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(Guardian)   That sinking feeling when you've bought all the wrong satellites   (theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Global Positioning System, European Union, Global navigation satellite system, UK government's plan, Satellite navigation system, satellite broadband company, Satellite navigation systems, Satellite  
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1956 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 Jun 2020 at 6:35 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-06-26 4:59:07 PM  
FTA: "The fundamental starting point is, yes, we've bought the wrong satellites," said Dr Bleddyn Bowen, a space policy expert at the University of Leicester.


that's ...unfortunate.
 
2020-06-26 5:32:38 PM  
The poor Royal Navy will be forced to use this thing.  I pity the fools.
 
2020-06-26 5:56:51 PM  
"OneWeb is working on basically the same idea as Elon Musk's Starlink: a mega-constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit,

Great. Tens of thousands more satellites clogging LEO.
 
2020-06-26 6:11:15 PM  

elvisaintdead: FTA: "The fundamental starting point is, yes, we've bought the wrong satellites," said Dr Bleddyn Bowen, a space policy expert at the University of Leicester.


that's ...unfortunate.


Oh, gets even better. They wanted to invest in a commercial alternative to the encrypted military bands in the Galileo constellation (European GPS) in case the EU decides to cut off their access after Brexit.

"What's happened is that the very talented lobbyists at OneWeb have convinced the government that we can completely redesign some of the satellites to piggyback a navigation payload on it. It's bolting an unproven technology on to a mega-constellation that's designed to do something else. It's a tech and business gamble."

I sure as fark hope these guys got a commission.

You can't just "piggyback" an accurate location off any old satellite signal. At orbital speeds the satellite has to be able to account for time dilation, so you have to have an atomic clock on board the satellite bus. A GPS satellite is basically just an orbiting clock that broadcasts. If you just use any ole CPU clock - like you would use in a low orbit low cost communications satellite - your location is going to be way the hell off.

So technically speaking, you can actually do this.

Practically speaking, the results are always going to be unusable garbage.

Technically correct is the best correct.
 
2020-06-26 7:01:16 PM  
I just love how 'scheme' is used in British English where 'Plan' or 'Project' might be used in American English. It makes them sound ever so silly to American ears.

Or maybe that's what they want us to think...
 
2020-06-26 7:20:59 PM  
OneWeb filed for bankruptcy in March in the US, where most of its operations are located, after failing to secure new funding

At least someone else is bailing out a US company for a change.  We really appreciate it.
 
2020-06-26 7:33:00 PM  
BrexSat 1, you are GO for liftoff.
live.staticflickr.comView Full Size
 
2020-06-26 8:04:50 PM  
TFA starts with "They bought the wrong satellites" but then ends up with ""Let's give the government the benefit of the doubt: if the output the government wants is a UK-branded positioning system, a projection of UK power around the world and supporting the UK satellite industry base, then it is probably quicker and cheaper to smash the square peg of OneWeb into the round hole of a Galileo replacement than it is to do it from scratch," said Thorne"which seems to be saying "Yes, this can work and will be cheaper and quicker"

So can it work or not? In another article it was reported that using hundreds of smaller satellites rather than a dozen or so bigger/higher ones will give far greater redundancy and insurance against satellites being taken out by an enemy in war.

Elegy: You can't just "piggyback" an accurate location off any old satellite signal. At orbital speeds the satellite has to be able to account for time dilation, so you have to have an atomic clock on board the satellite bus. A GPS satellite is basically just an orbiting clock that broadcasts. If you just use any ole CPU clock - like you would use in a low orbit low cost communications satellite - your location is going to be way the hell off.

So technically speaking, you can actually do this.

Practically speaking, the results are always going to be unusable garbage.


It is also reported that the plan is to add atomic clocks to the next gen of satellites, not try to use the current ones.
One of the reported sweeteners is that global positioning systems optimized for low Earth orbit could be added to the second-generation OneWeb satellites.

And as a bonus the data capability would be very useful for UK military around the world, and civilian use as well. It also looks like their coverage of the poles will be far better, and that has been a weakness of GPS since with only a few satellites they don't bother going that far north or south.
 
2020-06-26 8:08:28 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: The poor Royal Navy will be forced to use this thing.  I pity the fools.


Who needs modern technology when you've got Sir Francis Drake on your side?  I know he's dead, but surely he must have had some descendants.

Actually he didn't
 
2020-06-26 8:13:49 PM  
Bowen said: "If you want to replace GPS for military-grade systems, where you need encrypted, secure signals that are precise to centimetres,

Do you need that level of accuracy to re-invade Scotland? I mean, seriously, head north, you can't miss it
 
2020-06-26 8:23:11 PM  
Oh, look who went desperately googling for something "proving" that Brexit is the best thing ever.

Sweet quote from the marketing materials, dude.
 
2020-06-26 8:23:51 PM  
Not a rocket surgeon but these things are clearly low enough for noticeable atmospheric drag. How the hell do you get  cm scale accuracy out of something with extremely hard to predict positions?  You will need a GPS for your GPS.
 
2020-06-26 8:33:50 PM  

jaytkay: Oh, look who went desperately googling for something "proving" that Brexit is the best thing ever.

Sweet quote from the marketing materials, dude.


Isn't this thread someone desperately Googling for something to make Brexit and the UK look bad?
Even TFA said it could work, and be faster and cheaper. And the link to that article was to point out they weren't claiming the current satellites would work but a new model, with GPS functionality added. Elegy was claiming they would try to do GPS with their current ones and explained why that wouldn't work. I just pointed out that that wasn't what they were planning, and I'd like to think someone in the government has actually looked into this.

