The Chinese are ready to disintegrate Elon Musk’s satellites

Because Starlink, Elon Musk’s satellite Internet network, has become a military communication tool, Chinese scientists are offering various solutions to monitor it, hack it or outright destroy it. The “hard” method with missiles does not seem to be favored 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 maybe soon Twitter, Elon Musk has been at the heart of the conflict in Ukraine for three months. From the start of the Russian aggression, the billionaire decided to help Ukraine by making his constellation of satellites star link for the provision of Internet connection. A choice that puts, in his words, his life in dangerand this Monday, we learn that it is also in the sights of China.

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

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

A technological asset that China is worried about since Musk has now placed more than 2,000 satellites in orbit bass, and that he plans to send twenty times more! This report advocates “low-cost” but “high-return” ways to decommission this 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 Postit is unlikely that China will use the “hard” method with missile to destroy them, both because it is very expensive, but also because the debris caused by this destruction could represent a huge danger in space. We would therefore rather orient ourselves towards the “soft” method with rays laser or jamming systems.

What if China created its own constellation

In their report, the scientists thus mention the use of radio jammers – which can disrupt communications or downright fry electronic components – or lasers whose the beam may blind the satellite sensor. China is already capable of disabling satellites, but individually. There, it is a constellation, and it is obviously more complicated. This study already warns that decommissioning a few 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 Elon Musk’s constellation but also to be able to quickly hack or disable a large part of the network. space war just getting started…

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