Will StarLink be sufficiently protected against “solar storms”? aka “space weather”?
it is important to ask those “what if” questions and at least exercise it and prepare somehow.
- quick answer: depends on the magnitude of the event
- Carrington 1859 size of event: reddit user says “no” (likely loss of all kinds of satellites, plus frying the power grid, plus frying everything that is connected with copper wires (not optically decoupled, fiber connections have advantage here)
- smaller than Carrington 1859 event: yes
“Starlink satellites are in very low earth orbit, just like the ISS. So they are deep within the magnetic protection field. It would take an extremely strong solar storm.” (src: Reddit)
StarLink while it is a cool project, promising cheap (? hope so?), fast and global internet and phone (?) connectivity, it comes with some problems:
- if a solar flare “1859 Carringont Event” style (solar probe Parker will hopefully warn us early) goes off towards earth – electricity and satellite companies have 3 days to get ready and PHYSICALLY DISCONNECT all power grid generators/transformations – or risk them fry with countries operating on rolling blackouts that could cripple not only internet but life as we know it – for years – causing billions of $ € and ₽ ¥ yuán (元) in damages to electric, computer but also mobility infrastructure.
- “Solar flares are sudden releases of energy from the surface of the sun. Solar flares release the equivalent energy of millions of hydrogen bombs” (src: sciencing.com)
- “NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory that boosts the ability to measure extreme ultraviolet radiation. The research was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. The breakthrough enables the agency to better understand space weather, critical to avoiding satellite malfunctions or radio blackouts.” (src: inverse.com)
- are those sattelites solar flare proof?
- according to this reddit not a problem? (well guess, if solar flares are not massive, imho massive solar flares will destroy a lot of sattelites, probably also destrying 25% of all cars)
- check out the massively interesting podcast/interview with MIT graduate Matthew Stein on EMP/Solar Flares
- (poor guy probably prepared for any problem… than his wife dies of cancer, my sincere condolences, “modern” medicine still has no proper weapons against cancer, the immune system is all that can fight it)
- more high tech technology dependency = more problems, because EMP or Solar Flare “everything that is networked together, those gonna fry” (Matthew Stein)
- a lot of sattelites = 42,000 sattelites just for StarLink? ( + Amazon’s + … ) could collide with other stuff that flys around
- it seems to be too costly (?) for datacenters to be “sun flare” and “EMP” proof, thus a lot of datacenters are not.
All one would want to know about Parker solar probe:
every hour picture taken from sun: https://feeds.feedburner.com/nasa/aia_193
a lot of videos pictures and materials: https://cilab.gsfc.nasa.gov/12726