/This is like the "Ha ha! The flag on Boris Johnsons new plane is the wrong way around!". It is people desperate for something that shows the government in a bad light, when in fact the flag is perfectly correct.
 
2020-06-26 8:36:40 PM  

whither_apophis: Bowen said: "If you want to replace GPS for military-grade systems, where you need encrypted, secure signals that are precise to centimetres,

Do you need that level of accuracy to re-invade Scotland? I mean, seriously, head north, you can't miss it


Scotland became part of the UK when they bankrupted themselves in the disastrous Darien scheme, and then came to England begging to be bailed out. If Scotland gets independence any time soon it will be them trying to find their way to England begging to be bailed out again.
 
2020-06-26 9:33:59 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: It is also reported that the plan is to add atomic clocks to the next gen of satellites, not try to use the current ones.
One of the reported sweeteners is that global positioning systems optimized for low Earth orbit could be added to the second-generation OneWeb satellites.

And as a bonus the data capability would be very useful for UK military around the world, and civilian use as well. It also looks like their coverage of the poles will be far better, and that has been a weakness of GPS since with only a few satellites they don't bother going that far north or south.


That's why I said:
Technically correct is the best correct.

All of this is technically true on the face but beneath that is a really farking deep ocean of horrendously complicated technical issues. You're slapping so much unproven tech on the "second generation of satellites" they are entirely new satellites for an entirely new purpose.

There are a million obstacles that are almost unsolvable unless the UK is willing to dump its annual tax revenue into this single project. Ask the US: GPS is our tech and our new Block III satellites have been delayed for YEARS.

US satellites carry not 1, but 4 atomic clocks.
This is what OneWebs satellites look like. They are 150 kg - by comparison a GPS Block III satellite is 3,880 kg.  OneWeb only has 70 satellites in orbit at the moment.

The GPS carrier frequency is deliberately kept clear in the US because it uses low power for technical reasons; this plan proposes to put GPS transmitters next to high power transmitters for internet access.

Since the proposed satellites will be military rated, the UK is going to have roll their own encryption from scratch. Then they are going to need to design and manufacture the receivers from scratch.

The list of technical problems just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on. I could sit here for an hour doing this and still not get all of them.

Now add to this the fact that OneWeb just laid off 90% of its workforce when it filed for Bankruptcy in March.

So yes. All of what you say is technically the the truth. 100%. It could be done.

It won't be done by the British government throwing £500 billion pounds sterling into a failed company whose lobbyists are promising fairy magic in return for a half trillion pound government bailout.

This is a farking moonshot and its 99.99999% guaranteed the government the UK government will never see a return on this investment in terms of usable tech.
 
2020-06-26 9:39:47 PM  
To be clear: OneWeb only has 70 satellites in orbit at the momentmeans they aren't entirely unproven but it doesn't mean they are proven either.

That constellation is currently too small to do what it says it will do on the box - deliver reliable internet access - and OneWeb bankrupted themselves building it.
 
2020-06-26 9:58:35 PM  

Elegy: That's why I said:
Technically correct is the best correct.


No, you said "You can't just "piggyback" an accurate location off any old satellite signal. At orbital speeds the satellite has to be able to account for time dilation, so you have to have an atomic clock on board the satellite bus. A GPS satellite is basically just an orbiting clock that broadcasts. If you just use any ole CPU clock - like you would use in a low orbit low cost communications satellite - your location is going to be way the hell off."

You assumed they were intending to use the current satellites, and gave reasons why that wouldn't work. The article I linked to explained that that wasn't the plan, or what they had been promised. They were talking about a new satellite built with specifically a GPS function.

Elegy: Since the proposed satellites will be military rated, the UK is going to have roll their own encryption from scratch. Then they are going to need to design and manufacture the receivers from scratch.

The list of technical problems just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on. I could sit here for an hour doing this and still not get all of them.

Now add to this the fact that OneWeb just laid off 90% of its workforce when it filed for Bankruptcy in March.


OneWeb's satellites were built with Airbus, who are a major satellite manufacturer in the UK.  The UK is actually a major satellite builder. It's something we're quite good at.
 
2020-06-26 10:42:41 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: OneWeb's satellites were built with Airbus, who are a major satellite manufacturer in the UK. The UK is actually a major satellite builder. It's something we're quite good at.


The OneWeb satellites were built in Florida.
 
2020-06-26 11:30:31 PM  
I'll bet the satellites have the radio ability but they forgot the atomic clocks and related equipment for farking insane levels of precision tracking.
 
2020-06-26 11:34:27 PM  

pehvbot: Not a rocket surgeon but these things are clearly low enough for noticeable atmospheric drag. How the hell do you get  cm scale accuracy out of something with extremely hard to predict positions?  You will need a GPS for your GPS.


Ground tracking.
 
2020-06-27 12:48:18 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: No, you said "You can't just "piggyback" an accurate location off any old satellite signal.


Yes. Because you would need to cram 3,800 kg of gear onto a 150 kg low orbit communication satellite.

What part of "mongo say big thing not go in small thing" are you having trouble understanding?

The UK is pretty good at building satellites

No shiat, Sherlock, but you guys aren't farkin' Harry Potter. Big thing no go in small thing. If you cram the amount of gear necessary to use these sats for military grade geolocation, they are no longer low cost, 150 kg internet satellites meant to deployed by the thousands.

And they have to be deployed by the thousands to work for their intended purpose.

So now need 1,000s of big, expensive satellites each that cost more, and cost more to launch, on a commercial satellite. OneWebs birds are supposed to be low cost sats that are launched by the hundreds and thousands.

So, yes, it is technically true that OneWeb COULD do these things. And no, they will not do these things, because the idea is a complete and utter fantasy. It is technically and economically unviable every way you look at it.

