Elon Musk: Starlink Will Transfer Data Close To 97% Of The Speed Of Light

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s (SpaceX) president Mr. Elon Musk has claimed that his company’s Starlink satellite internet service would soon be capable of moving data quicker much closer to the speed of light.

Mr. Musk’s statements were made on the social media site Twitter, where he released data about new Starlink satellites, which SpaceX will launch in the next couple of months.

These satellites will be outfitted with lasers, which are a vital feature that removes the need for Starlink to employ ground stations to transmit data to internet servers.

According to the CEO, the new satellites will launch shortly and be functioning by the start of next year.

Starlink Will Be Able To Provide Arctic Regions With Internet Coverage Through New Satellites Outlines Musk

The present Starlink network design consists of three parts. These are the user terminal or dish, the circling satellites and the ground stations in places where beta testers are presently utilizing the service.

The network operates by transferring the user data to the satellites who rebroadcast it to the ground stations for internet access. This is subsequently transmitted back to the satellites, which then beam it back down to the consumers.

Starlink’s dependence on ground stations, on the other hand, has been largely eliminated by SpaceX for more than a year. This is what the corporation hopes to do by equipping its satellites with lasers that will be capable of transporting data between the spacecrafts themselves.

Because data will be transported across continents without ‘touching’ the ground, the amount of time the satellites must spend interacting with the ground stations will be reduced, and the amount of coverage will be increased as well.

Musk revealed a few specifics about these new satellites in his most recent tweets. SpaceX has already launched laser-guided rockets, and this will not be the first time. As far back as November of last year, the business has begun testing the spacecraft, and it launched a second batch in January of this year.

NASA’s top executive said that his corporation would launch new satellites with laser communication capabilities in the coming months. In a previous answer, he explained that the laser satellites would not need ground stations in nations to enable Starlink access to local customers. His remarks followed that statement.

Musk claims that the new satellites would virtually halve the time it takes for Starlink data to transmit since the lasers will enable the data to flow at tremendous speeds.

To put it another way, he says:

Processing is not an issue. Lasers links alleviate ground station constraints, so data can go from say Sydney to London through space, which is ~40% faster speed of light than fiber & shorter path.

Also, no need for ground stations everywhere. Arctic will have great bandwidth!

While fiber optics is often thought of as transporting data at the speed of light, the fact is that this speed is different from the speed at which light travels in a vacuum, as explained in the next section.

The speed of light is controlled by a concept known as’refractive index,’ which is defined as the ratio of the speed of light to the speed of light in a substance. A high-quality fiber optic cable has a refractive index of around 1.44, which means that light travels at a speed of 129,166 miles per second in this cable.

Using this speed, together with Musk’s claim that Starlink can transport data around 40% faster than fiber-optic light speed, it is determined that SpaceX’s internet service can send data at a rate of 180,832 miles per second, according to Musk.

Given that the speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second, the vacuum data transmission speed of Starlink is about 97 percent of the speed of light.

With the plans to launch these satellites moving at the speed of the company’s fast-paced environment, SpaceX has kept pace with the times. Satellite connection was originally addressed in the context of Starlink’s plans for second-generation satellites, which were announced in 2007.

These satellites, which will number 30,000 in total, will be equipped with a variety of improvements over the spacecraft that are now in orbit.

As compared to the first-generation Starlink satellites, they will have three times the data capacity and will reduce latencies (the amount of time it takes for a data packet to travel from one user to another) to 50 milliseconds. They will also provide better coverage to polar regions such as the Arctic and Alaska, as well as lower manufacturing costs.

It seems that, according to its filings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), SpaceX is preparing to launch more than 1,200 Starlink satellites over the next several months. These launches will take place after a hiatus that, according to business executives, was caused by a scarcity of rocket oxidizers and a backlog in satellite construction.

About Alex Bruno

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