SpaceX Starlink Dishes With Work in Trains, Cars and Planes

Elon Musk said that all vehicles on Earth are slow for a phased array antenna. This means that the 100 mbps, 30 millisecond latency Starlink will work in trains, cars and planes.

SOURCES- Elon Musk
Written By Brian Wang,

36 thoughts on “SpaceX Starlink Dishes With Work in Trains, Cars and Planes”

  1. Military drones? Of which country? Enough speed to control drones anywhere on the planet. Interesting. IPO of Starlink will be insane. Most powerful company in the world. Musk will change history.

  2. No one else seems to have noticed, but I can't think of any way that these phased array transceivers won't have the hardware capability to be used as high resolution phased array radars. The challenge will be jailbreaking them, and creating code that puts them to work.
    Starlink ground stations may very well be the CueCats(blast from the past) of the 2020s.
    A "liberated" starlink ground station would be the ultimate burglar alarm for the whole area visible from your roof. You could have a visible light camera to record intruders, that radar alerted your security system to. It could even track an airplane about to hit your neighborhood, or a hawk after your chickens.
    I wonder what the transmit power will be?

  3. This is an issue where you have to do the actual maths. Just running on intuition doesn't work because the numbers involved are so far outside of our normal experience.

    Total solar energy hitting the earth (and hence, total infrared energy leaving the Earth, because they are in balance (to multiple decimal places, if not infinitely so)) is 173 000 TW.

    Total human energy usage is (2019 figures) about 17 TW.

    So if every single watt was beamed to Earth from solar power that would otherwise have not hit the Earth, that's an increase of 1/10000.

    So what are the numbers of reduced radiation that the greenhouse enthusiasts are complaining about? I find it quite difficult to get actual numbers in among all the dramatic adjectives, but this site:

    gives a value of 0.2 W/sq.m. Out of a total of about 1000 W/sq. m so that's 2/10 000.

    Only about twice the value we'd get from space solar.

    So… contrary to my intuition, space solar IS significant compared to the greenhouse effect, and a careful study (not my back of the comment box level calcs) would be required.

  4. Convincing the general public will take examples, provided by the first people who want cheap, clean electricity, or radio stations, cell phones. Central Thailand? Does irrationality reign supreme worldwide? We are talking bucks here!

  5. There is good news and bad news about power beaming from great distances. The bad news is that is takes large dia equipment to do it at all. The good news is that it takes such large equipment that it cannot be weaponized. The epic fail would be the beam losing focus, getting very weak. Sorry, safer than Chernobyl, even if you don't want to hear it.

  6. 1. The public does not live in the beam, altho they can live and farm under the rectennae. In Space, 20% sol is not a problem, or you have a bigger one if it is for you.

    2. the non ionizing levels used are still safe, not the high power rf you mention.

    3. don't install them in the beams. Indeed, there are so many examples of accepted similar levels I don't get into the details, but let the other radio frequency users defend them, they are far richer than me.
    I would perhaps not say "burn" in a topic that includes power lines, it will upset Californians.

  7. Thanx for concerns! What you say is a true effect, but the scale is not as it apparently should be. This was brought to my attention by nuke supporters who convinced me that the *waste* heat from boiling water (about 2/3 of total) for electric turbines is insignificant compared to insolation. Same for geothermal *lost* heat that also goes into atmos while making elec. Same for all energy used by humans total. The problem is the persistent "greenhouse" gasses that reflect *all* the actual sun energy back down, trapping it, **far** more than the energy derived from the burning that creates those gasses. Or coal. Space solar is better than Earth solar in the way you mention, even then, as the (also ~ 2/3) of *waste* cell energy is dumped into Space before transmission, not onto Earth as with (as you correctly say, very black) Earth cells. Compensation/restoration reflectors would also be far easier in Space, as they can be verrrry thin glass sheets between Sun and Earth that just slightly diffuse the sunlight, so most of it misses Earth, rather than hits it. In fact, these sheets can cool the planet pretty fast by direct *shading*, rather than waiting for CO2 levels to drop. If we are in Space to make them, from lunar glass. So, the cheaper Space Solar, esp if ISM/ISRU derived, wins hands down, and helps get us outta here, so Earth can return to a Nature Preserve.

  8. Since with Space Solar you capture light that would have not hit Earth, Space Solar increases Earth's apparent surface exposed to sunlight.
    This will lead to an increase in temperature due to more energy hitting Earth and amplified heating from greenhouse gasses (as the extra energy will be converted to heat after use and more heat will bounce around in the atmosphere).
    I am not convinced that space solar is the solution for Earth( for moon colonies or for Mars I think is perfect).
    I think that if you want to use solar on planetary level I think it still should be Earth based and for every square meter (or foot) of panels we should consider installing sufficient amount of reflective/white surfaces to compensate for the decreased albedo (I think the effect are still small now, but if you plan megastructures turning the Nevada desert in a hot pitch black glass slate might have nasty side effects).

  9. Here in Norway we have a lot of really long tunnels. They mount repeaters along the length of the tunnel. Most places you have a data connection the whole way. I don't see why they can't do the same for starlink uplinks.