So call it what it is: £500 billion pounds of government handouts to keep a very specialized British ISP afloat. You're not going to get a British Galileo out of it, sorry about that. Life is tough sometimes.
 
2020-06-27 1:03:01 AM  
southparkstudios.mtvnimages.comView Full Size
 
2020-06-27 1:27:07 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: jaytkay: Oh, look who went desperately googling for something "proving" that Brexit is the best thing ever.

Sweet quote from the marketing materials, dude.

Isn't this thread someone desperately Googling for something to make Brexit and the UK look bad?
Even TFA said it could work, and be faster and cheaper. And the link to that article was to point out they weren't claiming the current satellites would work but a new model, with GPS functionality added. Elegy was claiming they would try to do GPS with their current ones and explained why that wouldn't work. I just pointed out that that wasn't what they were planning, and I'd like to think someone in the government has actually looked into this.

/This is like the "Ha ha! The flag on Boris Johnsons new plane is the wrong way around!". It is people desperate for something that shows the government in a bad light, when in fact the flag is perfectly correct.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Regular GPS = a relatively small number of satellites = a relatively small number of atomic clocks.

OneWeb-based GPS = a very large number of satellites = a very large number of atomic clocks.

Cesium Beams ain't cheap.

Or are they scrapping their approved and alloted orbits and going with a GPS-style constellation?

So, if they can't use the existing satellites, and they can't use the orbits they've already secured, then just what the hell are they paying for?  Ground command and control that will at the least have to be heavily retrofitted?
 
2020-06-27 4:52:16 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: TFA starts with "They bought the wrong satellites" but then ends up with ""Let's give the government the benefit of the doubt: if the output the government wants is a UK-branded positioning system, a projection of UK power around the world and supporting the UK satellite industry base, then it is probably quicker and cheaper to smash the square peg of OneWeb into the round hole of a Galileo replacement than it is to do it from scratch," said Thorne"which seems to be saying "Yes, this can work and will be cheaper and quicker"

So can it work or not? In another article it was reported that using hundreds of smaller satellites rather than a dozen or so bigger/higher ones will give far greater redundancy and insurance against satellites being taken out by an enemy in war.


At this point, I have to consider you have serious reading comprehension issue, seeing that you posted an excerpt that explicitly rejected your claim.
 
2020-06-27 4:55:59 AM  

Elegy: elvisaintdead: FTA: "The fundamental starting point is, yes, we've bought the wrong satellites," said Dr Bleddyn Bowen, a space policy expert at the University of Leicester.


that's ...unfortunate.

Oh, gets even better. They wanted to invest in a commercial alternative to the encrypted military bands in the Galileo constellation (European GPS) in case the EU decides to cut off their access after Brexit.

"What's happened is that the very talented lobbyists at OneWeb have convinced the government that we can completely redesign some of the satellites to piggyback a navigation payload on it. It's bolting an unproven technology on to a mega-constellation that's designed to do something else. It's a tech and business gamble."

I sure as fark hope these guys got a commission.

You can't just "piggyback" an accurate location off any old satellite signal. At orbital speeds the satellite has to be able to account for time dilation, so you have to have an atomic clock on board the satellite bus. A GPS satellite is basically just an orbiting clock that broadcasts. If you just use any ole CPU clock - like you would use in a low orbit low cost communications satellite - your location is going to be way the hell off.

So technically speaking, you can actually do this.

Practically speaking, the results are always going to be unusable garbage.

Technically correct is the best correct.


Just call it by its correct term, GNSS, short for Global Navigation Satellite System.

For GNSS to work, 4 satellites needs to be visible at any time. USA has 27 active, and 4 spares.


One Web was of course designed for internet, and thus has a much lower altitude to lower latency.

Wiki says they managed to get 72 out of 648 in orbit before going bankrupt, but those 72 will be useless regardless, as I assume their new role, as you also alluded to, is more than a software fix. And whilst probably possible, no, they're not going to fix the ones already in orbit manually.


But, if they're still going to use the same altitude, won't they need a shiat ton more satellites, in order for 4 to be visible at all time?

If so, there's a lot of atmospheric drag, which means they'll slow down, and then crash into earth.

The size of the satellites doesn't really allow for on-board fuel and rockets, like traditional communication satellites does (that's why you can point a satellite dish at a fixed position. Even at their extreme altitudes, they still drift, but they just fire their rockets and stay inside their assigned box. They can even avoid collisions by moving out of the way.).


From reading on GNSS satellites, they do more than having an atomic clock, and transmitting the time. They also need to know their precise altitude, and tons of other shiat. And the One Web ones are farking small.


I btw. submitted the same topic from a non-paywalled site, which stated it as a fact the UK was kicked out of the Galileo program.

And anyways, now they purchased this, so they're kinda have to use it, lest they look even dumber than they already do.
 
2020-06-27 5:10:22 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: TFA starts with "They bought the wrong satellites" but then ends up with ""Let's give the government the benefit of the doubt: if the output the government wants is a UK-branded positioning system, a projection of UK power around the world and supporting the UK satellite industry base, then it is probably quicker and cheaper to smash the square peg of OneWeb into the round hole of a Galileo replacement than it is to do it from scratch," said Thorne"which seems to be saying "Yes, this can work and will be cheaper and quicker"

So can it work or not? In another article it was reported that using hundreds of smaller satellites rather than a dozen or so bigger/higher ones will give far greater redundancy and insurance against satellites being taken out by an enemy in war.

Elegy: You can't just "piggyback" an accurate location off any old satellite signal. At orbital speeds the satellite has to be able to account for time dilation, so you have to have an atomic clock on board the satellite bus. A GPS satellite is basically just an orbiting clock that broadcasts. If you just use any ole CPU clock - like you would use in a low orbit low cost communications satellite - your location is going to be way the hell off.

