October 13, 2009 at 1:16 am #8187
Thanks for the link, tho it seems i need something faster with no limitations and with no per/MB billing. Will i need my own damn sat for a no limit hi-speed net acces, these simply doesnt make sense :S What i need is a one time investment(up to maximum of 5 mil$) with no monthly bills. Its not like i have that kind of money. But i m trying to calculate how mush it costs to construct my ideal sea community. e.g.: 3 to 4MW renewable elec. with maintance free facilities can be constructed with another 5mil$ (location eastern Saya da Malha, transportation of building materials and building material costs on the existing platform included), i think many of you wouldnt find it cost effective though.October 13, 2009 at 1:32 am #8189
If you are thinking about Aerostats, then there are inherit problems behind them. They are not really cheap to purchase. They don’t really lift a lot of weight, so your relay equipment is going to either have to be really light, or you are looking at purchasing a good sized aerostat. The ground equipment isn’t cheap either. The attachment cable has to be really strong to withstand decent winds. Winds higher than 25 kts will put operation of the aerostat in jeopardy, since they create a lot of drag when the wind is blowing, thus puting great stress on the tether cable, which likes to snap when overloaded. If there is lightning anywhere close, you’d be smart to pull it down, or chance getting the whole system fried. You then have to negotiate something with the parent country for whom your aerostat is occupying airspace. They obviously will have to set up something equivalent to a ROZ(restricted operating zone) so they can keep aircraft from crashing into it that are flying in their airspace in the EEZ.
So to recap, you will have a good amount of down time due to storms, high winds, or for regular scheduled maintenance. And I’m not sure what kind of altitude you will have to keep the aerostat at in order to get your signal the distances you’ll need, but remember that there are almost constant high winds out there over most the ocean. Winds, that if you are going to need to fly your aerostat at a certain altitude in, will remove the use of aerostats as a viable platform from the list of possibilities.
Sorry I didn’t look up a link for anything on aerostats. I just have a lot of first hand knowlege since part of my platoon operated an Aerostat in theater and I got trained and qualified, but never operated it due to being tasked to more important things back when I was in the military. Well unless you count when they’d call me over to help trouble shoot something since they usually had idiots running the aerostat site.October 13, 2009 at 1:39 am #8190
Thanks for the useful infoOctober 13, 2009 at 1:47 am #8192
If you’re prepared to spend that much, I’m not sure where to look; it’s way outside my pocketbook range. However, there are plenty of multimillion dollar yachts here, and most of them have the SeaTrak systems or something like them. I’ll ask around the marina but it will probably take a while. I know a few of the right people, but most billionairres don’t like talking to people like me. Heh.
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 13, 2009 at 2:24 am #8195
Thanks Michael, you dont have to trouble yourself if it bothers you, thanks again for your offer though :). But i d like to know more about it if anyone by chance gets some piece of knowledge about the issue.(while browsing n such). I must work my ass off for a decade for it afterall, i don’t have anything more than time…October 13, 2009 at 3:50 am #8198
I’m too tired to go over all the info…this stuff has been discussed several times so just use the search function. But I’m in a good mood (or maybe it’s all the wine) so here are some quick links:
This is the wireless system I would use. 25Mbps over a 40km range. 2.1kg unit that is fully weather resistant in extreme temperatures and humidity. Low power needs only 9.6W (48V 200mA). Would need 10 of them strung out in a line, one every 40km suspended 200m above the waves, for a 400km (215nm) link.
This is the ballon/aerostat system I would use. Can carry a payload of 90kg up to 300m and can operate in winds up to 40 knots…and can survive in winds up to 55 knots. They can be tethered from a moored buoy or even a small boat performing stationkeeping (which is what I would do). They can remain aloft for up to 7 days, and can remain indefinately if you use a helium supply system.
Costs. From what I can tell, each wireless system will run about US$5000 to US$10000. The TCOM 17M aerostats will probably run about US$750000 each. So figure US$10million for a 25Mbps backbone running 215nm.
Expensive. But a hell of a lot cheaper than an undersea cable…or your own satellite in orbit.
Then, on shore, you have the final receiving station linked up to the internet via commercial T3 or even a few fractional T1s if you want to spread it out. That will run you a couple thousand a month.
EDIT: The TCOM aerostats are a bit overkill for this project. Something smaller and cheaper, like the SkyDoc Aerostats, might work just as well for much less cost.October 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm #8209
I found what I think are much cheaper aerostat prices. This article talks about the SkySentry aerostat running US$125000 and it looks like it can easily carry the wireless systems.
