The Chinese Are Ready to Disintegrate Elon Musk’s Satellites

As Starlink, Elon Musk’s satellite internet network, has become a military communication tool, Chinese scientists are offering various solutions to monitor, hack or destroy it. The “hard” missile method does not seem to be preferred because it is expensive and dangerous.

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[EN VIDÉO] How many satellites revolve around the Earth?
2,787 satellites were operational as of December 31, 2020, according to the UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) association, more than half of which were launched by the United States. Three quarters of the satellites in operation rotate in low orbit (between 500 and 2,000 km altitude), and are used for telecommunications systems, terrestrial imaging or meteorology.

Troublemaker of New Technologies with Tesla, SpaceXNeuralink and soon maybe Twitter, Elon Musk has been at the center of the conflict in Ukraine for three months. Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, the billionaire has decided to help Ukraine by making its constellation of satellites star link for providing Internet connection. A choice that puts, in his words, your life in dangerand this Monday, we learned that it is also in China’s crosshairs.

According to South China morning mailChinese scientists are currently working on “methods of destruction” of satellites star link. The reason ? The US military relies on this constellation of satellites to dramatically increase speed data transmission, in particular for combat aircraft and drone of combat and could in the future use it to follow hypersonic missiles such as those available for Russia and China.

The “hard” method or the “soft” method?

A technological asset that has worried China since Musk has already put more than 2,000 satellites in orbit low, and that he plans to send twenty times as many! This report advocates “low-cost” but “high-return” ways to shut down that network. According to these researchers, Starlink represents “enormous potential forapps military” and China must develop countermeasures to monitor, disable or even destroy this constellation.

According to South China morning mailChina is unlikely to use the “hard” method with missile destroying them, both because it is too expensive, but also because the wreckage caused by such destruction can pose a huge danger in space. We therefore prefer to orient ourselves towards the “soft” method with laser or blocking systems.

What if China created its own constellation

In their report, the scientists therefore mention the use of radio jammers – which can interrupt communications or fry electronic components – or lasers whose the beam can blind the satellite sensor. China is already able to disable satellites, but individually. There, it’s a constellation, and it’s obviously more complicated. This study already warns that the decommissioning of some satellites will not be enough to bring down Starlink because it is “a decentralized system”.

In the end, one of the recommended solutions would be to respond to Starlink by creating a similar network of small satellites, both to monitor the Elon Musk constellation and to be able to quickly hack or disable a large part of the network. space war Just beginning…

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