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Old 04-09-2020, 04:56   #16
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Exactly. We need a garbage scow to sweep this space junk up and dispose of it before it’s too late.

Further, how does the world allow an American company to destroy ground based astronomy?
Explain how the world can stop them. A rogue nation with huge economic and military power can do what it likes........ or so it seems.
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Old 04-09-2020, 05:06   #17
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

And that is exactly the problem. No-one. Especially with their current self centered government.

The world needs not less but much much more well structured world wide cooperation and coordination.
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Explain how the world can stop them. A rogue nation with huge economic and military power can do what it likes........ or so it seems.
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Old 04-09-2020, 05:14   #18
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

12K sats are what is required - they have applied for more (40k) but not needed.

Right now they have 400 odd. Assuming 800-900 more launched between now and Mid 2021 (2 launches/month @60 sats per launch) that gives you around 1500 sats. That's all they need for a limited service.

The real limiting piece right now are 1) they need to get to 1500 and 2) they need to eliminate the need for the ground stations.


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Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Hey Kevin, thanks for the info and the antenna pic.

What makes you believe that they will cover Caribbean and Med so early?

Africa or India would be a much bigger market than an almost (in sheer user numbers) empty ocean. Just thinking.

If they need 40000 seats for the whole globe, how many do they need initially to actually have it start to work globally?

At the moment they have about 400 working & focusing on one area. I'd suspect they focus on inhabitated areas first and far and few in between to connect those areas.
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:01   #19
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Cool & great image, that really inspires hope (at least from a user point of view.)

Very much less though, when focusing on the climate and space environment side though, unfortunately.

Shame I do not have a Twitter account, that would be two great questions for #Elon Musk #SpaceX #Starlink

What do you do about space junk? You should bring the same amount of stuff down as you put up.
What do you about air pollution by rockets?
Start to think about that now.
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:22   #20
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Ok so all space activity leave something behind (call it junk if you want) but of all the providers SpaceX are one of the better players. They recover most of what they use to launch.

- Starlink are all in LEO (low earth orbit) where there is always atmospheric drag. This means that if you don't boost your sat it will eventually degrade and de-orbit. In addition all the sats have thrusters and fuel to de-orbit if required. In fact the first Starlink sat that failed shortly after launch has just de-orbited.

The second stage doesn't land back but there is enough fuel to de-orbit it after use. Some providers push the second stage way out to what's called a graveyard orbit where it will sit until eternity. The Starlink launches do not.

So very little junk.

- The current rocket uses RP1. This is basically refined kerosene and does produce soot. The new one (Starship) runs on methane and O2 as the oxidiser which when used emits water and CO2 so it's very clean. In addition the Starship second stage is returned to the launch site and used again so again no space junk.

Also with Methane you usually have a flare stack to burn off unused methane (oil platforms for example). SpaceX got rid of theirs and instead capture the unused methane, condense it and re-chill it using power from their Solar plant in Boca Chica Texas. As clean as you can get.

If you're really concerned about space junk complain to the Russians and China. They are the worst offenders.

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Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Cool & great image, that really inspires hope (at least from a user point of view.)

Very much less though, when focusing on the climate and space environment side though, unfortunately.

Shame I do not have a Twitter account, that would be two great questions for #Elon Musk #SpaceX #Starlink

What do you do about space junk? You should bring the same amount of stuff down as you put up.
What do you about air pollution by rockets?
Start to think about that now.
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:39   #21
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Thanks, good to hear that they are doing better than others. So, you kind of answered on Elon's behalf. Good on you.
And really good what you say about their fuel.
I have nothing against Elon Musk or its companies. I am just asking these questions because they will do a big percentage of the overall space transports in the coming years.

Still, space junk is a problem and it is worsening. So, why not ask companies (or countries) contributing to its reducing in return for the permit to bring new stuff up.
Seems a good & fair deal.

Regarding China and Russia, well, some countries follow good practices and others not. Unfortunately one cannot force anyone to behave properly.

Leading by example is not wrong though.
Eventually the collection of space junk will also be a big business.
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Ok so all space activity leave something behind (call it junk if you want) but of all the providers SpaceX are one of the better players. They recover most of what they use to launch.

