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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 8

Jan 4, 2019

MIT Envisions ‘Guide Star’ Satellites to Stabilize Giant Telescopes

Posted by in categories: innovation, satellites

Missions like the Kepler Space Telescope and the newer Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have revealed thousands of exoplanets out there among the stars, but we know surprisingly little about them. To get up close and personal, we’re going to need extremely precise space telescopes. MIT scientists have proposed an innovative way to make sure those instruments remain calibrated and capable of peering at distant exoplanets. They suggest designers incorporate a smaller secondary satellite that can act as a “guide star” for the telescope.

Space researchers are anxious to get new super-sized telescopes in space because the equipment we have right now is only adept at finding planets and relaying basic information. Most exoplanets in the database were discovered via the transit method, which watches for dips in brightness as planets pass in front of their home stars. From this, we can often discern a planet’s size, orbit, and approximate temperature. To get detailed data about its atmosphere and composition, we need telescopes like the upcoming (and chronically delayed) James Webb Space Telescope.

Webb will offer much greater imaging prowess than Hubble because its primary mirror is larger, composed of 18 hexagonal segments with a total diameter of 6.5 meters. In the coming decades, space telescopes could reach 15 meters with as many as 100 mirror segments. Such telescopes would have a coronagraph, an instrument capable of separating the intense light of a star from the faint light of an exoplanet. If this measurement isn’t perfect, the telescope would be unable to resolve the details on a planet.

Continue reading “MIT Envisions ‘Guide Star’ Satellites to Stabilize Giant Telescopes” »

Jan 4, 2019

Clever AI Hid Data From Its Creators to Cheat at Tasks They Gave It

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

Recent research from Stanford and Google has made the worst nightmare of some concerned with artificial intelligence (AI) all the more real. A machine learning agent was caught cheating by hiding information in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.”

Clever, but also creepy.

The agent was instructed to turn aerial images into street maps and back again as part of research to improve Google’s process of turning satellite images into the widely used and relied upon Google Maps. The process involves CycleGAN, “a neural network that learns to transform images of type X and Y into one another, as efficiently yet accurately as possible.” Though the agent was performing this task quite well, it quickly became apparent that it was performing the task too well.

Continue reading “Clever AI Hid Data From Its Creators to Cheat at Tasks They Gave It” »

Dec 24, 2018

Using Bitcoin Off the Grid

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, finance, satellites

How Combining Mesh and Satellites leads to True Financial Freedom.

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Dec 23, 2018

WATCH LIVE: SpaceX to Launch Falcon 9 Rocket #GPS III-1 #2018Finale @8:51am EST

Posted by in categories: satellites, security

For its 2018 finale, A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the U.S. Air Force’s first third-generation navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System (GPS 3–01) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Liftoff window begins at 8:51 a.m. EST (1351 GMT).

Continue reading “WATCH LIVE: SpaceX to Launch Falcon 9 Rocket #GPS III-1 #2018Finale @8:51am EST” »

Dec 18, 2018

SpaceX and Blue Origin Just Scrubbed Near-Simultaneous Rocket Launches (Arianespace and ULA, Too!)

Posted by in categories: computing, military, satellites

With no less than FOUR rocket launches by four different companies, today promised to be an epic one for space fans. But by mid-morning, two of the most anticipated launches, by SpaceX and Blue Origin, were scrubbed by glitches, while weather forced another launch delay in South America.

SpaceX and Blue Origin kicked off the launch attempts today (Dec. 18). A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was set to launch GPS III SV01, the first of an advanced new navigation satellite system for the U.S. military. At first the mission, initially scheduled for 9:11 a.m. EST (1411 GMT), slipped a few minutes to 9:34 a.m. EST as SpaceX prepared for launch at its Cape Canaveral Air Force Station pad in Florida. But seven minutes before liftoff, the Falcon 9’s onboard computer triggered an abort, forcing SpaceX to stand down for the day.

“We did have an abort,” SpaceX Firmware Engineer Tom Praderio said during live commentary. “This abort was triggered by the onboard Falcon 9 flight computer. The unfortunate part is that it has pushed us past our launch window today.” SpaceX had a 26-minute window for the launch attempt. The company will try again Wednesday (Dec. 19), with liftoff set for 9:07 a.m. EST (1407 GMT).

Continue reading “SpaceX and Blue Origin Just Scrubbed Near-Simultaneous Rocket Launches (Arianespace and ULA, Too!)” »

Dec 18, 2018

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

Posted by in category: satellites

WATCH LIVE: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is attempting to launch a U.S. Air Force navigation satellite from Cape Canaveral, FL.

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Dec 17, 2018

Next-generation of GPS satellites are headed to space

Posted by in categories: government, satellites

DENVER, United States — After months of delays, the U.S. Air Force is about to launch the first of a new generation of GPS satellites, designed to be more accurate, secure and versatile.

But some of their most highly touted features will not be fully available until 2022 or later because of problems in a companion program to develop a new ground control system for the satellites, government auditors said.

The satellite is scheduled to lift off Tuesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It’s the first of 32 planned GPS III satellites that will replace older ones now in orbit. Lockheed Martin is building the new satellites outside Denver.

Continue reading “Next-generation of GPS satellites are headed to space” »

Dec 15, 2018

Lasers help keep CubeSats on target to handle large data downlinks

Posted by in category: satellites

An MIT team is working on a new aiming system that will allow CubeSats to use lasers for high-bandwidth communications with Earth. The new laser-pointing platform uses a second directional beam to keep the primary data beam on focus, allowing the CubeSat to transmit large amounts of data without the need for heavy antennae or wasting propellant.


Dec 14, 2018

The coming of low-Earth orbit satellites

Posted by in categories: economics, satellites

The launch of thousands of new satellites will boost the space economy.

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Dec 13, 2018

A Designer Seed Company Is Building a Farming Panopticon

Posted by in categories: biological, food, satellites

Indigo Ag, known for its microbe-coated seeds, is acquiring geospatial data startup TellusLabs to use satellites to learn every last thing about its farmers’ fields.

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