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Space Communications Network Wireless Networking Technology

Samsung Researchers Propose 4,600 Micro-Satellite Space Network 75

Bismillah writes: Samsung Electronics has proposed a network consisting of 4,600 micro-satellites that could act as backhaul for terrestrial cellular networks and take low-cost internet access worldwide. They project that by 2028, cellular and Wi-Fi traffic will exceed 1 zettabyte/month, and their goal is to design a system with equivalent capacity (PDF). "With the satellite-based backhaul, cellular and wi-fi deployments become practical in remote regions of the earth where there is no wired Internet infrastructure." The plan would require significant amounts of wireless spectrum, as well as satellites capable of 1 Tb/s or higher.
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Samsung Researchers Propose 4,600 Micro-Satellite Space Network

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    You are all tiny space cows. In space, nobody can hear you moo. ""! ""! "" tiny space cows ""! "" say the tiny space cows. YOU TINY SPACE COWS!!

  • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @12:52PM (#50302173)
    Why not up that number over 9000?
  • More junk? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @12:53PM (#50302183)

    I watched the Horizon programme [bbc.co.uk] about space junk the other week - it was good - and one of the points raised in it was concern about cubesats not having any movement capability and being cheap and considered "disposable" and thus much more likely to become part of the junk problem that other, expensive, satellites.

    4600 micro sats sounds to me like even more junk waiting to happen. Keep it up and we'll not be able to have any nice things in orbit soon.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      I suppose a lot depends on their orbit and at what point it decays.

      If that is 4600 objects in a very stable high orbit, then we're looking at a long term problem. If it is in LEO and has been deployed to have its orbit decay by the end of the expected service life of the object, that is a problem that takes care of itself after a certain amount of time.

      Looks like from the article they are going to be in LEO, which makes sense based on the application.

      • It's not just an issue of decay. 4600 satellites, in what I would have to assume will be a lot of different orbit causes a big risk of conjunctions (that's close approaches, within the margin or error of your known orbits, so risk of possibly hitting). Guess what happens when two objects moving at 17000 mph hit each-other. They are going to have and cause others to have a lot of debris avoidance maneuvers.
      • by catprog ( 849688 )

        And most microsats are in an orbit that will last only a few weeks. (below LEO)

    • by kbonin ( 58917 )

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      This should be simple to add even to a cubesat (having designed one myself), might require at most an additional U, there seems to be an interesting business / social opportunity to design a cheap one-shot module (maybe 1/4 U form factor) to deploy.

    • 4600 micro sats sounds to me like even more junk waiting to happen. Keep it up and we'll not be able to have any nice things in orbit soon.

      TFA: "low earth orbit â" in a range between 160km and 2000km in altitude." At least the lower end of that range (up to 400 km) shouldn't be a problem. Air drag will slow down the sats until they burn up in the upper atmosphere.

  • Yeah, right ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 )

    that could act as backhaul for terrestrial cellular networks and take low-cost internet access worldwide

    It could, but it won't.

    There's far too much corporate interest in making sure we pay through the nose for cellular and internet access.

    They're not going to allow low-cost anything. They might lower their costs, and increase their profits. But they will actively resist ever lowering our costs.

    Low cost? Affordable? That sounds like communism right there, there's shareholder value and executive bonuses t

    • Speak for the US of A, friend. Most other civilized countries (and many of the not-so-civilized) have really cheap, high-speed Internet access, both on mobiles and fixed lines.

    • Well, if you're right, why don't you (and your rich investors) do it for half the price? Still get rich as hell, and you're doing us all a favor at the same time. I like win-wins.

      See how I turned your communism around into good old American can-do.. um, do-ness?

  • pilot: ladies and gentlemen we've turned on the fasten seatbelt sign in preparation for entry into earths orbit and the inevitable turbulence from the legendary orbital garbage layer that surrounds the planet.
  • Will there also be an array of cleaner upper robots to collect these things things into bundles when they break down so they can be ejected from orbit and burned up in the atmosphere (or disposed of in some other way) or do we just keep rocketing micro satellites up there by the pallet as the old ones break down and try not to think about the space junk problem?
  • "I recommend a full planetary frontal assault with 4,600 assault laser micro-satellites!"

  • can anyone indicate that we're dealing with this shit, yet?

    it's as important as the environment and climate, files under both, really...

    aside from the obvious solution of turning them all into confetti deliberately, to make an umbrella, should we fail to fix the warming problem sensibly...

    is there anything practical being done, to limit the amount of crap we send up?

