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Oct 17, 2021

Waiting To Unload: Global Supply Chain Disruption Visible From NASA Satellites

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, satellites

The pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and markets in ways that have led to backlogs of cargo ships at key ports.

Booming demand for consumer and goods, labor shortages, bad weather, and an array of COVID-related supply chain snarls are contributing to backlogs of cargo ships at ports around the world.

Among those seaports are the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach in Southern California, the two busiest container ports in the United States. On October 10 2021, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this natural-color image of dozens of cargo ships waiting offshore for their turn to unload goods. On the same day, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA.

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Oct 17, 2021

IoT news of the week

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

A company building chips designed for AI at the edge gets $136M: There’s no shortage of funds for any chip firm building processors for AI. After a desert of chip funding in the mid-aughts, I’m grateful for it, but it’s an overwhelming amount of money…


Tiny satellites and radios made for tracking big animals: This article is really interesting and shows just how small but powerful tracking devices have become when it comes to keeping an eye on the animal population. For example, not too long ago a tracking device meant for specific sharks would cost $10,000. These days? Open source projects combined with low-cost radios drop the price to just over a tenth of that. These aren’t just for the biggest of the big, though. One researcher at Yale has attached small “backpacks” weighting just 3.5 grams to 55 American robins to follow their migration path and time. Aside from the decreased price of the radio technology, it’s impressive how this community is working together on a common problem. (Washington Post) — Kevin C. Tofel.

Oct 15, 2021

How solar rockets can bring Uber to Musk’s Mars city

Posted by in categories: satellites, solar power, sustainability

One emergent company, Virgin Orbit wants to switch from a fuel-burning upper stage to solar energy, a move that could support future human habitats on other planets.

The satellite launch company has made a name for itself with its visually striking rocket launches. Strapped to the wing of a Boeing 747 the LauncherOne rocket doesn’t need the same launch pads and infrastructure as its competitors.

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Oct 14, 2021

Regher Solar is ready to meet the new space industry’s demand for cheaper, better solar panels

Posted by in categories: mathematics, robotics/AI, satellites, solar power, sustainability

The math is pretty basic. How many satellites are going to go up over the next decade? How many solar panels will they need? And how many are being manufactured that fit the bill? Turns out the answers are: a lot, a hell of a lot, and not nearly enough. That’s where Regher Solar aims to make its mark, by bringing the cost of space-quality solar panels down by 90% while making an order of magnitude more of them. It’s not exactly a modest goal, but fortunately the science and market seem to be in favor, giving the company something of a tailwind. The question is finding the right balance between cost and performance while remaining relatively easy to manufacture. Of course, if there was an easy answer there, someone would already be doing that.

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Oct 13, 2021

Starlink: SpaceX’s next launch will bring a huge upgrade to the service

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Starlink is feeling the chill.


On Wednesday, Teslarati reported that SpaceX will likely host its second Starlink launch from the west coast of the U.S. as soon as Sunday, October 17. The mission is expected to launch 51 Starlink satellites, complete with optical interlinks that will enable the satellites to bring internet access to Earth’s poles.

It’s another moment of expansion for SpaceX’s under-construction internet constellation, designed to bring high speed and low latency access to almost anywhere in the world. The company first started signing up beta testers in mid-2020, and early reports suggested that users are receiving up to 150 megabits per second.

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Oct 13, 2021

Scientists Say We Need to Rethink How We Dispose of Satellites

Posted by in categories: futurism, satellites

The term, “casualty risk” doesn’t literally mean humans will be smashed by falling satellites, but there is an increasing risk of satellite collisions, which could hinder or even spell disaster for future orbital missions. And, satellites de-orbited without control could pose a danger to property or the well-being of some on the surface.

In other words, it’s time to rethink the way we dispose of satellites.

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Oct 13, 2021

Deep learning helps predict traffic crashes before they happen

Posted by in categories: mapping, robotics/AI, satellites

Today’s world is one big maze, connected by layers of concrete and asphalt that afford us the luxury of navigation by vehicle. For many of our road-related advancements — GPS lets us fire fewer neurons thanks to map apps, cameras alert us to potentially costly scrapes and scratches, and electric autonomous cars have lower fuel costs — our safety measures haven’t quite caught up. We still rely on a steady diet of traffic signals, trust, and the steel surrounding us to safely get from point A to point B.

“If people can use the risk map to identify potentially high-risk road segments, they can take action in advance to reduce the risk of trips they take. Apps like Waze and Apple Maps have incident feature tools, but we’re trying to get ahead of the crashes — before they happen,” says He.

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Oct 13, 2021

Planet Labs, soon to be public, unveils more powerful Pelican imagery satellites

Posted by in category: satellites

Earth imaging and data specialist Planet Labs on Tuesday announced a new line of imagery satellites, called Pelican, as the company prepares to go public later this year.

The Pelican satellites are meant to upgrade Planet’s existing constellation of 21 SkySat satellites in orbit, with launches beginning in 2022.

“It’s higher resolution, and having more satellites in space means that you actually end up having a higher revisit capability and [Pelican is] being designed for what our users want – which is speed and near-real time understanding about what’s happening,” Planet co-founder and chief strategy officer Robbie Schingler told CNBC.

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Oct 8, 2021

Elon Musk: US Nationwide Starlink Rollout Is Coming This Month

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

But if you’re in an area already full of Starlink users, don’t expect availability until SpaceX launches more satellites.

Oct 7, 2021

Rocket Lab stock surges after NASA deal to launch solar sail announced

Posted by in category: satellites

Rocket Lab USA Incsoared higher in after-hours trading Wednesday, following an announcement that the company has been chosen to fly an experimental solar sail into space.

NASA signed on with Rocket Lab RKLB, +10.43% to demonstrate the U.S. agency’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, or ACS3. The solar sail will be launched into space to demonstrate the efficacy of a technology that could be an alternative to satellites for specific duties.

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