SpaceX launches Starshield project for national security: What's on offer
Elon Musk-owned SpaceX's satellite internet business is pushing on all cylinders. The company has now revealed Starshield, a sister project to Starlink meant for usage by government agencies, especially those involved with national security. The firm claims that Starshield "leverages SpaceX's Starlink technology and launch capability" to aid security endeavors by focusing on three areas, namely Earth observation, hosted payloads, and communications.
Why does this story matter?
- SpaceX's Starlink is a mega constellation of over 3,200 active satellites that provide broadband internet services to lots of users back on Earth.
- Now, the company has decided to leverage it to aid the defense sector. Starshield is more secure and can handle more pressure in comparison to its sister.
How does Starshield work?
As per the company's official page, Starshield launches "satellites with sensing payloads" and the processed data is directly delivered to the user. Thanks to its robust user equipment, communications between the satellites and the users on the ground are "guaranteed." It also builds satellite buses that have the capability to support even the most demanding customer payload missions.
Starshield satellites are modular and can be used with others
Starshield satellites have a modular design and can integrate a wide variety of payloads, offering versatility to users. They are interoperable with other satellites equipped with the laser-communications terminal that Starlink uses. Together, they can form a network. The company claims Starshield offers superior security to Starlink and uses "additional high-assurance cryptographic capability to host classified payloads and process data securely."
Starshield is 'resilient' and can be rapidly deployed
SpaceX employs a "full-stack approach" which allows it to develop everything from launch vehicles to user terminals, quickly. Thus, 's deployment does not take much time. Starshield also has a fast-growing low-Earth orbit architecture that "provides inherent resiliency and constant connectivity to on-orbit assets."