    • Stuff in LEO is slowed by atmospheric drag. Unless actively boosted, its orbit will decay and it will re-enter.

      As for stuff above/beyond LEO, space is *REALLY* fucking big. What looks like a solid band of junk on a computer screen is in reality an incredibly sparse field with gaps where there's nothing within miles.

      Don't get me wrong, we need to avoid making too big of a mess, but compact satellites with predictable orbits and lifetimes are not the threat. Satellites that self-destruct or are destroyed by o

      • As for stuff above/beyond LEO, space is *REALLY* fucking big. What looks like a solid band of junk on a computer screen is in reality an incredibly sparse field with gaps where there's nothing within miles.

        Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • How does a satellite stay up if the Earth is really flat?

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/za/za00.htm

    The above was written in the late 1800s so does not perform any experiments regarding satellites. It is well worth looking into though; one can see things across the water that should be "below the horizon" -- it is important to note that this observation disproves the current globe theory! (It might be a much larger globe, perhaps, but it is not a 25,000 mile around globe.)

    • Well, for one thing, I've seen the International Space Station (ISS) at least 20 times and also the Hubble Space Telescope an equal number of times. The majority of satellites travel from West to East. Some travel North to South or South to North in equal measure.

      I use software that predicts their sightings. The software even accurately predicts when the satellite will turn dark due to the sun setting on it.

      1. So if the earth is flat why do we not observe the ISS traveling East to West just as freq
  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @01:59PM (#50302707)

    The major problem is clearly stated in the article:

    The plan would require significant amounts of wireless spectrum, as well as satellites capable of 1 Tb/s or higher.

    Where we could build the satellites, what doesn't exist is the wireless spectrum. This is basically going to suffer the same fate as Light Squared did when they attempted to get some spectrum reassigned for high power terrestrial use. All of this about spectrum space.. Well, most of it is.

    This basically amounts to putting up 5K cell towers sans the towers using satellites. The Cellular spectrum is very crowded and expensive to obtain in the industrialized world. It's not going to happen, it's way too expensive and will be very difficult to internationally manage the legal aspects of such a system.

  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @02:11PM (#50302787) Homepage

    Every business plan based on making "remote regions" pay has failed. "Remote" regions that have the money have already installed infrastructure that will make this expensive and everyone else is too poor to make it worthwhile. Either a government steps in like the USG did for Iridium or this will disappear in short order.

  • Samsung is a world leader in the insane killer robot business ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AKZC-5dFWQ ) and now has robotic Howitzer, ammo and fire control platforms ( http://www.samsungtechwin.com/... [samsungtechwin.com] ) ... having a network of satellites too. Now all you need is a malicious AI to troll up a war with North Korea and it's game over... or something like that.

  • by userw014 ( 707413 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @02:27PM (#50302931) Homepage

    I took the time to skim the paper for the LEO detains that the Australian ITNews article skimmed over. The ITNews article was (sadly) a good summary - discussion of LEO satellites was limited to the altitude (160 to 2000 kilometers) and why LEO is better for signal strength than synchronous orbits. No mention at all about the inclination of the orbits (or even if polar orbits were considered). No consideration was given in the paper to existing uses of LEO (such as the Hubble Telescope or the ISS - but they'd probably be out-of-commission by the time anything remotely like this proposal was attempted.) No thought was given to what it would take to replenish the satellites in orbit (i.e.: how many launches per. year) or how small satellites would de-orbit at the end of their useful life or any consideration at all about satellites that had failed and needed to de-orbit.

    A particular point I'd like to consider is that the authors didn't seem to give any consideration of the coverage the satellites would offer based on the inclination of the orbits. It appears that the authors assumed equatorial orbits - which would certainly exclude coverage of polar regions (including coverage of trans-arctic flights.) I'd be curious if any consideration was given of coverage north (or south) of 45 degrees - such as Canada, all of Scandinavia, most of Russia, and so on.

  • Just chiming in on numbers. 1 zettabyte/month is:

    440kbps unicast 24/7 for all humans

  • "The plan would require significant amounts of wireless spectrum"

    ...which will go to some well funded organization to realize this dream, then when the inevitable happens and the project dies, they hang on to that valuable spectrum...
  • With 4,600 here and Airbus sending up 900 [theguardian.com].

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