Musk aims to add 30000 more internet satellites in orbit

18 Octobre, 2019, 01:27 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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The FCC submitted a total of 20 filings to the ITU, with each one asking permission for 1,500 satellites in various Low Earth Orbits.

The filings are known as coordination requests.

The ITU is an arm of the United Nations that allocates global spectrum and satellite orbits to help keep our complex communication networks running smoothly.

After a company makes a filing requesting spectrum, it has seven years to launch a satellite with the requested frequencies and must operate it for at least 90 days. The filings have to contain details about frequency usage, proposed orbital altitudes, and the number of satellites it desires.

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In case you're wondering how many satellites are now operational and orbiting our planet, the Union of Concerned Scientists put the number at just 2,062 as of April 1.

According the SpaceX, the aim is to set up a series of small satellites - the Starlink constellation - to allow for lower latency between internet services provides and their customers.

Once the space company receives its spectrum rights through the "bring into use" procedure, other satellite operators will have to design succeeding ventures to avoid interfering with SpaceX's existing system. So far, SpaceX aimed to create a satellite constellation of 12,000 satellites at an altitude from 328 km to 580 km. Only about 1,950 of those are still functioning. SpaceX is designing its satellites to burn up completely during atmospheric re-entry in order to prevent physical harm from falling objects. Also under fire were the existing Iridium constellation, as well as the in-progress OneWeb and Globalstar internet networks along with Amazon's recently announced Project Kuiper satellite internet. The ESA says it is investing in technology that can automate collision avoidance because of the massive number of satellites being deployed for broadband networks. Yes, 42,000 communication satellites are hard to swallow, especially with the amount of "space junk" we already have floating around above.

SpaceX's Starlink constellation was introduced as a space-based internet project that involved 12,000 satellites, Engadget noted. More satellites could mean the company wants to serve more users, particularly in areas that are rural or semirural and have few options for internet access. But, SpaceX has not mentioned when it plans to launch the new satellites. Weeden also says the company may not be interested in actually launching 30,000 satellites: "I think this may be a case of SpaceX planning ahead and starting the request now for what is likely to be a very long and drawn-out process, and not necessarily indicative of what they actually plan to do".



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