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Old 07-11-2020, 07:10   #1
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Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Saw an article earlier today in which Musk is quoted as saying he thinks Starlink will work on a boat. This was in response to a question from someone cruising asking if their 5 kids would be able do their schoolwork at sea using Starlink.


Also talking about it probably being online for most of US early next year. Game changer coming up its true.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:44   #2
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

No reason why it would not work closer to continents, but then again mobile Internet works there too.


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Old 07-11-2020, 08:56   #3
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Ran into a SpaceX engineer in the last week and asked him about it. He said it was coming soon, but couldn’t say any more than that.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:46   #4
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Barnakeil Musk is talking a moving boat at sea far from land. The Starlink video about the system put out by the company is very interesting.



Will be worldwide coverage including areas (on land) that have virtually no reasonable internet access now. Key question was whether the antenna could maintain contact. Thanks to phased array technology apparently it will. Of course still has to be proved in practice.



Much different than what you are saying since it will not be in locations served by traditional land based systems.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:18   #5
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Originally Posted by Moontide View Post
Saw an article earlier today in which Musk is quoted as saying he thinks Starlink will work on a boat.
Also talking about it probably being online for most of US early next year. Game changer coming up its true.
This would be great to live stream during a storm or something else exciting. But just weather updates would be great also ! We'll soon see. It all depends on how greedy Elon gets ! I'm hoping for positive results.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:57   #6
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Those are low-earth-orbit satellites, each whizzing overhead, horizon-to-horizon, in less than half an hour, so clearly the antennae on both ends can deal with motion. The question might be whether the system can deal with the relatively quick, seemingly random motion of a sailboat at sea, versus the steady, predictable motion of a low-earth-orbit satellite - which is probably why Mr. Musk says "I think so", rather than a flat-out "yes". A gyro-stabilized antenna mount, or even a self-leveling radar mount for the antenna, might do the trick.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:26   #7
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Those are low-earth-orbit satellites, each whizzing overhead, horizon-to-horizon, in less than half an hour, so clearly the antennae on both ends can deal with motion. The question might be whether the system can deal with the relatively quick, seemingly random motion of a sailboat at sea, versus the steady, predictable motion of a low-earth-orbit satellite - which is probably why Mr. Musk says "I think so", rather than a flat-out "yes". A gyro-stabilized antenna mount, or even a self-leveling radar mount for the antenna, might do the trick.



See the above post referring to phased array antennae. Works great on fighter jets and missiles, no reason why it won't work on a boat. No expensive gyro-stabilized anything required. For a hundred bucks a month and multi megabyte speeds, what's not to like?
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:32   #8
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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See the above post referring to phased array antennae. Works great on fighter jets and missiles, no reason why it won't work on a boat. No expensive gyro-stabilized anything required. For a hundred bucks a month and multi megabyte speeds, what's not to like?

Thank you for this. I signed up for the beta test a few months ago as the system promises to be absolutely revolutionary for world-wide communications - especially in remote areas like the middle of an ocean or the 97% of Canada without cell phone service.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:41   #9
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

The question is not just whether one can maintain a satellite uplink, but whether there are going to be inter-satellite links to serve off shore areas. My understanding is that inter-satellite data relaying is not planned for the first generation of Starlink.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:51   #10
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

The first generation sats don't have the laser comm link. However that may not mean they can't interconnect, in which case your signal may not be as fast but will connect to ground from the sat(s). This has not been made clear. but boats near the coast should be able to use this, if they can maintain a connection while rolling around.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:55   #11
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

My son works for Viasat. He has told me the trick for both Starlink and Viasat is to come up with an affordable and small lightweight antenna for a boat. Antennas for a moving boat are very different than for a stationary building. Hardware is not inexpensive!
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:56   #12
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Originally Posted by Capt. Mike Maurice View Post
The first generation sats don't have the laser comm link. However that may not mean they can't interconnect, in which case your signal may not be as fast but will connect to ground from the sat(s). This has not been made clear. but boats near the coast should be able to use this, if they can maintain a connection while rolling around.
Near the cost, most definitely yes. Half way to Hawaii or Alaska from Seattle or San Francisco, probably not. I am eager to learn more about it. Looks like I was not selected for beta testing, unfortunately.
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Old 07-11-2020, 13:02   #13
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Phased array antennas are steerable electronically and are fast. Adding an accelerator and an inclinometer (aleady in virtually all cell phones) can process boat movements and compensate the antenna. This should not be expensive hardware. No need for mechanical gimballs and such.
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Old 07-11-2020, 13:17   #14
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

For Gen 1, so long as the sat you are talking to can see a ground station then you should be go and get really fast (100mb+) connections. The ground stations have a range of about 500km depending on the elevation of the sat. So you could have ground stations around the coasts which would reach a couple of hundred kms out to sea.

For Gen 2, your sat will connect to the next sat and on until it gets to a ground station. That means you can be anywhere on the ocean.

They are testing the sat links now but I wouldn't expect them in place until end of 2021.

The current antenna is electronically steerable so some semi stabilized mount could work and be inexpensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Mike Maurice View Post
The first generation sats don't have the laser comm link. However that may not mean they can't interconnect, in which case your signal may not be as fast but will connect to ground from the sat(s). This has not been made clear. but boats near the coast should be able to use this, if they can maintain a connection while rolling around.
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Old 07-11-2020, 17:24   #15
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Originally Posted by Pitchondesign View Post
Phased array antennas are steerable electronically and are fast. Adding an accelerator and an inclinometer (aleady in virtually all cell phones) can process boat movements and compensate the antenna. This should not be expensive hardware. No need for mechanical gimballs and such.
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