  10. I'm concerned about an even more likely issue.

    If Chernobyl can happen, how will you convince the general public that power beam disasters can't happen? Even if they are "just" going to EMP the nearest city, rather than actually microwaving anyone.

  11. And as a non engineer, non physics guy, I'd just like to say that I would much rather just put some solar panels on my roof, then have to worry about some errant power beam vaporizing me. And Dan Lantz, don't tell me that can't happen. If Chernobyl can happen, then so can power beaming have an epic fail.


  12. You assume there is a will and justification to cover every nook and cranny of the US with blimplink coverage.

    There isn't. Most places are sparsely populated wastelands that don't justify the investment. That's why they don't have coverage today.

    While with Starlink, the satellites are permanently moving over populated and unpopulated areas, and they don't care if you are in some remote place or in a city when you access the link: the cost of the satellite is the same.

  13. The need for one-to-one GEO SPS to Earth single rectenna is a simple, initial assumption of both Glaser and O'Neill, using big dishes to transmit. But my initial point brings out the advantage of phased array, a truly beautiful topic, BTW. For interestingly large loads, 20-200 TWe for example, the transmitters have to be so large to handle the load that they can be as far away as the Moon, or L5, and still not be big enuf, needing more than one anyway. So the distance does not matter, after a starting scale is reached, about .5 TWe. See Criswell link *below*. For power beaming short distances, Earth to Earth, it is really easy, so batteries not needed hardly at all even for ground based solar.

  14. I’d expect cheap, low latency, high bandwidth internet to be a big early Starlink market on aircraft (commercial, military, private) and Ships (Cruise, Military, Cargo) + Commercial Trucking and Trains. There’s a significant market with RVs/Campers. A high profile market with disaster response and emergency mobile internet.

  15. Satellite Solar would like older Satellite Internet be in geosynchronous orbit to have a stable relationship with the ground rectenna. He thinks Beaming power 22k+ miles will never be as cheap as ground based Solar PV + batteries.

  16. A blimp that provides mobile 5G is an example of a customer of Starlink for backhaul not a competitor. Blimps with big 5G antenna and smaller Starlink antenna would be bridge between mobile devices and Starlink.

  17. Actually, the tilt of the "pizza box" is probably a lot more critical than the lateral position. If you move at 100m/s and you forget to update your radiation direction, then the center of the radiation lobe moves by 100m. Presumably, the end of the lobe is much, much bigger.

    If the box suddenly tilts by 10 degrees, the lobe moves by about 20 km at the height of the satelite (~200 km). A much, much, bigger change…

    The pivot angle could also be critical…

    But the lateral position is probably not that critical…

  18. Could have a cell of stand alone devices inside the tunnel, that then link to Starlink transmitter positioned outside the tunnel

  19. "Commercial applications for such an aircraft are not hard to imagine. A good example is as a high-altitude pseudosatellite,
    a craft that can be positioned at will to convey wireless signals to
    remote places. Existing aircraft designed to perform this role all need
    very big arrays of solar cells and large batteries, which add to both
    the weight and cost of the aircraft. Because the Phoenix needs only
    small arrays of solar cells on the wings and horizontal tail, it can be
    built for a tenth the cost of the solar e-planes that have been designed
    for this purpose. It is a cheap, almost disposable, alternative with a
    much higher ratio of payload to mass than that of alternative aircraft.
    And our designs for a much larger version of the Phoenix show that it
    should be feasible to lift a payload of 100 kg to an altitude of 20

  20. Phased array radar costs a fortune at present. Not sure if it costs less in the spectrum Starlink is using?

  21. This is how power beaming works. So why does not Musk like Space Solar? Does he sell roof cells and batteries or something?

  22. In theory, a phased array antenna could respond fast enough for any vehicle that wasn't making maneuvers that would kill the occupants. It's more a question of implementation than what's possible. If they want it to work on a sports car while making sharp turns, it will.

    You'd probably want to put a 6 axis accelerometer in the pizza box, of course, to make doing this easier.

  23. It might work a little further into tunnels than GPS, the power level is a lot higher. And better in woods, too. But, yes, that's a typical problem with satellites.

  24. Phased array, as I understand it. So generally pointing upward should be adequate.
    Not sure how fast it will adapt to movements, which could be critical to avoid high data loss and re-transmission rates on a moving vehicle.

  25. The interesting bit is, what is the antenna format for moving vehicles thought? Traditional gyro mount?) Slewing slatted pizzabox antenna? Fixed pyramid? Take the suck of off angles and just do a flat plate pointing to zenith?

  26. Yachts and ships should be a key early market for Starlink, once they get the space-lasers working well.

    Yacht owners seem to like having the best gadgets and are generally able to pay for them. Starlink should be superior to other options available. This fits into Musk's traditional approach of starting in premium market levels and expanding downward as his product/service gets refined, so marketing costs are kept minimal until cash is flowing.

    Large ships at sea can also generally justify a premium service to keep the crew happy during extended trips.

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