Context: In January 2023, numerous images of an unmanned Ukrainian drone surfaced on Telegram channels in Russia. These pictures showcased a Starlink satellite dish, produced by SpaceX which had been retrofitted onto the drone.
About Starlink Project
- It is the world’s first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls, and more.
- It delivers high-speed, low-latency internet to users all over the world. This system is ideally suited for rural and geographically isolated areas where internet connectivity is unreliable or non-existent.
- The satellites are equipped with Hall thrusters, which are used to manoeuvre in orbit, maintain altitude, and guide the spacecraft back into the atmosphere after their missions. Hall thrusters generate an impulse using electricity and krypton gas.
- It operates on a satellite internet service technology that has existed for decades. Instead of using cable technology to transmit internet data, a satellite system uses radio signals through the vacuum of space.
- It offers unlimited high-speed data through an array of small satellites that deliver up to 150 Megabits per second (Mbps) of internet speed.
- It uses Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and a phased array antenna to help keep its performance intact during extreme weather conditions.
- In 2019, SpaceX initiated the launch of these satellites into space, and at present, over 3,000 of these satellites are operational, transmitting internet signals to specific ground receivers.
- Unlike conventional internet providers, it operates without the need for ground infrastructure. Users only require a small satellite dish or a receiver device, similar to satellite TV, to access high-speed internet.
- It can withstand extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain, gale-force winds, and even rocket engines.