How is the competitive video game industry

SpaceX's Starlink Internet Latency is designed to run competitive real-time video games.

Selected Image Source: SpaceX Starlink Logo / Pixabay / Editing by Tesmanian

SpaceX is a leader in aerospace innovation. It is developing some of the most advanced rockets in the world capable of returning from space and landing vertically on autonomous drone ships at sea. The company is currently developing its next-generation starship, which will one day send hundreds to build a sustainable settlement on Mars. SpaceX plans to fund its ambitious space program by offering Starlink broadband Internet service worldwide. The Starlink network benefits rural areas where internet connectivity is unreliable or non-existent. "With performance far superior to traditional satellite Internet and a global network that is not constrained by ground infrastructure constraints, Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband Internet in places where access is unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable was, "explained the company.

SpaceX has been actively deploying Internet-radiating Starlink satellites in low-earth orbit. There are a total of 540 Starlink satellites in low earth orbit. The next deployment of 57 satellites is planned for this month [pending date]. According to company representatives, 800 satellites offer "moderate" internet coverage. 60 Starlink satellites can simultaneously stream high-resolution videos to 40,000 customers. The entire Starlink network will consist of over 12,000 Internet satellites offering services worldwide.

Image source:r / darkpenguin22via Reddit

SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk shares Starlink with customers through a user terminal that looks like a "UFO on a stick". Prototypes of this terminal were seen at the SpaceX ground stations pictured above. During the 2020 satellite conference held earlier this year, Musk said that Starlink "will be a pretty good experience because it will have very low latency."

"We aim for latency below 20 milliseconds (ms) so someone can play a responsive video game at a competitive level, which is what the threshold for latency is."

Last month, Musk shared more details on Twitter. He said Starlink was "designed to run competitive real-time video games" and "Version 2, which is at a lower altitude, could have as little as 8 ms of latency". Starlink satellites are currently operating at an altitude of around 550 kilometers above the earth. Future improved Starlink satellites will operate closer to the earth and therefore offer a more direct and faster connection to the ground.

About 20ms. It is designed to run competitive real-time video games. Version 2, which is at a lower altitude, can have as little as 8 ms of latency.

- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2020

During a recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion about RedditSpaceX software engineers revealed details about Starlink satellites. They shared that the satellites receive software updates every week and are already generating 5 terabytes of data a day, which corresponds to 5 trillion bytes.

SpaceX engineer Matt Monson leads Starlink software development. SpaceX uses the Linux operating system. "Each launch of 60 satellites contains more than 4,000 Linux computers," said Monson. "The constellation currently has more than 30,000 Linux nodes (and more than 6,000 microcontrollers) in space."

“We have had many instances where an orbiting satellite had a bug that we had never imagined before but that could hold out long enough to debug it, find a fix or workaround, and improve some software -Update, "explained Monson. He also announced that SpaceX broadcasts software updates to the Starlink satellites in space approximately once a week, "with a number of smaller test deployments also taking place."

The Starlink network is also being tested on military platforms by the United States Air Force. Engineers have connected Starlink terminals to the cockpit of military aircraft. The Air Force will evaluate Starlink for three years before deciding to purchase the service over the long term. In November 2019, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said: “We deliver a high bandwidth to the cockpit of Air Force aircraft [...]. Right now we're just testing the skills and finding out how it works. "

A Starlink beta service will open to the public in the northern parts of the US and Canada before the end of this year. The company says it will "expand to near global coverage of the populous world by 2021".

To find out when Starlink will be available in your city, visit the SpaceX website:STARLINK UPDATES

About the author

Evelyn Arevalo

SpaceX Boca Chica correspondent. Writer specialized in space flight and space exploration. Rocket connoisseur.