So technically speaking, you can actually do this.

Practically speaking, the results are always going to be unusable garbage.

It is also reported that the plan is to add atomic clocks to the next gen of satellites, not try to use the current ones.
One of the reported sweeteners is that global positioning systems optimized for low Earth orbit could be added to the second-generation OneWeb satellites.

And as a bonus the data capability would be very useful for UK military around the world, and civilian use as well. It also looks like their coverage of the poles will be far better, and that has been a weakness of GPS since with only a few satellites they don't bother going that far north or south.


They ALSO want the data capability?

Yeah, the low orbit gives them low latency, which why they're in low orbit. It also gives atmospheric drag, so they'll slow down rather quickly and burn up.

Of course, given their size, you can launch a lot at once.

As for supporting the British satellite industry, which seems like a sound idea, I assume the constant replacements will be build at the US factory, whilst the UK does the extra design needed to make them do what they were not designed to do?


I can't help thinking that perhaps it would be better for the UK economy, and the UK satellite industry, to actually just design and produce satellites from scratch that are actually designed for their purpose, and have the actual factory in the UK.


Or, just license the Galileo design? The UK helped design it after all. Why re-invent the wheel (and a square wheel at that).
 
2020-06-27 5:15:30 AM  

pehvbot: Not a rocket surgeon but these things are clearly low enough for noticeable atmospheric drag. How the hell do you get  cm scale accuracy out of something with extremely hard to predict positions?  You will need a GPS for your GPS.


The term is GNSS, GPS is the US version of GNSS.

I partially read the Wiki article on GNSS, very partially. One thing they do is to measure their own altitude with extreme precision, probably more stuff.
 
2020-06-27 5:19:26 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: whither_apophis: Bowen said: "If you want to replace GPS for military-grade systems, where you need encrypted, secure signals that are precise to centimetres,

Do you need that level of accuracy to re-invade Scotland? I mean, seriously, head north, you can't miss it

Scotland became part of the UK when they bankrupted themselves in the disastrous Darien scheme, and then came to England begging to be bailed out. If Scotland gets independence any time soon it will be them trying to find their way to England begging to be bailed out again.


There's the EU to beg, even though the EU does become annoyed when your complete state finances are stored in black unmarked plastic bags in the basement (hello Greece, and yes, true story), and they have no clue who is alive or dead, who owns property, or is supposed to pay tax.

I think Scotland would probably not fark up to that level, and thus be treated less like toddlers than Greece were.
 
2020-06-27 5:42:39 AM  
Elegy:Ask the US: GPS is our tech and our new Block III satellites have been delayed for YEARS.

When you say GPS, you actually mean GNSS. And no, GNSS is not exclusive US tech.

The idea is not novel at all, it just requires the ability to launch satellites, which is hard.

Like imagine Arthur C. Clarke, who invented the communication satellite. His design had a person inside it, to fix radio tubes or whatever.


Anyways, once we agree, as we do now that you think about it, GNSS, is not US tech. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, and developed GLONASS concurrently with GPS.

GLONASS later fell into disrepair due to economic circumstances, but its up and running again.


Its btw. forbidden to sell a cellphone in Russia unless it supports GLONASS, and their market is large enough that they all do. The same is probably true for other versions, I'd have to look into it.


Another interesting fact. GPS is very precise because the EU got so annoyed that they designed to just launch Galileo. USA changed the GPS to what I believe is military precision to placate the EU, it didn't work.

GPS can be switched of for certain regions, so delivering military precision is not a safety hazard, when you can lock anyone but the US military out of it in certain conflict zones.


They locked India and Pakistan out in 1999, when they had one of the useful wars. I believe India is also launching their own GNSS system for this precise reason.
 
2020-06-27 7:52:43 AM  
It's like buying Betamax instead of VHS and HD-DVD instead of Blu-ray.
 
2020-06-27 8:03:48 AM  

jaytkay: Carter Pewterschmidt: OneWeb's satellites were built with Airbus, who are a major satellite manufacturer in the UK. The UK is actually a major satellite builder. It's something we're quite good at.

The OneWeb satellites were built in Florida.


From that article: OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between Arlington, Virginia-based OneWeb LLC and Airbus,

Elegy: Yes. Because you would need to cram 3,800 kg of gear onto a 150 kg low orbit communication satellite.

What part of "mongo say big thing not go in small thing" are you having trouble understanding?


Then why does TFA quote an expert who says it can be done, and be quicker and cheaper?

Elegy: So call it what it is: £500 billion pounds of government handouts to keep a very specialized British ISP afloat. You're not going to get a British Galileo out of it, sorry about that. Life is tough sometimes.


£500 billion? Cite?
 
2020-06-27 8:08:10 AM  

padraig: Carter Pewterschmidt: TFA starts with "They bought the wrong satellites" but then ends up with ""Let's give the government the benefit of the doubt: if the output the government wants is a UK-branded positioning system, a projection of UK power around the world and supporting the UK satellite industry base, then it is probably quicker and cheaper to smash the square peg of OneWeb into the round hole of a Galileo replacement than it is to do it from scratch," said Thorne"which seems to be saying "Yes, this can work and will be cheaper and quicker"

So can it work or not? In another article it was reported that using hundreds of smaller satellites rather than a dozen or so bigger/higher ones will give far greater redundancy and insurance against satellites being taken out by an enemy in war.

At this point, I have to consider you have serious reading comprehension issue, seeing that you posted an excerpt that explicitly rejected your claim.


That quote says it can work, and be cheaper and quicker, by using OneWeb.
 
