China starts building SkyNet – a network of Internet satellites with global coverage

On May 9, at 09:43 a.m. Beijing time, a Chang Zheng-3B rocket launched an experimental Chinese satellite Zhihui Tianwang-01 (Smart SkyNet-0) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China to create the SkyNet space Internet network. 16 or 32 similar satellites will be launched into space in the future to create a global network. The altitude of the SkyNet satellites will be 20 thousand meters. km, or 40 times higher than Starlink vehicles.

The first satellite of the future network will be an experimental platform for testing the operation of communication technologies from radio frequency to space laser to transmit data in space by beam from satellite to satellite. The higher orbit of the SkyNet constellation will increase signal delays compared to SpaceX’s Starlink network, but throughput should not be greatly affected.

In parallel to the SkyNet network, China will deploy two other constellations of communication satellites in space: GuoWang and G60 Starlink, both with 12 thousand satellites. satellites in each of them. These will be networks in low Earth orbit, completely similar to Starlink. In the future, the SkyNet networks in medium orbit will be merged with those in low orbit. It is interesting to note that China’s ground-based facial recognition surveillance system is also called SkyNet, but the connection between the ground-based video surveillance system and the space-based Internet network is currently unknown.

The SkyNet network will be located just below the GPS and BeiDou networks, whose satellites are in orbits at an altitude of 20,200 km and 21,500 km, respectively. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), a Chinese state-owned rocket and space corporation, develops the SkyNet satellites and network. According to the developers’ calculations, the future space-based network will provide Internet access to all types of users in all scenarios and domains.

“Once completed, the network will provide personalized, blind-spot-free broadband services around the world,” said a CASC spokesperson after the successful launch of the satellite.

Source portaltele
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