I also found this site that sells large ballons and blimps for aerial photography and monitoring. Dirt cheap, but I don’t know how stable they are. The 10ft large ballons can carry up to 10kg and only run $460. You can even include a payload mount for $45. The 20ft outdoor heavy lift blimp is a bit more expensive at $1650 and can only carry 8.2kg (still plenty for our needs) but it might be more stable and it is definately more weather resistent and can stay aloft longer.
They even make a Kingfisher Aerostat, but no info on price. It can’t be very expensive, you would only need the 13ft version. I doubt it would be more than US$20000. I’ve got an email out to them, hopefully I’ll hear something back soon.
So assume US$20000 per aerostat, and $10000 per wireless link. You need 10 of them. So that 400km 25Mbps seastead-to-shore link is now looking at only US$300000. Very reasonable, if you ask me. Even if you throw in another US$200000 for other items like small boats holding the tethers, helium replenishment systems, PV panels to power the aerostats, etc you are still only talking US$500000 for a very high-speed ship-to-shore link.October 13, 2009 at 7:50 pm #8215
Very good find Smith!
I think if I were to choose between the SkySentry or the other aerostats, I would have to go with the Sky Sentry. Even at its cost of $125000, I would buy a second as a back-up to put system purchase at $250000. Put it on my seastead which would be located just outside of the nation’s EEZ. Since it can go up to 60k feet, I have good LOS, and I wouldn’t have to worry about airspace deconfliction in the least, as opposed to having to worry about negotiating several locations for tying up airspace in a nation’s airspace system using the other blimps. I would have to set up a ground link station back on shore as you would, so we’ll call tie on cost for that. I wouldn’t need to invest anything close to $200,0000 for support equipment as you estimated. I would have the system on board the seastead, so access to it would be very easy, as opposed to having to go after a faulty blimp that goes down inside of the EEZ. So down time would be very minimal for me since I have a backup on site.
So to recap, $250,000 for the systems. We’ll say another $50,000 for the communications equipment and extra helium. And $100,000 for the ground station and all equipment needed there in a small developing nation. Total: $400,000
Your total, if we say same cost for ground station: $600,000
And mine is put together with a lot less interaction needed with the nearby nation, so a lot easier to get approvals on everything needed.
Even at $400,000, that is quite pricey for high speed internet unless you have enough people on board the seastead to warrant the system setup cost. You’d have to have at least 33.3 subscribers paying $100 a month for 10 years before that would pay for the initial cost of the system.
But I think I will wait a few years before I start to really worry about high speed internet connectivity requirements. Communications technology is moving along so fast now, there might be cheaper more viable options available in 5-10 years time than we are currently talking and thinking about, but hopefully, just in time for our needs as we move far away from shore.October 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm #8217
Someone said that once we’re on the ocean, someone will find a way to make money by selling us internet. That someone can be a huge corporation on land, I don’t have a problem with that.
Seperately, I fully believe that within 10 years from now we’ll have affordable, effective satellite broadband. So nothing to worry about.
– NickOctober 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm #8218
I would buy a second as a back-up
You need 10 of the aerostat/wireless repeating units, unless you can find a way to extend a wi-fi data link over 400km. The wireless system I specified can only extend the signal 40km, so unless you are 40km from shore you need a chain of these extenders. 10 extenders will give you 480km according to the specs, but I round down to 400km since you never get the full range they describe.
Since it can go up to 60k feet
That is only for testing purposes. Tethered aerostats…even the most massive and expensive ones I have found…can only get to 15k feet. I believe that 60k number they quote is for free-floating aerostats that they just release and let fly to test how high their equipment can go. You most certainly couldn’t extend a tether with power 60k feet up.
pay for the initial cost of the system
I include this cost into the initial expenditure of building the seastead. If you are talking millions upon millions of dollars to build a floating city, $500k for very high speed broadband is just an added “feature”.
Even at $400,000, that is quite pricey for high speed internet
That is incredibly reasonable for a 25Mbps link over 400km of ocean. An undersea cable at that length will run you $20million at the bare minimum. And satellite, while cheap up-front, has high monthly costs and is nowhere near capable of handling the IT duties of a tech-centered seastead.October 13, 2009 at 10:08 pm #8219
Indeed, it’s a very reasonable price for a decent connection. Thanks Smith.October 14, 2009 at 1:46 am #8228
Has microwave radio relay been considered yet? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_radio_relay
I’d rather have something that can shoot from point A-B, rather than have a bunch of relays in between the two end points. Simplifies things a bit. And if the the Skyhook or some other aerostat only gets to 15k ft.(I wasn’t really thinking about the whole 60k thing when I read and posted it, but that isn’t possible being tethered, right now at least), I’m very confident that should be enough for LOS to go 400km. And earlier I was only factoring in my needs as far as distance goes when I was talking about 200km just outside of the EEZ.
