How Does Satellite Internet Work?

How Does Satellite Internet Works?

Besides SpaceX successfully working on Starlink satellites for high-speed internet services, Telesat is making plans to build a $5 billion global satellite network. But before we rush into that, let us understand what satellite internet is how it works.

Crux of the Matter

What Is Geostationary Satellite?
When a satellite is placed in an orbit around the earth (22,300 miles above) and it matches the rotation of the earth, making it a fixed or a stationary point in the sky.

What Is Satellite Internet?
It is a type of connection that uses a geostationary satellite to get an internet signal from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the user.

How Does It Work?
The orbiting satellite receives information from a satellite dish on earth and transmits it to the Network Operations Center (NOC). The NOC on land is connected to the user’s private network

Equipment Used for Ground Setup

  • Satellite modem: It converts the satellites signal into one readable by the computer’s network adapter.
  • Router: It takes the modem’s internet signal and distributes it at home/office.

What About Satellite Internet Constellation?
It is a constellation or a mega-constellation of artificial satellites providing satellite internet service. 

What Are The Pros Of Using It?
Lower latency (a measure of delay) as compared to existing services like optical fibre links. Eg: SpaceX’s Starlink has shown speed of 100+ Mbps, with a low latency of 20 ms.

  • Network neutrality, most commonly called net neutrality, is the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all Internet communications equally, and not discriminate or charge differently based on user, content, website, platform, application, type of equipment, source address, a destination address, or method of communication. The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe the role of telephone systems.
  • Decentralized internet is a people-powered kind of internet that makes the web more democratic as there is no hosting company. A decentralized internet in concept is more secure and can provide better privacy to users.
  • Space debris is a term for defunct human-made objects in space—principally in Earth orbit—which no longer serve a useful function. As of October 2019, the US Space Surveillance Network reported nearly 20,000 artificial objects in orbit above the Earth, including 2,218 operational satellites.

World’s First Wooden Satellite By Japan

World’s First Wooden Satellite By Japan

Japanese Startup, Sumitomo Forestry and Kyoto University have joined hands to develop the world’s first wooden satellites by 2023. Let’s see how they plan to utilize wood materials in space and the need to use them in the first place.

Crux of the Matter

What Is The Need?

We are very concerned with the fact that all the satellites which re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere burn and create tiny alumina particles which will float in the upper atmosphere for many years.

Takao Doi, A Professor and Japanese Astronaut

Increasing Space Junk
As more and more satellites and spacecraft are being launched for communication and research purposes, so is the level of space junk. As per the World Economic Forum, there are about 6,000 satellites around Earth and 60% of them are defunct or space junk.

Will This Number Ever Decrease?
The decrease in the number of satellites is a bleak chance. Research company, Euroconsult has estimated that 990 satellites will be launched into space every year this decade, meaning, by 2028, there could be 15,000 satellites in the orbit.

Fast And Furious?
Space junk tends to travel at a high speed of 22,300 mph+. This can cause considerable damage to any objects that come in its way. Example: In 2006, a tiny piece of such junk collided with the ISS, taking a chip out of its heavily reinforced window.

Will Wooden Satellites Help?
A Wooden satellite would burn up without releasing harmful substances into the atmosphere or raining debris on the ground, as it plunges back to Earth.

What Kind Of Wood?
According to a spokesman for the company, that is an “R&D secret“. All we know is that the chosen wooden materials would be highly resistant to temperature changes and sunlight.

Fiction To Non-Fiction?
The concept reminds us of an unused script for the 1992 film “Alien 3,” that would have taken place on a wooden satellite. “The next stage will be developing the engineering model of the satellite and manufacturing the flight model,” added Mr. Takao, who became the first to throw a boomerang in space, specifically designed for use in microgravity.

Read about the connection between the Earth’s magnetic field and the satellites here: Earth’s Weakening Magnetic Field Affecting Satellites

  • In terms of countries with the most satellites, the USA has the most with 859 satellites, China is second with 250, and Russia third with 146. These are then followed by India (118), Japan (72), and the UK (52).
  • The first published mathematical study of the possibility of an artificial satellite was Newton’s cannonball. It was a thought experiment by Isaac Newton to explain the motion of natural satellites in his 1687 work Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
  • A space gun is a method of launching an object into space using a large gun- or cannon-like structure. Space guns could thus potentially provide a method of non-rocket space launch.

GSAT-30: ISRO's 1st satellite launch of 2020


GSAT-30, providing high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services, was launched early Friday morning by ISRO’s longtime collaborator Arianespace, from Kourou launch base in French Guiana. It is speculated to have a mission life of over 15 years and shall replace an ageing spacecraft INSAT-4A, that was launched in 2005.

Crux of the Matter
  • The Indian communication satellite uses two satellite frequencies, while giving the Indian mainland and islands coverage in the Ku band, and extended coverage in a wider area stretching from Australia to Europe in the lower-frequency C-band.
  • The Ku and C bands are part of a spectrum of frequencies, ranging from 1 to 40 gigahertz, that are used in satellite communications.
  • According to Isro chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan, “GSAT-30 will provide DTH (direct-to-home) television Services, connectivity to VSATs [Very Small Aperture Terminals] for ATM, stock exchange, television uplinking and teleport services, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance applications“.
  • The 3,357 kg satellite is planned to be used for bulk data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication applications and would be joining 19 other communicational satellites that are currently operational.
  • In times ahead, ISRO gives a promising outlook of using space to bridge the digital divide on the Indian subcontinent, as part of its ambitious space program.

GSAT-30 is a telecommunication satellite developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is based on ISRO’s I-3K bus. It was assembled by a consortium of mid-sized industries led by Alpha Design Technologies Ltd. at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment at Bengaluru. The satellite’s main communication payload is 12 Ku band transponders for covering Indian mainland and islands and 12 C-band transponders for extended coverage over Asia and Australia. The satellite will act as a replacement for the defunct INSAT-4A. The satellite will provide advanced telecommunication services to the Indian subcontinent. It will be used for VSAT networks, television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH services and other communication systems. This is the 41st communication satellite launched by ISRO and the 24th launch of ISRO satellite by Arianespace. More Info