Elon Musk Announces Big Change To Help Ukrainians

(PresidentialInsider.com)- Last week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk warned that there was a good chance the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service could be “targeted” in Ukraine.

The Saturday after Russia’s invasion, Musk activated Starlink in Ukraine and announced that SpaceX was donating more terminals. Ukraine said on Monday that they received the donated terminals, but an internet researcher warned that devices used for satellite communications in Ukraine could become beacons that Russia could target for airstrikes.

In a tweet last Wednesday, Musk concurred, warning that as Starlink is the only non-Russian system available in some parts of Ukraine, the “probability of being targeted is high.”

To minimize the danger, Musk suggested users only turn on Starlink when needed and keep the antenna “as far away from people as possible.” To avoid visual detection, Musk also suggested they put “light camouflage” in place over the antenna.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov thanked Musk and SpaceX for the donation of terminals but added that Ukraine also needed generators to keep Starlink service online and to power the country’s other emergency services due to Russian attacks on infrastructure.

In response to Fedorov’s tweet, Musk said SpaceX was updating the Starlink software to reduce “peak power consumption” so that Starlink could be powered from a car cigarette lighter.

What’s more, Musk tweeted that the mobile roaming on Starlink had been activated so the phased array antenna is able to maintain a signal while in a moving vehicle.

However, a consultant in satellite communications was unsure what Musk meant in his tweet. Tim Farrar told Reuters that Starlink antennas, which look similar to digital television antennas, are not designed to be used in motion.