They have become the target to be reached since they are used for military communication: Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, which the billionaire has made available to the Ukrainians since the start of the Russian invasion, are the subject of studies by Chinese scientists, reports Futura Sciences on Monday May 30, taking up an article from the South China Morning Post of May 25. These researchers, who published a study in the national journal Modern Defense Technology, would seek to “monitor, track, disable or even destroy” these satellites, in particular “if they threaten national security”. But above all, they plead for the development of Chinese anti-satellite capabilities.
The study was led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher from the Beijing Institute of Monitoring and Telecommunications. Among the co-authors are several top scientists from the Chinese defense industry, but it is unclear to what extent their views represent an official position of the Chinese military or government, our colleagues at Business Insider point out. .
A transmission speed multiplied by 100 with Starlink
Scientists would target the fact that Elon Musk’s satellites are used by the American army, explains Futura Sciences. Ren Yuanzhen estimated that US military drones and stealth fighter jets could increase their data transmission speed by more than 100 times thanks to Starlink. Potentially, the missiles which would leave from China could therefore be monitored by the constellation.
Scientists are proposing an inexpensive “soft” method: setting up jamming systems, or even using laser beams that could blind satellite sensors. Using a “hard” method, i.e. destroying the constellation with missiles, does not seem privileged, not only because of its cost, since there would be thousands of satellites to destroy, but also because of its dangerousness, with debris that could come and pulverize other celestial objects.
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In the long term, scientists believe that China should set up a national satellite system. With more than 2,300 satellites in orbit, Starlink is generally considered indestructible because the decentralized system can continue to operate despite the loss of a number of its satellites.
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