Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 161

Feb 25, 2017

Computing with biochemical circuits made easy

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, satellites

Electronic circuits are found in almost everything from smartphones to spacecraft and are useful in a variety of computational problems from simple addition to determining the trajectories of interplanetary satellites. At Caltech, a group of researchers led by Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Lulu Qian is working to create circuits using not the usual silicon transistors but strands of DNA.

The Qian group has made the technology of DNA accessible to even novice researchers—including undergraduate students—using a software tool they developed called the Seesaw Compiler. Now, they have experimentally demonstrated that the tool can be used to quickly design DNA circuits that can then be built out of cheap “unpurified” DNA strands, following a systematic wet-lab procedure devised by Qian and colleagues.

A paper describing the work appears in the February 23 issue of Nature Communications.

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Feb 22, 2017

StarTram: MagLev creator wants to fire satellites into space through vertical hyperloop tube

Posted by in category: satellites

James Powell has filed a patent outlining how his theoretical StarTram system could work.

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Feb 18, 2017

EmDrive: Chinese space agency to put controversial tech onto satellites ‘as soon as possible’

Posted by in categories: government, quantum physics, satellites

Chinese government confirms it has been funding EmDrive research since 2010 and believes in its benefits.

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Feb 16, 2017

SatRevolution building new satellite plant in Poland with partners APWorks

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, satellites

Polish company SatRevolution have announced plans to create a new satellite production plant in Poland and use 3D printing to develop the country’s first satellites. SatRevolution will partner with APWorks to produce a prototype of the Światowid satellite. Airbus subsidiary, APWorks, will provide metal additive manufacturing solutions to the Polish developers.

The Światowid is intended to measure cosmic radiation and electromagnetic interference. To facilitate launching, the design was developed in line with the cube-sat parameters. Measuring 10 × 10 × 20 cm, the satellite will weigh 2 kg.

The project will reportedly require $50 million to complete, with the satellite production facility planned to be built near the Polish city of Wroclaw.

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Feb 16, 2017

Thin, built-in batteries to free up valuable space on CubeSats

Posted by in categories: habitats, satellites

Real estate is a valuable commodity aboard a CubeSat, a compact satellite about the size of a shoebox, so the smaller each component can be made, the better. To that end, scientists at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the University of Miami are developing a thin, solid-state battery, which could not only save space for more important instruments aboard satellites, but also provide power on other planets, in cars or within the walls of a home.

At less than 3 mm (0.1 in) thick, the new batteries could be incorporated into the structure of pint-sized satellites, rather than taking up room in the area designated for research instruments. The batteries are made by sandwiching a solid-state battery layer between two layers of compressed carbon fiber.

“Creating a structural battery material could revolutionize the way NASA operates small payloads,” says senior principal investigator, Luke Roberson. “Rather than placing a battery in the experiment taking up 20 to 35 percent of the available volume, the battery now resides in the payload structure, thereby opening up additional free space for researchers to perform more science.”

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Feb 15, 2017

Rocket Lab’s experimental rocket arrives at New Zealand launch pad for debut flight

Posted by in category: satellites

After three years of developing a brand new rocket, aerospace startup Rocket Lab has finally transported a finished vehicle to the New Zealand launch pad where it will take its first flight. The rocket, called the Electron, has been tested on the ground over the last year but has never been flown to space before. Over the next couple of months, Rocket Lab will conduct a series of test launches of the vehicle to verify that it’s ready to carry payloads into orbit for commercial customers.

Compared to other major commercial rockets like the Falcon 9 or the Atlas V, the Electron is pretty small — only 55 feet tall and and around 4 feet in diameter. That’s because the vehicle is specifically designed to launch small satellites. The vehicle can carry payloads ranging from 330 to 500 pounds into an orbit more than 300 miles up. That’s a relatively light lift contrasted with the Falcon 9, which can carry more than 50,000 pounds into lower Earth orbit.

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Feb 14, 2017

Space race between India, China, Japan heats up

Posted by in category: satellites

(CNN) — Forget the US versus Russia. The real space race is taking place in Asia.

India’s space agency will attempt to launch 104 satellites from a single rocket Wednesday — a record feat that, if successful, will cement the country’s space smarts after its successful Mars orbiter mission.

The launch would almost triple the current record of 37 satellites Russia sent into orbit in 2014.

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Feb 14, 2017

Gov’t Sued For Taking US Company’s Business Plan And Giving It To Foreigners

Posted by in categories: business, military, policy, robotics/AI, satellites


A private space company is suing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for allegedly taking an idea and giving it to a foreign-owned competitor.

Orbital ATK accused DARPA, which develops military technology, of giving its business plan to repair satellites to Space Systems Loral (SSL), a company-based in California but registered as foreign-owned. Orbital ATK says handing business plans to SSL violates U.S. policy.

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Feb 14, 2017

88 New Satellites Will Watch Earth, All the Time, All the Places

Posted by in categories: satellites, surveillance

With the acquisition of Google’s satellite company and 88 new satellites, Planet is poised to become the world’s most powerful space surveillance company.

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Feb 2, 2017

NASA’s New Shape-Shifting Radiator Inspired by Origami

Posted by in category: satellites

Japan’s ancient art of paper folding has inspired the design of a potentially trailblazing “smart” radiator that a NASA technologist is now developing to remove or retain heat on small satellites.

Vivek Dwivedi collaborated with BYU to develop the radiator

Technologist Vivek Dwivedi, who is standing in front of a sputtering reactor used to deposit vanadium-oxide onto sample substrates for testing, is collaborating with Brigham Young University researchers to develop a radiator ideal for small spacecraft.

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