- Starlink are all in LEO (low earth orbit) where there is always atmospheric drag. This means that if you don't boost your sat it will eventually degrade and de-orbit. In addition all the sats have thrusters and fuel to de-orbit if required. In fact the first Starlink sat that failed shortly after launch has just de-orbited.

The second stage doesn't land back but there is enough fuel to de-orbit it after use. Some providers push the second stage way out to what's called a graveyard orbit where it will sit until eternity. The Starlink launches do not.

So very little junk.

- The current rocket uses RP1. This is basically refined kerosene and does produce soot. The new one (Starship) runs on methane and O2 as the oxidiser which when used emits water and CO2 so it's very clean. In addition the Starship second stage is returned to the launch site and used again so again no space junk.

If you're really concerned about space junk complain to the Russians and China. They are the worst offenders.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:13   #22
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Many may be surprised to know the huge potential in the US ground alone for StarLink or others alike. Unlike Europe, where the cell carriers (required by law) cover close to 100% of the land, even in remote areas, in the US, the cell (and land - cable, fiber-optics etc.) carriers are enjoying the publicly owned spectrum without any laws requiring a coverage - thanks to their millions and millions in lobbying and buying politicians. This leaves millions out of reach - except maybe spotty, dial-up speeds.

As for the OPs question; I am using IridiumGo with unlimited plan (~$140/month) and PredictWind that works well globally on this limited bandwidth. Other than reasonable phone calls (what's this?) quality and limited texting it is basically useless for work - at least for my work.

While hopping between islands in the Caribbeans, the max time without cellular internet was ~24 hours (we frequently changed courses to cruise along coasts with good cell/ G4 coverage). I use local sim cards (usually quite cheap data plans) and AT&T with a daily worldwide unlimited plan ($10/day).

So very much depends on your cruising patterns - for now. StarLink may be a real game changer for our community and for so many millions worldwide.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Hey Kevin, thanks for the info and the antenna pic.

What makes you believe that they will cover Caribbean and Med so early?

Africa or India would be a much bigger market than an almost (in sheer user numbers) empty ocean. Just thinking.

If they need 40000 seats for the whole globe, how many do they need initially to actually have it start to work globally?

At the moment they have about 400 working & focusing on one area. I'd suspect they focus on inhabitated areas first and far and few in between to connect those areas.
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Old 04-09-2020, 11:27   #23
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Wow! Thank you everyone for the mass of information. Clearly things are changing quickly. 12,000 satellites? Really?

It sounds like working onboard within cell-range is a no-brainer, but it just wouldn't be economically feasible to plan on doing so while on a long passage, at least not yet. Makes sense.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-09-2020, 22:12   #24
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

hi I'm new to this form and I guess this thread is a bit old already but I wanted to say a few things about starlink.
StarLink is a (V)LEO ((very) low earth orbit) satellite constellation that will (probably) be between 300 and 600 km above sea-level once completed. this is quite a bit lower than even Iridium (ca 800km), which means lower latencies.
both constellations though are so low that to cover any place between the artic circles (like northwest US) they have to essentially cover the entire planet in a "mesh" of satellites, so that as the satellites orbit earth about every 90 minutes there is never a moment where no satellites is above the customers/beta-testers.
the only thing restricting starlink access right now is ground stations that form the link between the existing internet and the satellites.
inter-sat laser links in the future will allow satellites far away from ground stations to talk to satellites that are closer and hopefully connect customers in remote locations like the middle of the ocean.
luckily, as B23iL23 said already, inter-sat links are coming soon but personally I wouldnt put my money on mid 2021, because it would probably require about as many new starlink satellites with those inter-sat links to be in orbit as there are already without now to support the entire globe.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:30   #25
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

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So a little bit of info on Starlink. it's currently in beta but this is limited up to about 50 odd degrees North and only mainland U.S. - This is due to a requirement for ground stations to pick up the data from the sat and pass it to the internet backbone.

To overcome the need for ground stations ( and give you full coverage over oceans and countries where SpaceX can't put a ground station) they will use sat to sat laser links. So the sat you are connected to will relay to the next and so on until it finds a path to a ground station and the to the net.

