anticipate my two days per week in the office to ramp back to something far less frequent...and to expect me to show up at the office with a tan if I show up at all. Renders SSB+modems and related headaches completely obsolete.

Biggest downside will be that communication will be too easy...and my quiet no-TV, no-Netflix, no-devices zone for the kidz may be completely violated.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:50   #8
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

Agreed, if they can hit a reasonable price point, I'll be beating a path to their door to try them out.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:52   #9
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

SpaceX Starlink won’t be alone.

OneWeb, supported by Intelsat, Virgin Qualcomm, SoftBank and Hughes Networks Systems, intends to launch 640 satellites across 21 launches to create global broadband by 2020. They launched their first 12 satellites in February.
https://www.oneweb.world/

There’s also Amazon, whose ‘Project Kuiper’ could see 3,236 satellites create a global broadband internet service after 2021.
https://www.amazon.jobs/en/teams/projectkuiper
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:04   #10
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

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Originally Posted by garychurch View Post
The future. I can hardly wait. Can you imagine dumping the current incredibly expensive low performance domes, including tracking dishes, for an inexpensive reasonably highspeed internet system that can stream video anywhere.
Not to mention disrupt if not outright kill the satellite phone business.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:09   #11
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

Indeed. Looks like OneWeb plans the same flat-top phased-array antenna as StarLink, which bodes well for boat deployment. Could not find any such implementation details for Project Kuiper. Kuiper could end up being late to the game, given that OneWeb and StarLink already have some satellites in orbit.

Looking forward to seeing some power specs on these terminals...
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:10   #12
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

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SpaceX Starlink won’t be alone.

OneWeb, supported by Intelsat, Virgin Qualcomm, SoftBank and Hughes Networks Systems, intends to launch 640 satellites across 21 launches to create global broadband by 2020. They launched their first 12 satellites in February.
https://www.oneweb.world/

There’s also Amazon, whose ‘Project Kuiper’ could see 3,236 satellites create a global broadband internet service after 2021.
https://www.amazon.jobs/en/teams/projectkuiper
But they may be alone on price. They make their own rockets, and are perfecting reusable components. Their infrastructure cost could end up being a fraction of the other players.

It's pretty brilliant. They already have a lion's share of the orbital launch market which is, if you think about it, limited. They are leveraging their scale and economy to create a whole new market.

So long as they actually deliver I kinda expect them to eat Amazon's and OneWeb's lunch.
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Old 12-11-2019, 13:39   #13
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Not a fan of space junk. ESA already had to shift the orbit of one of its satellites to avoid hitting a starlink. We are inching closer and closer to being trapped in a shell of trash we can't escape.


As an Amatuer Astronomer, I am not a fan also. Will they be useful? Probably, to the % of folks that can afford them. But, at what cost?
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Old 12-11-2019, 14:37   #14
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

Competition always reduces price so it’s nice to see a few companies in the game. If a small boat sailor can access the latest weather info and access the web, small cruisers will have an increased factor of safety. Component costs and current draw will determine suitability.
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Old 13-11-2019, 00:05   #15
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Re: Starlink and it's application to sailing, navigating?

TcMcD, history of mankind, huh? Before animals were domesticated...less methane, electricity and its attendant fossil fuels and infrastructure, motorized machines and all the pollution, nuclear fission/fusion and such... the list is endless.

And the curve of technology is accelerating. It is way beyond linear. The movie Terminator may actually be a prophetic declaration with A.I. Life as you and I knew it 50 years ago may seem like caveman stuff to kids 40 years from now. Hang in there baby. Smile.
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