Starlink System Update
For the Henderson Amateur Radio Club Tek Net
Starlink is a satellite delivery system for network services conceived by Elon Musk of SpaceX in Hawthorne California.
The system proposes to use up to 12,000 Low Earth Orbit satellite vehicles to relay internet services from the wideband internet fiber optic backbone direct to subscriber terminals anywhere in the world. It does this by using a variety of microwave frequencies to backhaul the satellites to a large number of ground stations to and from small subscriber terminals.
My Starlink installation at my in Pahrump, just sitting in the dirt and gravel in my back
My dish on a slightly cooler day.
My friend Bill’s new style rectangular dish installed at his him in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Bill apparently gets more snow than we do here in Southern Nevada…
So what do the ground entry stations look like?
Here are a few shots from around the internet from people who have actually visited the locations.
A single Starlink ground link antenna installed on a concrete pad with
Another Starlink Ground Entry Station with 7 RADOMES and 5 subscriber antennas for confidence testing?
So now we know what the subscriber and ground entry stations look like, how is the space segment progressing?
It appears at this time that there are over 2000 satellite vehicles in orbit providing almost global coverage, with the exception of the extreme northern and southern regions.
A snapshot from the starlink.sx webpage that is not affiliated with Starlink or SpaceX, but uses the satellite tracking data from US Space Command to calculate the actual position of all the satellite vehicles in real time.
OK, so you see a lot of little dots. Some are green, some are red, some are orange, etc.
The green dots are the working satellites, red dots are satellites that have just been launched and are still being positioned into their final altitudes and slots.
The orange dots are the ground stations.
Again, go to starlink.sx to view this map in real time and watch how they move and relate to one another.
Zoom in to your particular area to see how you would receive coverage.
Here is a zoom in on the continental United States.
Note the orange dots showing the distribution of ground stations and how they are slightly uneven. This should be improving in the near future.
You can see a group of satellites in red, just off the east coast. These are a recently launched cluster of satellites that are still being spaced out and positioned to enter service.
Also note the legend that I have dropped down at upper left so you can interpret the different symbols.
Here is a close-up of the Las Vegas area showing how the coverage cells are arranged. I have also established a subscriber station which is shown as a green dot in the center of the yellow ellipse.
Each satellite vehicle projects coverage cells on the ground using its phased array antenna.
The CONUS area is way too cluttered to see these clearly so I found an area where they can be seen clearly.
Showing how the satellite projects the coverage cells on the earth’s surface. This satellite is not connected to any ground station at the time of this snap shot so no connectivity to northern Canada can be implied.
SpaceX is launching satellites into different orbital inclinations to improve coverage and eliminate periods of no visible satellites to their subscriber terminals. Most of the satellites launched to date are in a 53° inclined orbit in reference to the earth’s equator.
The following graphics show the present populations of the different inclinations.
Population of 53° orbit plane.
Fig # 012
Population of 53.2° orbit plane.
Population of 70° orbital plane.
As you can see, Starlink has come a long way in the year of my Beta test participation.
But they have a long way to go to get to the point of the total coverage that Elon Musk has suggested.
Presented by Tony Dinkel, WB6MIE
Audio clip by Dave W3QQQ
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