2020-06-27 8:21:46 AM  

Ketchuponsteak: If so, there's a lot of atmospheric drag, which means they'll slow down, and then crash into earth.
Yeah, the low orbit gives them low latency, which why they're in low orbit. It also gives atmospheric drag, so they'll slow down rather quickly and burn up.


They're at 1200km, three times as high as the ISS.

Ketchuponsteak: As for supporting the British satellite industry, which seems like a sound idea, I assume the constant replacements will be build at the US factory, whilst the UK does the extra design needed to make them do what they were not designed to do?


Why not build them in the UK?

Ketchuponsteak: Carter Pewterschmidt: whither_apophis: Bowen said: "If you want to replace GPS for military-grade systems, where you need encrypted, secure signals that are precise to centimetres,

Do you need that level of accuracy to re-invade Scotland? I mean, seriously, head north, you can't miss it

Scotland became part of the UK when they bankrupted themselves in the disastrous Darien scheme, and then came to England begging to be bailed out. If Scotland gets independence any time soon it will be them trying to find their way to England begging to be bailed out again.

There's the EU to beg, even though the EU does become annoyed when your complete state finances are stored in black unmarked plastic bags in the basement (hello Greece, and yes, true story), and they have no clue who is alive or dead, who owns property, or is supposed to pay tax.

I think Scotland would probably not fark up to that level, and thus be treated less like toddlers than Greece were.


Scotland's economy depends on a subsidy from England, which of course would vanish if they leave.

Hell, during the 2014 independence campaign the SNP plan was that they'd leave the UK but ask England to carry on underwriting Scottish banks after they left.....

LeroyB: It's like buying Betamax instead of VHS and HD-DVD instead of Blu-ray.


Betamax was better quality in many ways, and was used for years in the industry long after VHS became the standard in homes.
 
2020-06-27 8:56:50 AM  

Ketchuponsteak: Anyways, once we agree, as we do now that you think about it, GNSS, is not US tech. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, and developed GLONASS concurrently with GPS.


The first GLONASS satellite was launched in 82.  The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978.

GLONASS didn't fall into disrepair, it never worked globally to begin with, at least until 2000 or so when they finally got enough working birds in orbit. GPS was fully operational in 95.

Running GLONASS costs the Russian space agency 1/3 of its annual budget.

All of which is fiddling details that do matter.

What does matter is that this is going to be a giant fail of wasted spending for the UK government, because it's not going work.

And it comes at a time where the UK is claiming they have to leave the EU because they need the money to go to the NHS instead of brown people.
 
2020-06-27 9:20:22 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Ketchuponsteak: If so, there's a lot of atmospheric drag, which means they'll slow down, and then crash into earth.
Yeah, the low orbit gives them low latency, which why they're in low orbit. It also gives atmospheric drag, so they'll slow down rather quickly and burn up.

They're at 1200km, three times as high as the ISS.

Ketchuponsteak: As for supporting the British satellite industry, which seems like a sound idea, I assume the constant replacements will be build at the US factory, whilst the UK does the extra design needed to make them do what they were not designed to do?

Why not build them in the UK?

Ketchuponsteak: Carter Pewterschmidt: whither_apophis: Bowen said: "If you want to replace GPS for military-grade systems, where you need encrypted, secure signals that are precise to centimetres,

Do you need that level of accuracy to re-invade Scotland? I mean, seriously, head north, you can't miss it

Scotland became part of the UK when they bankrupted themselves in the disastrous Darien scheme, and then came to England begging to be bailed out. If Scotland gets independence any time soon it will be them trying to find their way to England begging to be bailed out again.

There's the EU to beg, even though the EU does become annoyed when your complete state finances are stored in black unmarked plastic bags in the basement (hello Greece, and yes, true story), and they have no clue who is alive or dead, who owns property, or is supposed to pay tax.

I think Scotland would probably not fark up to that level, and thus be treated less like toddlers than Greece were.

Scotland's economy depends on a subsidy from England, which of course would vanish if they leave.

Hell, during the 2014 independence campaign the SNP plan was that they'd leave the UK but ask England to carry on underwriting Scottish banks after they left.....

LeroyB: It's like buying Betamax instead of VHS and HD-DVD instead of Blu-ray.

Betamax was better quality in many ways, and was used for ...



Because the existing factory is in Florida, and the UK only owns 20%.

But we'll see.


On your Betamax comment, maybe, we had a third standard here in Denmark, and VHS.

But Betamax could be the best thing ever, the tapes could only store 1 hour for a long time, so, if you could figure out to program the timer [joke], you still couldn't record a movie or a football match.

Eventually it was possible, but way to late.
 
2020-06-27 9:27:34 AM  

Elegy: Ketchuponsteak: Anyways, once we agree, as we do now that you think about it, GNSS, is not US tech. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, and developed GLONASS concurrently with GPS.

The first GLONASS satellite was launched in 82.  The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978.

GLONASS didn't fall into disrepair, it never worked globally to begin with, at least until 2000 or so when they finally got enough working birds in orbit. GPS was fully operational in 95.

Running GLONASS costs the Russian space agency 1/3 of its annual budget.

All of which is fiddling details that do matter.

What does matter is that this is going to be a giant fail of wasted spending for the UK government, because it's not going work.

And it comes at a time where the UK is claiming they have to leave the EU because they need the money to go to the NHS instead of brown people.


Fine, I knew that GLONASS weren't the initial success that GPS was, as you obviously argued for.

But all the same, the concept of GNSS far predates satellites. The technology just weren't there.

The main point is, even though the Soviet Union didn't complete GLONASS till rather late. They obviously had the technological abilities to pull it off, and did indeed develop it simultaniously with USA.

