Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

May 10, 2024

First ‘extreme’ solar storm in 20 years brings spectacular auroras

Posted by in categories: energy, satellites

WASHINGTON: The most powerful solar storm in more than two decades struck Earth on Friday (May 11), triggering spectacular celestial light shows in skies from Tasmania to Britain — and threatening possible disruptions to satellites and power grids as it persists into the weekend.

The first of several coronal mass ejections (CMEs) — expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun — came just after 1,600 GMT, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

It was later upgraded to an “extreme” geomagnetic storm — the first since the so-called “Halloween Storms” of October 2003 caused blackouts in Sweden and damaged power infrastructure in South Africa. More CMEs are expected to pummel the planet in the coming days.

May 10, 2024

‘I don’t see any evidence of aliens.’ SpaceX’s Elon Musk says Starlink satellites have never dodged UFOs

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

SpaceX, with the Starlink constellation, has roughly 6,000 satellites, and not once have we had to maneuver around a UFO.

May 10, 2024

Redwire announces second VLEO satellite platform

Posted by in categories: business, satellites

WASHINGTON — Redwire Space is doubling down on interest in the emerging market for very low Earth orbit (VLEO) satellites by offering a second spacecraft platform from its European subsidiary.

In a May 9 earnings call, Redwire announced a VLEO satellite platform called Phantom, developed by the company’s European business unit in Belgium. Phantom is being developed for the European Space Agency’s Skimsat mission, on which Redwire is partnered with Thales Alenia Space, and is now being offered for European and international customers.

Phantom joins SabreSat, a VLEO satellite Redwire announced in its previous earnings call in March that is being developed by the company in the United States. The two designs use different technologies.

May 5, 2024

China unveils video of its moon base plans, which weirdly includes a NASA space shuttle

Posted by in category: satellites

The video details an expansive lunar outpost, but curiously includes CGI of a NASA space shuttle taking off from the moon’s surface.

May 5, 2024

DARPA Selects Northrop Grumman, Umbra for Phase II of DRIFT Program

Posted by in categories: information science, military, satellites

Northrop Grumman and Umbra have been awarded small contracts by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue to the second phase of a program designed to collect data from radar-equipped satellites flying in formation and develop innovative algorithms to process the data for military applications.

Umbra’s contract under the Distributed Radar Image Foundation Technology (DRIFT) program is for $6 million and will last for six months and Northrop Grumman’s is for $2 million and covers one year, a DARPA spokesperson said.

May 3, 2024

Hubble Network makes Bluetooth connection with a satellite for the first time

Posted by in categories: computing, satellites

Hubble Network has become the first company in history to establish a Bluetooth connection directly to a satellite — a critical technology validation for the company, potentially opening the door to connecting millions more devices anywhere in the world.

The Seattle-based startup launched its first two satellites to orbit on SpaceX’s Transporter-10 rideshare mission in March; since that time, the company confirmed that it has received signals from the onboard 3.5mm Bluetooth chips from over 600 kilometers away.

The sky is truly the limit for space-enabled Bluetooth devices: The startup says its technology can be used in markets including logistics, cattle tracking, smart collars for pets, GPS watches for kids, car inventory, construction sites and soil temperature monitoring. Haro said the low-hanging fruit is those industries that are desperate for network coverage even once per day, like remote asset monitoring for the oil and gas industry. As the constellation scales, Hubble will turn its attention to sectors that may need more frequent updates, like soil monitoring, to continuous coverage use cases like fall monitoring for the elderly.

May 1, 2024

NASA Unveils Game-Changing Electric Propulsion Technology for Future Space Missions

Posted by in categories: innovation, satellites

NASA ’s innovative propulsion technology propels small spacecraft exploration and extends satellite lifetimes, supporting U.S. leadership in space technology.

NASA has developed an advanced propulsion technology to facilitate future planetary exploration missions using small spacecraft. Not only will this technology enable new types of planetary science missions, one of NASA’s commercial partners is already preparing to use it for another purpose—to extend the lifetimes of spacecraft that are already in orbit. Identifying the opportunity for industry to use this new technology not only advances NASA’s goal of technology commercialization, it could potentially create a path for NASA to acquire this important technology from industry for use in future planetary missions.

The New Technology

Apr 27, 2024

Space Force opens bidding for classified communications satellites

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

Join our newsletter to get the latest military space news every Tuesday by veteran defense journalist Sandra Erwin.

This estimated $8 billion procurement, known as Evolved Strategic Satcom (ESS), will supplement and eventually replace the existing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite constellation. The new system will provide critical jam-resistant communication channels for the National Command Authorities and deployed forces worldwide, even in the North Polar region – a capability lacking in the current system.

Apr 25, 2024

Space Age Security: How Satellites Could Extend Quantum Encryption Globally

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, engineering, internet, quantum physics, satellites, security

How can we guarantee that data sent over the internet is only accessible to its intended recipient? Currently, our data is secured using encryption methods based on the premise that factoring large numbers is a complex task. However, as quantum computing advances, these encryption techniques may become vulnerable and potentially ineffective in the future.

Encryption by means of physical laws

Tobias Vogl, a professor of Quantum Communication Systems Engineering, is working on an encryption process that relies on principles of physics. “Security will be based on the information being encoded into individual light particles and then transmitted. The laws of physics do not permit this information to be extracted or copied. When the information is intercepted, the light particles change their characteristics. Because we can measure these state changes, any attempt to intercept the transmitted data will be recognized immediately, regardless of future advances in technology,” says Tobias Vogl.

Apr 24, 2024

World’s most advanced solar sail rockets into space

Posted by in category: satellites

The world’s most advanced solar sail spacecraft began its odyssey today at 23:32 GMT as it lifted off atop a Rocket Lab Electron launcher from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. It was one of two payloads on the Beginning Of The Swarm mission.

Though it’s only the size of a microwave oven, NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) can unfurl a microscopically thin plastic sail in about 25 minutes to cover an area of 860 ft² (80 m²) with a boom unfolding from the size of a hand to 23-ft (7-m) long. It’s not the first solar sail to be sent into space, but its boom made of lightweight polymer composites and specially configured to stow flat is a major step in making such sails lighter and more stable.

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