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SpaceX plans to deploy satellite broadband in the US faster than expected



  An illustration of the earth, with lines that circle the globe to represent a telecommunications network.

SpaceX plans to change its satellite launch strategy to accelerate the deployment of its Starlink broadband service, a new target for broadband deployment in the southern United States late next year.

In an August 30 application, SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to "adjust the orbital spacing of its satellites." With this change, each SpaceX launch would provide satellites in "three different orbital levels" rather than just one, "speeding up the deployment process of satellites covering a wider coverage area."

"This adjustment will accelerate the coverage of the southern states and the US Areas that may accelerate the coverage of the southern continent of the United States by the end of the next hurricane season and reach other US territories until the following hurricane season," SpaceX said the FCC. The Atlantic and Pacific hurricane seasons start each spring and last until the 30th of November each year.

SpaceX had already planned to ensure "continuous coverage of the northern states after just six more launches," but said it needed a license modification to accelerate its deployment in the southern United States. SpaceX's submission emphasizes the importance of speeding to serve portions of the US where broadband coverage is limited. Earlier in the mid-latitudes and in the southernmost states, and critically, in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, "the company told the FCC.

SpaceX was a bit vague broadband service in terms of takeoff data.In October 201

7, SpaceX told a congressional committee that at least 800 satellites should be launched before a commercial service was offered The commercial service is expected to be available in 2020 or 2021, as SpaceNews reported at the time, and last year Reuters reported that SpaceX's goal of a launch in 2020 was "pretty much on target." Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, had several Executives released by Starlink to adhere to the schedule.

In his new FCC application, say SpaceX, adapting the orbital spacing would require "fewer satellite launches – perhaps only half – to service the entire contiguous United States (as well as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands). "In the rest of the world," the change would allow for faster acquisition of all longitudes towards the equator and capacity in areas of greater population density, "said SpaceX.

SpaceX is low compared to conventional satellite broadband Provide only 25 ms and gigabit speeds In order to cover a specific region, SpaceX must "provide a sufficient number of nodes to ensure continuous coverage" and "have enough antennas in the correct physical configuration to pass signals." 19659009] No change in altitude or inclination

The setting of the orbital distance does not change the total number of satellites, their height or inclination, their operating characteristics or their impact on the debris in orbit.

If so the case is The licensed SpaceX satellites w would fly in 72 instead of the previously approved 24 orbits, and at each level there would be 22 instead of the previously approved 66 satellites. This would affect 1,584 of the 11,943 satellites SpaceX has FCC approval to launch. Height and inclination remain unchanged at 550 km and 53 °, respectively.

An orbit is defined by two parameters: the slope of the orbiting object and the length of its ascending node. I was not sure how to describe it in layman terms, and consulted with our science editor John Timmer. He explained it this way:

Imagine a spaceship circling and constantly over the equator. The plane defined by this orbit would halve the earth and separate the northern and southern hemispheres. But it is relatively easy to overturn this aircraft so that one spaceship would fly half north of its orbit to the northern latitudes and half to the southern latitudes for the other half. By adding a range of spacecraft to enough of these aircraft, SpaceX plans to significantly expand the areas served by its satellite fleet.

SpaceX launched 60 satellites in May of this year to test the system before preparing for broader deployment. SpaceX said his "iterative process" leads to his new proposal.

"SpaceX has demonstrated the effectiveness of its revolutionary deployment process and confirmed its ability to equip three orbital aircraft with a single launch," the company said in its new submission. "By reorganizing the satellites at their approved altitude, SpaceX can place coverage and capacity more evenly and quickly across much of the US."

SpaceX also plans to launch "several more Starlink launches before the end of 2019." and asked the FCC to quickly decide on its application.

The European Space Agency (ESA) had to take action this month to avoid a collision with a SpaceX broadband satellite, as a failure in SpaceX's paging system prevented the company from making a crucial update on an increased collision risk. SpaceX, however, said in its FCC file that overall the collision risk is still close to zero, "because SpaceX has invested in drives for its satellites."

Other companies planning low earth orbit satellites include OneWeb, Space Norway, Telesat, and Amazon. OneWeb recently announced that broadband deployment for the Arctic will begin in 2020.


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