Satelit Internet Memenuhi Ruang Angkasa Bumi Kita
Kita mengenal ada 2 macam satelit, yaitu satelit alami dan satelit buatan manusia. Satelit internet termasuk dalam satelit buatan. Sesuai namanya, satelit internet adalah benda di ruang angkasa yang mengelilingi bumi dengan periode revolusi dan rotasi tertentu sebagai bagian dari jaringan komputer global menggunakan protokol internet.
Dalam tulisan ini dibahas mengenai satelit internet di Indonesia dan di luar negeri. Beberapa program pengembangan satelit internet oleh sejumlah perusahaan juga akan dibahas.
1. Satelit Internet di Indonesia
Di negeri kita sendiri, di tahun 2022 rencananya akan diluncurkan Satria, yakni satelit internet pertama Indonesia dengan teknologi throughput yang sangat tinggi. Memiliki kapasitas 150 GB untuk menjangkau 150 ribu titik di Indonesia yang belum terjangkau kabel serat optik.
Satelit Satria ini dibuat oleh Thales Alenia Space dari Perancis. Indonesia menjadi negara keempat di dunia setelah AS, Luksemburg dan Kanada yang menggunakan teknologi satelit internet yang sangat cepat ini.
Satria akan memakan anggaran hampir 21 trilyun rupiah menurut Menteri Kemenkominfo saat itu, Rudiantara. Namun dampak positifnya terhadap negara juga besar, karena dapat membuka jalur komunikasi untuk sembilan puluh tiga ribu sembilan ratus sekolah terpencil, empat puluh tujuh ribu sembilan ratus kantor pemerintahan daerah, tiga ribu tujuh ratus puskesmas, dan tiga ribu sembilan ratus markas polisi dan TNI yang belum terkonek serat optik.
2. Satelit Internet di Luar Negeri
Sedangkan di luar negeri, provider satelit internet seperti SpaceX malah telah merencanakan untuk meluncurkan 42.000 satelit yang menjadi bagian dari proyek internet Starlink. Padahal sejak awal era satelit pertama yakni Sputnik 1 buatan Sovyet di tahun 1957, total hingga kini baru ada 8.800 satelit yang telah diluncurkan.
Apabila program Starlink itu berjalan lancar, jumlah satelit yang ada akan meningkat hingga 5 kali lipat dalam beberapa tahun ke depan. Artinya, ruang angkasa kita akan menjadi hutan satelit untuk memenuhi tuntutan dan kebutuhan jaringan internet yang dapat menjangkau tempat-tempat terpencil di dunia.
Perusahaan lain, Oneweb bekerjasama dengan Airbus telah meluncurkan 6 satelit internet awal tahun 2019 ini. Mereka berencana akan meluncurkan hingga 2.000 satelit. OneWeb menggunakan roket Soyuz buatan Rusia untuk meluncurkan satelit-satelitnya.
Amazon juga tidak ketinggalan dengan proyek Kuiper-nya. Perusahaan ini memang belum meluncurkan satu pun satelitnya. Namun mereka telah mendirikan unit bisnis AWS Ground Station untuk membangun 12 fasilitas stasiun bumi di seluruh dunia. Perusahaan Blue Origin milik Jeff Bezos pun dipilih untuk nanti meluncurkan satelit-satelit milik Amazon.
Berikut ini video mengenai sejumlah topik terkait satelit, termasuk program Starlink berupa konstelasi mega satelit dan proyek internet lainnya:
> Sejarah Satelit
> Cara Kerja Satelit
> Provider Satelit Internet
Berikut adalah transkrip dari video tersebut:
Since the beginning of the space age, more than 8,875 objects have been launched into Earth’s orbit. But in a few years, that number can jump significantly.
Private companies or satellite providers plan to send tens of thousands of satellites into space to serve internet to customers on Earth. Elon Musk’s SpaceX alone has announced plans to launch 42,000 satellites as part of its Starlink internet project.
If this happens, SpaceX will, by itself, be responsible for about a fivefold increase in the number of spacecraft launched by all of humanity.
Technically, a satellite refers to any object that orbits another, larger object in space, like the Earth orbiting the sun. But when we talk about satellites, we usually think about man-made satellites.
The first man-made satellite launched into space was called Sputnik and it was about the size of a beach ball. This is Russia on October 4th, 1957. On the launching pad is Sputnik Assembly First. Freely translated to mean ‘traveling
companion to the Earth.’
The Soviet Union is launching the first Earth satellite. Sputnik signaled the beginning of the space race. And since then, we’ve been launching more and more objects into orbit.
Now, companies such as SpaceX, Amazon, Telesat and OneWeb want to launch thousands of satellites to make what they call mega constellations. A mega constellation is a network that has hundreds, or even thousands of satellites all orbiting and working together in a complete system.
The reason these companies are pursuing these mega-constellations comes down to essentially two factors. One is that the cost of hardware for these types of satellites has come down and they’ve shrunk in size considerably. And the second is because there’s an increasing demand for data all around the world.
So providing high-speed data to any point on earth is an increasingly valuable asset. Satellites that provide internet are not necessarily a new idea. Companies like Hughes Network Systems and ViaSat are already beaming internet to rural parts of the planet that are not served by fiber cable connections.
About 49 percent of global households are still not connected to the internet. And these are the people that traditional satellite companies have tried to reach. Today, there are only a small number of consumer internet offerings over satellite. They tend to be more expensive and they also tend to have fairly low numbers of users.
In the United States, there are only about 2 million customers out of our more than a hundred million households that utilize satellite internet. One big issue with current satellite networks has been latency.
Traditional satellites orbit very far away from the Earth. And that distance increases the overall latency in the network. Latency is the responsiveness of the network. So if you are streaming something online, it’s how quickly something loads or how smoothly it runs.