Good news is they have been testing the sat to sat links on some sats from the last launch and it appears to be working great. They will need an antenna that can lock onto the sat from a pitching deck but I expect people are already working on that (I've attached photos of the current antenna)

so maybe by mid 2021 we'll have ocean/Caribbean & med with >60 mb which would be a game changer for us yachties.
Hey Kevin, You encouraged my first post to the forum. (this is for the group, not meaning to single you out).
The new generation of antenna are unlike anything before. Its going to be very cool, yet too simple. The industry is developing flat panel antenna technologies with electrical focus for satellite tracking. Think in the terms of a solar panel laying flat on the roof, but instead of sunlight, they are elements that receive satellite communications. As the satellite passes in the sky, and the boat (or car) is moving, the receive elements in the antenna "sense" the direction of the satellite and simply focus in that direction. No moving parts. I haven't dug into Starlink too much, but I'm 99% sure this is how it will be accomplished. There's a link address below.

https://spacenews.com/wsbw-2019-flat-panel/
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Old 11-09-2020, 17:39   #26
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

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Explain how the world can stop them. A rogue nation with huge economic and military power can do what it likes........ or so it seems.
You are freaking out of a metal football in 100 square kilometres of space.

A ground astronomer can wait an entire nanosecond, and the satellite will be long gone.

Unless you are taking long exposure shots in which the satellite will be a blip on the film.

Its like saying a weather buoy in the middle of the ocean threatens commercial fishing, because they might have to pull in their nets for an awhile to drive around it.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:14   #27
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Welcome to Cruisers Forum!

You're 100% spot on there. No moving parts and importantly for us yachties, less power consumption (more than likely) as there is no mechanical tracking. Plus it will be lower profile than existing antenna (Iridium go excluded).

I believe something like Starlink is a game changer for cruisers which can be a double edged sword. You could sit watching Netflix and doing Zoom business calls in the middle of the ocean. Question is, while I love having the choise, do you really want to?


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Hey Kevin, You encouraged my first post to the forum. (this is for the group, not meaning to single you out).
The new generation of antenna are unlike anything before. Its going to be very cool, yet too simple. The industry is developing flat panel antenna technologies with electrical focus for satellite tracking. Think in the terms of a solar panel laying flat on the roof, but instead of sunlight, they are elements that receive satellite communications. As the satellite passes in the sky, and the boat (or car) is moving, the receive elements in the antenna "sense" the direction of the satellite and simply focus in that direction. No moving parts. I haven't dug into Starlink too much, but I'm 99% sure this is how it will be accomplished. There's a link address below.

https://spacenews.com/wsbw-2019-flat-panel/
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Old 13-09-2020, 10:09   #28
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

So, the bottom line, for now, is that there isn’t any practical way to get reasonable Satelite internet service, for work, as described by the OP, at this time. Unless, of course, anyone is willing to pay $000’s/month and more on the equipment.
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Old 13-09-2020, 10:19   #29
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Unfortunately you are right.

I've written to SpaceX and Starlink, to hear more details on availability on the oceans and suitablity of the antenna on a pitching boat.

The later is, in a way also something they have experience with to some degree, they land their rockets on a floating platform :-)

We'll see if they can be bothered to answer...
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So, the bottom line, for now, is that there isnít any practical way to get reasonable Satelite internet service, for work, as described by the OP, at this time. Unless, of course, anyone is willing to pay $000ís/month and more on the equipment.
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Old 13-09-2020, 10:52   #30
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Quite a few discussions on this topic...

One of the recent ones is https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ys-239307.html

I quote myself from that discussion:

Quote:
Had to go read how far along Starlink is in building out its satellite network.

From https://www.businessinsider.com/spac...00-mbps-2020-9
  • There are 700 Starlink satellites in orbit.
  • Each launch puts up another 60 satellites.
  • In August they put up 180 satellites.
  • Musk said they need 1,000 satellites to for the system to work economically.
  • With five more launches they would be have 1,000 satellites in orbit.
  • The network has low latency and download speeds over 100 mega bits per second. Notice bits not bytes.

Sounds like they would have 1,000 satellites in the next month or so.

The big questions are:
  1. When can we hook up to the network?
  2. How much will it cost?
  3. What is the actual upload and download speeds?
  4. What kind of antennae is needed and does it require stabilization for boat use?
Later,
Dan
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