Elon Musk – 2, Russia – 0
In part 2 of the mind-blowing saga that is the way in which SpaceX (a company with a pressence in Texas but currently HQ’d in California) is responding to pleas from the Ukraine government to help them stay connected to the web. [read part 1 here]
“Updating software to reduce peak power consumption, so Starlink can be powered from car cigarette lighter.
Mobile roaming enabled, so phased array antenna can maintain signal while on moving vehicle. – Elon Musk”
After Elon Musk promised Ukraine they would activate Starlink in the country and shipped hundreds of terminals, Russia began attacking the power infrastructure, in part to push a media blackout from the country. The attacks also included bombings of TV antennaes. Noticing this new tactic the Minsiter of Digital Transformation for Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, reached on Twitter desperately looking for ways to keep the Starlink terminals online.
@elonmusk @SpaceX @SpaceXStarlink many thx! Starlink keeps our cities connected and emergency services saving lives!
With Russian attacks on our infra, we need generators to keep Starlinks & life-saving services online – ideas? @Honda @ChampionGen @westinghouse @DuroMaxPower pic.twitter.com/FkUZ6s08AO
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) March 2, 2022
SpaceX and our own Elon Musk responded to the call quickly by writing a new version of the software and pushing an over-the-air update to reduce Starlink’s peak power consumption AND allow it to keep a strong signal while on the move. That means Ukraine can now power each terminal with a lot less energy and even mount Starlink inside of vehicles and keep using the web while those vehicles are moving.
Updating software to reduce peak power consumption, so Starlink can be powered from car cigarette lighter.
Mobile roaming enabled, so phased array antenna can maintain signal while on moving vehicle.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 3, 2022
Again, the SpaceX team did this all in under 24 hours.