Most internet satellites today operate in what’s called ‘geostationary orbit,’ which is around 36,000 kilometers above Earth’s surface and remain fixed on top of one area. But the satellite systems that SpaceX, OneWeb, Amazon and Telesat are proposing will operate in what is called ‘low Earth orbit,’ or between 180 – 2,000 kilometers above Earth’s surface.
In theory, this should cut down on the latency issues, with speeds up to 20 times faster than current GEO satellites. But to get the same coverage with LEO satellites, you need more of them. The speed of transmission of light in fiber is 40 percent slower than it is in air or vacuum.
So in fact, you can build a quite extensive low Earth orbit satellite network and have very fast communications capability because they’re lower. You actually need more of them to cover an effective area, right? They just can’t see all the parts of the Earth.
So our higher orbiting satellites used to be able to get away with a much smaller number of actual orbiting vehicles, whereas these new, lower earth orbit constellations do require more. However, there’s more to it than that.
They also need to have adequate power. And if they’re going to provide lots of people with connectivity, they need to have lots of capacity. Hence, you need more satellites to do that. Whether having, you know, 10,20 thousand or more satellites orbiting is warranted for any of these, is still yet to be seen. Satellites still need something back on Earth to receive their signals.
Beyond building the satellites for these mega constellations, these companies will also have to invest in heavy amounts of infrastructure on the ground. That will look like thousands or even millions of antenna all around the world to receive the signal from the satellites and distribute it to consumers on the ground.
Plans to offer internet from space may sound familiar as both Facebook and Google have considered developing these kinds of satellites before. But Facebook hasn’t announced anything in over a year since talking about its Athena satellite. And Google is one of the main investors in SpaceX’s system. So they’re expected to look very closely at how Starlink is developed.
The top companies pursuing mega constellations are tech giants SpaceX and Amazon, as well as satellite builders OneWeb and Telesat. The leader in this category, at least by quantity of satellites launched, is SpaceX, as they’ve launched 120 of their Starlink satellites so far this year and are set to launch another 60 very soon. And we have
confirmation of deploy.
You can hear the team in the background. This is an incredible moment for SpaceX. You can see those flat-packed
Starlink satellites slowly gliding away from the top of the second stage. This is the highest number of satellites that SpaceX has ever deployed in a single time.
SpaceX’s utilization of its renewable Falcon 9 rocket dramatically decreases the cost of sending satellites into space. FCC documents show that SpaceX expects Starlink to become operational once at least 800 satellites are deployed. The main value of Starlink is providing low latency, high bandwidth access to sparse and moderately sparse, like a relatively low density areas. It’s probably able to serve like three to five percent of people in the world.
SpaceX began with the idea to launch 12,000 satellites. But in October 2019, the company requested permission for an additional 30,000. SpaceX has also put in a request with the FCC for up to 1 million Earth stations, which end-user customers will utilize to communicate with its satellites.
The U.S. Air Force is also testing Starlink’s satellites on its military planes and has so far reported favorable results. SpaceX has said that it will begin offering internet service by 2020.
Hot on SpaceX’s heels is OneWeb, which is already building its own satellites, having launched six earlier this year. They’ve done a joint venture with Airbus and they have a factory at Cape Canaveral and they’ve really set up a supply chain. They’re using the same satellite over and over again to populate their system. And they’re going to produce 650 for the first layer of capacity, which will be for global coverage. They’ll go all the way up to 2,000.
Like SpaceX, OneWeb has its own set of big name backers, including Softbank and British business magnate Richard Branson. OneWeb says each of its satellites cost about $1 billion to produce. But unlike SpaceX, OneWeb must depend on Russian-built, Soyuz rockets to launch its satellites.
Unlike OneWeb and SpaceX, Amazon has yet to launch any satellites, and is early in developing, as it’s still seeking regulatory approval for its project Kuiper Network. Amazon’s Project Kuiper plans to launch a total of 3,236 satellites into low-Earth orbit.
Back in April 2019, Amazon hired the former leader of SpaceX’s satellite program to run Project
Kuiper after Musk fired him. According to reports, Musk had become frustrated with the pace of Starlink’s development. Though it’s behind on building satellites, Amazon already has a head start on ground infrastructure.
In November 2019, the company announced AWS Ground Station, a new business unit that will build twelve satellite facilities around the world to provide the vital link needed to transmit data to and from satellites in orbit. Plus, although technically a different company, Jeff Bezos’, Blue Origin would be the obvious choice to launch these satellites.
Also in the mix is Canadian satellite builder Telesat, which has received significant investment thus far but hasn’t launched any satellites yet. They’re negotiating with companies that would build their network, which is estimated to
cost about $3 billion. Astronomers are now very concerned about this new, large constellations that are being launched.
The number that are planned would exceed all satellites launched to date. And the real challenge here is not necessarily the number of new launches. It’s the brightness, how bright these things will be. That they will saturate our detectors and cause all sorts of difficulties in astronomical observing.
The image, taken from a telescope in Chile in November 2019, illustrates the concerns from astronomers. The telescope, meant to see images of distant stars and galaxies, instead captured the light trails of 19 Starlink satellites. Some astronomers took to Twitter to express their concerns after SpaceX launched the first 60 Starlink satellites back in May 2019.
After astronomers raised these concerns, SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, said in a tweet that his company would look at how they can decrease the brightness of these Starlink satellites. SpaceX president, Gwen Shotwell, also told reporters in December 2019 that they planned to address the issue. SpaceX will put a special coating on the bottom of one of the satellites on its third launch to test if that will decrease the satellite’s brightness…..
2. CNBC Channel on Youtube