I was arguing the notion that GNSS [GPS] is US tech, which it is not.
 
2020-06-27 10:19:46 AM  
Paint them white and put a flag on them. Then it'll be grand.
 
2020-06-27 10:54:51 AM  

Ketchuponsteak: pehvbot: Not a rocket surgeon but these things are clearly low enough for noticeable atmospheric drag. How the hell do you get  cm scale accuracy out of something with extremely hard to predict positions?  You will need a GPS for your GPS.

The term is GNSS, GPS is the US version of GNSS.

I partially read the Wiki article on GNSS, very partially. One thing they do is to measure their own altitude with extreme precision, probably more stuff.


The satellites only need to have good clocks. The other orbital parameters are measured from ground stations and are uplinked for the satellites to retransmit.

Lower orbits would mean that the receivers would have to compensate for larger Doppler shifts in the signals.
 
2020-06-27 11:51:37 AM  

Ketchuponsteak: I was arguing the notion that GNSS [GPS] is US tech, which it is not.


I'll accept that provisionally, provided we don't have to argue about just how many of those technological gains in the USSR came from the KGB, not the scientists. I just meant that GPS is "our" tech because we got it to work successfully and still have the most advanced capabilities.

Geodesy - the mathematic science of measuring the surface of the earth and locating yourself on that surface - is super hard.  One of my former instructors worked on the precursor to the GPS program, measuring a PEGEOS satellite with a BC-4. It took them months of living in the BFE Arctic circle to get a single coordinate, and according to him the original datum they produced was only 6 points; but was accurate enough the DoD could actually hit Moscow with an ICBM from half a world away.

It's not easy it. It took us decades, it took the Russians decades, it will take the EU and India decades. Hell, it's going to take the Japanese a couple of decades and all they are doing is augmenting the GPS constellation with their own satellites.

The UK isn't going to just throw money at this and have their own Galileo magically appear out of the ashes of OneWeb. It simply doesn't work that way. The tech isn't simple, and you can't just bolt on some COTS equipment to a cheap satellite that weighs a mere 150 kg and expect it to work.

OneWeb sold the UK government a bunch of bullshiat, and no matter how much back rationalization of "but we could do this..." will make it any less laughable.

All of this COULD be done the way the UK government describes.

It is technically correct.

It will NOT be done.

Because practically speaking, it is almost impossible to do.
 
2020-06-27 5:12:53 PM  

Elegy: Ketchuponsteak: I was arguing the notion that GNSS [GPS] is US tech, which it is not.

I'll accept that provisionally, provided we don't have to argue about just how many of those technological gains in the USSR came from the KGB, not the scientists. I just meant that GPS is "our" tech because we got it to work successfully and still have the most advanced capabilities.

Geodesy - the mathematic science of measuring the surface of the earth and locating yourself on that surface - is super hard.  One of my former instructors worked on the precursor to the GPS program, measuring a PEGEOS satellite with a BC-4. It took them months of living in the BFE Arctic circle to get a single coordinate, and according to him the original datum they produced was only 6 points; but was accurate enough the DoD could actually hit Moscow with an ICBM from half a world away.

It's not easy it. It took us decades, it took the Russians decades, it will take the EU and India decades. Hell, it's going to take the Japanese a couple of decades and all they are doing is augmenting the GPS constellation with their own satellites.

The UK isn't going to just throw money at this and have their own Galileo magically appear out of the ashes of OneWeb. It simply doesn't work that way. The tech isn't simple, and you can't just bolt on some COTS equipment to a cheap satellite that weighs a mere 150 kg and expect it to work.

OneWeb sold the UK government a bunch of bullshiat, and no matter how much back rationalization of "but we could do this..." will make it any less laughable.

All of this COULD be done the way the UK government describes.

It is technically correct.

It will NOT be done.

Because practically speaking, it is almost impossible to do.


Ï don't know what you mean by it taking the EU decades, they have 22 active + 4 for testing spares, out of a total of 30. Its mission is for it to be complete in 2025, and be the most accurate system of all.

Are you forgetting that both France and the UK are both nuclear powers? They can hit what the fark they want with ballistic missiles, this is nothing new.


I'm thinking about that OneWeb thing, yeah, they only own 20% of it. But being that they were bankrupt, and they get a partner with essentially, in this sense, an unlimited budget, I guess the UK would have a lot of leverage on the project, including as to where a new factory could be build, if that's what they want.

It could also be an incredibly bad idea.
 
2020-06-27 6:29:03 PM  

Ketchuponsteak: Elegy: Ketchuponsteak: I was arguing the notion that GNSS [GPS] is US tech, which it is not.

I'll accept that provisionally, provided we don't have to argue about just how many of those technological gains in the USSR came from the KGB, not the scientists. I just meant that GPS is "our" tech because we got it to work successfully and still have the most advanced capabilities.

Geodesy - the mathematic science of measuring the surface of the earth and locating yourself on that surface - is super hard.  One of my former instructors worked on the precursor to the GPS program, measuring a PEGEOS satellite with a BC-4. It took them months of living in the BFE Arctic circle to get a single coordinate, and according to him the original datum they produced was only 6 points; but was accurate enough the DoD could actually hit Moscow with an ICBM from half a world away.

It's not easy it. It took us decades, it took the Russians decades, it will take the EU and India decades. Hell, it's going to take the Japanese a couple of decades and all they are doing is augmenting the GPS constellation with their own satellites.

The UK isn't going to just throw money at this and have their own Galileo magically appear out of the ashes of OneWeb. It simply doesn't work that way. The tech isn't simple, and you can't just bolt on some COTS equipment to a cheap satellite that weighs a mere 150 kg and expect it to work.