I’ve gotten great data transmission back and forth from point A & B before with limited transmitting power in an easily transportable system. The 5′ transmitting dish at point A was about 25′ high off of the ground(on top of the tallest building around), and Point B was receiving and transmitting data back at 3k ft. Point A was a directional antenna, and point B was a small omni antenna. There were no terrain obstacles higher than probably 15′ between the two points, and the greatest distance attained was 180km away between the points before a loss of data started to occur. Sorry but I can’t answer any questions about the the system used to do this. I can say that this system was made back in 1999, and I’m sure something more powerful could be used to bounce plenty of high-speed bandwidth back and forth and for only an investment of the Aerostat on the seastead at point A and the ground station at point B. It would be something good to get started with until you can grow into a bigger system when you get more people on your seastead.
But for the really small guys that don’t plan on getting big, I agree with Thief. I think that the costs of high bandwidth satellite internet will go down more eventually for people wanting to keep a small, mobile footprint.
Oh, one more thing. I’m no expert on this stuff by any means, but I think you will get a high latency for your Wi-Fi internet since you have to bounce it between 10 points before it hits a hard line. And as I also understand it, radio waves don’t like the water, so they tend to create multipath distortion in the signal, so you’ll have to counter that 10Xs as well to hopefully get something useful out of it in the end.October 14, 2009 at 1:52 am #8230
Oh, I almost forgot, point B was moving at speeds between 60-100kts. Point A automatically took care of keeping aim at the directional antenna without any input. So that should negate issues when the aerostat decides to move around a little with the wind. Oh and if you hadn’t already guessed, point B was on an aircraft.October 14, 2009 at 3:42 am #8233
microwave radio relay been considered yet
Since 802.11 is a microwave transmission, any of these systems are technically a microwave relay. The wikipedia entry you linked to seems to be talking about radio transmissions, which I don’t think have the bandwidth required for data-intensive systems.
Long distance radio transmissions are pretty easy. The military’s MARTS system can get 24/7 radio relays out to 125km from a tethered aerostat. But again, that’s radio.
According to wikipedia…and my other research has confirmed it…the longest unamplified wi-fi link was established by the Center for Radio Activities in Italy and it was 304km. That was in 2007. The absolute longest I have been able to find is the 310km amplified link created by the Swedish space agency. You are still short of the distance you would need to be out of an EEZ.
I’ve downloaded a few papers that talk about the Italian and Venezualian long-distance links, as well as the Swedish paper. I also have the paper describing the Loreto, Peru 445km multi-hop setup. I’ll read those and see what I can find. My guess is that all those A-to-B long-distance links had very low bandwidth and were just proof-of-concept setups showing how far microwave transmissions can go…not suitable for a high-speed internet backbone.
Sorry but I can’t answer any questions about the the system used to do this
That’s too bad, because I haven’t seen anything like this on the net. I mean, the 180km distance has been done. But both units were stationary. You say one station was moving at 100kts? That’s pretty fast. I’d want to know what the power requirements were, what the bandwidth and latency were like, etc.
Most modern-day wireless routers use the 802.11-2007 standard that makes short work of multipath distortion. I don’t expect it to be a big issue.
shoot from point A-B
I don’t see any way to do this. Until you can get a high-bandwidth link longer than 400-500km you are going to need a multihop system.
I’m very confident that should be enough for LOS
The calculation is d^2 / 13 = h where d is the distance to the horizon in kilometers and h is the height of the observer above sea level in meters. So if your aerostat is 15000ft (4572m) above sea level then the horizon is about 242km away. To get the horizon 450km away you’d have to have the aerostat over 15500m high…that’s over 50k feet.October 14, 2009 at 7:37 am #8237
The main up/down link frequency used, operated between 2.400 to 2.485 GHz. We had real time video streaming at 480X320 res on 5.250 to 5.850 GHz. And a backup up/down link operating on 340 to 400 MHz UHF.
I hope these numbers sound familiar to you. I have a 2200 page manual to go through to find more info and it’s already 2AM here so I’ll have to come back to this tomorrow. Turns out I’m curious now though, so some of your answers I might be able to answer. I will try to find out the power output and anything else I can find that is relevant. I don’t think I will be able to dig up an accurate latency speed for you, but the video was very near real time.
I still think you will be able to accomplish your distance without having to resort to multihoping. Have you looked at ways to amplify your signal and to also send it and receive it on directional antennas pointed directly at each other? What about WIMAX? That is new and supposed to be getting better distances than Wi-Fi does, and deals with high bandwidth better as well I believe. Just throwing ideas out there.
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