The term satellite communication is used in the media very often. Once upon a time, many people thought it was something expensive and big because even today, a minute of satellite calls costs about one dollar, and satellite phones have become very big, unlike Apple. Today, this term is connected with the name Elon Musk.
This is for a reason. In 2022, in Europe and a number of American countries, Starlink began to be tested. It’s a global satellite system from SpaceX, of which Elon Musk is a founder. With satellites launched into a working orbit, access to fast and inexpensive Internet is available anywhere in the world where it is impossible to bring a standard physical cable.
The multi-satellite constellation is a modern trend in the development of satellite communications, for which specialists need only send a signal without the use of a physical cable. This eventually led to the emergence of tens of thousands of satellites as part of the satellite constellation.
If satellite constellations start to have the prerequisites for changes in their structure, this will entail a direct and severe impact on the techno-economic characteristics of the system.
It is unacceptable to leave the possibility of the complete destruction of the modern satellite communications model. This is why, to solve the problem, you should reduce the number of satellites in the satellite constellation while maintaining the quality and speed of the connection.
Ballistic structure of satellite constellation
Without the ballistic structure, any components in orbit would not have been able to provide satellite communication of appropriate quality. That is why each spacecraft must be in a specific location. The ballistic structure has a certain system, as well as it:
- defines the capabilities of the satellite system;
- affects the characteristics of the spacecraft;
- determines the cost of deploying the coverage network.
The most important ballistic structure is the whole line of satellite systems in Low Earth orbit or LEO. The Elon Musk project is about it. The fact that experts can place light probes at a low altitude, but the number of devices will increase in any case, as they are needed on our planet. Starlink plans to launch 12,000 to 42,000 satellites.
Because of this, Starlink can become a real constellation satellite with hyper-high power, such as 10.000 space vehicles and more. Today, it is in a group of very large capacities, such as between 1000 and 10.000 space vehicles. There are Iridium and OneWeb systems in orbit.
Optimization of orbital clusters
The higher the power of the OG, the higher it is potential to optimise the structure. The main way to improve performance is to change the angle at which satellites fly. Most constellations are currently assembled in polar orbits.
If specialists send satellites to orbits with an inclination of 60 degrees, they will be able to provide quality coverage all over the globe with ease, but with a couple of weaknesses, which are that streams will simply not reach them, and the probes themselves will be moving randomly through orbit. It is a unique program without which humanity would progress much more slowly.
One way to solve this problem would be to have one satellite for one plane. Then, in inclined orbits, the satellites will begin synchronous motion as in polar orbits. This will reduce the number of space vehicles, simplify system planning and allow for even satellite distribution.
Today, commercial corporations have to figure out exactly how to deploy multitrack systems at LEO. Besides, the whole scale of the goal that Elon Musk set is unprecedented for mankind, so the appropriate solutions are needed for its purposes.