OneWeb sold the UK government a bunch of bullshiat, and no matter how much back rationalization of "but we could do this..." will make it any less laughable.

All of this COULD be done the way the UK government describes.

It is technically correct.

It will NOT be done.

Because practically speaking, it is almost impossible to do.

Ï don't know what you mean by it taking the EU decades, they have 22 active + 4 for testing spares, out of a total of 30. Its mission is for it to be complete in 2025, and be the most accurate system of all.

Are you forgetting that both France and the UK are both nuclear powers? They can hit what the fark they want with ballistic missiles, this is nothing new.


I'm thinking about that OneWeb thing, yeah, they only own 20% of it. But being that they were bankrupt, and they get a partner with essentially, in this sense, an unlimited budget, I guess the UK would have a lot of leverage on the project, including as to where a new factory could be build, if that's what they want.

It could also be an incredibly bad idea.


The Galileo program was first started in 1999, with the first satellite launched in 2005 and FOC achieved in late 2019.

It took the entire European space community working together for 20 years - ie decades - to go from "let's decide to build our own" to "fully operational Galileo."

Neither ICBMs nor cruise missiles use GPS. ICBMs typically use dead reckoning; doesn't matter if you're off a bit with a strategic nuclear missile. Cruise missiles use dead reckoning backstopped by progressive terrain scanning. Both are irrelevant to this discussion.

And yes, this is a terrible idea, which is why people are collectively so baffled at the rationale being put forth. It's fantasy land while still being plausible enough for people that know nothing about the satellite industry to swallow whole. Truthy.

Like I said, I hope the OneWeb lobbyists were on commission and not salary.
 
2020-06-27 7:07:56 PM  
Oh, I assumed decades from now.

I don't know if the political discussion started in 1999, the same year USA cut of India and Pakistan, or the actual planning.

I do remember USA pleading with the EU not to do it, as they had a monopoly then.

Now with multiple systems, well, the cow is out of the barn.


But, if the GNSS part of the OneWeb turns out to suck, the.internet part doesn't. The whole world could get fast internet, without Musk having a monopoly.
 
2020-06-27 7:34:01 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Ketchuponsteak: If so, there's a lot of atmospheric drag, which means they'll slow down, and then crash into earth.
Yeah, the low orbit gives them low latency, which why they're in low orbit. It also gives atmospheric drag, so they'll slow down rather quickly and burn up.

They're at 1200km, three times as high as the ISS.

Ketchuponsteak: As for supporting the British satellite industry, which seems like a sound idea, I assume the constant replacements will be build at the US factory, whilst the UK does the extra design needed to make them do what they were not designed to do?

Why not build them in the UK?

Ketchuponsteak: Carter Pewterschmidt: whither_apophis: Bowen said: "If you want to replace GPS for military-grade systems, where you need encrypted, secure signals that are precise to centimetres,

Do you need that level of accuracy to re-invade Scotland? I mean, seriously, head north, you can't miss it

Scotland became part of the UK when they bankrupted themselves in the disastrous Darien scheme, and then came to England begging to be bailed out. If Scotland gets independence any time soon it will be them trying to find their way to England begging to be bailed out again.

There's the EU to beg, even though the EU does become annoyed when your complete state finances are stored in black unmarked plastic bags in the basement (hello Greece, and yes, true story), and they have no clue who is alive or dead, who owns property, or is supposed to pay tax.

I think Scotland would probably not fark up to that level, and thus be treated less like toddlers than Greece were.

Scotland's economy depends on a subsidy from England, which of course would vanish if they leave.

Hell, during the 2014 independence campaign the SNP plan was that they'd leave the UK but ask England to carry on underwriting Scottish banks after they left.....

LeroyB: It's like buying Betamax instead of VHS and HD-DVD instead of Blu-ray.

Betamax was better quality in many ways, and was used for years in the industry long after VHS became the standard in homes.


I BTW. learned something new today, yes, the ISS loses 90 meters of altitude every 24 hours.

The Russian module has booster rockets, standard stuff.

But, I learned that the regular supply vehicles actually turn on their engines as well, once they're docked!


The OneWeb ones will just need to be replaced regularly. But given their size, you can fit  lot in one launch.

As I replied to someone else, if the GNSS part turns out to be shiat. Internet for the whole world is still good. Why let Musk have a monopoly?

It might not be all that bad, even if the GNSS thing is a bit random.
 
2020-06-27 9:06:03 PM  

Ketchuponsteak: Elegy:Ask the US: GPS is our tech and our new Block III satellites have been delayed for YEARS.

When you say GPS, you actually mean GNSS. And no, GNSS is not exclusive US tech.

The idea is not novel at all, it just requires the ability to launch satellites, which is hard.

Like imagine Arthur C. Clarke, who invented the communication satellite. His design had a person inside it, to fix radio tubes or whatever.


Anyways, once we agree, as we do now that you think about it, GNSS, is not US tech. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, and developed GLONASS concurrently with GPS.

GLONASS later fell into disrepair due to economic circumstances, but its up and running again.


Its btw. forbidden to sell a cellphone in Russia unless it supports GLONASS, and their market is large enough that they all do. The same is probably true for other versions, I'd have to look into it.


Another interesting fact. GPS is very precise because the EU got so annoyed that they designed to just launch Galileo. USA changed the GPS to what I believe is military precision to placate the EU, it didn't work.

GPS can be switched of for certain regions, so delivering military precision is not a safety hazard, when you can lock anyone but the US military out of it in certain conflict zones.


They locked India and Pakistan out in 1999, when they had one of the useful wars. I believe India is also launching their own GNSS system for this precise reason.


India's NavIC is up and running. However, it only covers the majority of Asia and parts of east Africa and northeast Australia.
 
2020-06-27 10:16:51 PM  

Ketchuponsteak: Because the existing factory is in Florida, and the UK only owns 20%.

But we'll see.


From what I've read they were made in two places, their own factory in Florida and in an Airbus factory in the UK. If the UK owns a big chunk, and they are apparently only one of the bidders so it's not certain they'll win, they could easily insist on UK manufacturing, especially for a military use satellite.

Ketchuponsteak: On your Betamax comment, maybe, we had a third standard here in Denmark, and VHS.

But Betamax could be the best thing ever, the tapes could only store 1 hour for a long time, so, if you could figure out to program the timer [joke], you still couldn't record a movie or a football match.

Eventually it was possible, but way to late.


Like many things, it was porn that made VHS a hit.

But Betamax was used in TV production until very recently.  It was technically the better quality system.

Elegy: Neither ICBMs nor cruise missiles use GPS. ICBMs typically use dead reckoning; doesn't matter if you're off a bit with a strategic nuclear missile. Cruise missiles use dead reckoning backstopped by progressive terrain scanning. Both are irrelevant to this discussion.


Lots of military tech does this. Main reason being in a "big" shooting war with nukes flying around there's a good chance your GPS satellites would have been the first things to go, so building your ICBMs to rely on them would be very bad. AFAIK even the latest fighter jets still have a INS system that the nav manually updates with landmarks. I did a short nav course at the RAF CFS not that long ago and it was INS based. GPS is nice but you'd be screwed if it went away. Same reason the navy still teach how to use a sextant.

Ketchuponsteak: But, if the GNSS part of the OneWeb turns out to suck, the.internet part doesn't. The whole world could get fast internet, without Musk having a monopoly.


True. Even if the GPS bit never comes off having a worldwide coverage internet system, within affordable reach of millions of average people, will be a good thing. And having multiple competing systems will be good as well.
Of course being UK based they'll probably try to ban porn from it....
 
2020-06-28 1:23:53 AM  

Heliodorus: Ketchuponsteak: Elegy:Ask the US: GPS is our tech and our new Block III satellites have been delayed for YEARS.

When you say GPS, you actually mean GNSS. And no, GNSS is not exclusive US tech.

The idea is not novel at all, it just requires the ability to launch satellites, which is hard.

Like imagine Arthur C. Clarke, who invented the communication satellite. His design had a person inside it, to fix radio tubes or whatever.


Anyways, once we agree, as we do now that you think about it, GNSS, is not US tech. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, and developed GLONASS concurrently with GPS.

GLONASS later fell into disrepair due to economic circumstances, but its up and running again.


Its btw. forbidden to sell a cellphone in Russia unless it supports GLONASS, and their market is large enough that they all do. The same is probably true for other versions, I'd have to look into it.


Another interesting fact. GPS is very precise because the EU got so annoyed that they designed to just launch Galileo. USA changed the GPS to what I believe is military precision to placate the EU, it didn't work.

GPS can be switched of for certain regions, so delivering military precision is not a safety hazard, when you can lock anyone but the US military out of it in certain conflict zones.


They locked India and Pakistan out in 1999, when they had one of the useful wars. I believe India is also launching their own GNSS system for this precise reason.

India's NavIC is up and running. However, it only covers the majority of Asia and parts of east Africa and northeast Australia.


I guess that's enough for a India to have their local wars with out USA cramping their style.
 
2020-06-28 1:41:17 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Ketchuponsteak: Because the existing factory is in Florida, and the UK only owns 20%.

But we'll see.

From what I've read they were made in two places, their own factory in Florida and in an Airbus factory in the UK. If the UK owns a big chunk, and they are apparently only one of the bidders so it's not certain they'll win, they could easily insist on UK manufacturing, especially for a military use satellite.

Ketchuponsteak: On your Betamax comment, maybe, we had a third standard here in Denmark, and VHS.

But Betamax could be the best thing ever, the tapes could only store 1 hour for a long time, so, if you could figure out to program the timer [joke], you still couldn't record a movie or a football match.

Eventually it was possible, but way to late.

Like many things, it was porn that made VHS a hit.

But Betamax was used in TV production until very recently.  It was technically the better quality system.

Elegy: Neither ICBMs nor cruise missiles use GPS. ICBMs typically use dead reckoning; doesn't matter if you're off a bit with a strategic nuclear missile. Cruise missiles use dead reckoning backstopped by progressive terrain scanning. Both are irrelevant to this discussion.

Lots of military tech does this. Main reason being in a "big" shooting war with nukes flying around there's a good chance your GPS satellites would have been the first things to go, so building your ICBMs to rely on them would be very bad. AFAIK even the latest fighter jets still have a INS system that the nav manually updates with landmarks. I did a short nav course at the RAF CFS not that long ago and it was INS based. GPS is nice but you'd be screwed if it went away. Same reason the navy still teach how to use a sextant.

Ketchuponsteak: But, if the GNSS part of the OneWeb turns out to suck, the.internet part doesn't. The whole world could get fast internet, without Musk having a monopoly.

True. Even if the GPS bit never comes off having a worldwide coverage internet system, within affordable reach of millions of average people, will be a good thing. And having multiple competing systems will be good as well.
Of course being UK based they'll probably try to ban porn from it....


There was a third competing competing system, Video 2000.

It was only PAL and SECAM, but technically superiour, so TV studios in the relevant areas would, and did use that.


I largely reject it as a factor. The major draw, and revolution, was being able to program your system to record a movie or a sporting event with the timer.

Betamax was limited to 1 hour, making it largely useless. VHS did two, which actually is about right for most sporting events and movies.
 
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