Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 5

Aug 25, 2022

Nontoxic material found to be ultra-strong solar energy harvester

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, satellites, solar power

Solar cells are vital for the green energy transition. They can be used not only on rooftops and solar farms but also for powering autonomous vehicles, such as planes and satellites. However, photovoltaic solar cells are currently heavy and bulky, making them difficult to transport to remote locations off-grid, where they are much needed.

In a collaboration led by Imperial College London, alongside researchers from Cambridge, UCL, Oxford, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin in Germany, and others, researchers have produced that can absorb comparable levels of sunlight as conventional silicon , but with 10,000 times lower thickness.

The material is sodium bismuth sulfide (NaBiS2), which is grown as nanocrystals and deposited from solution to make films 30 nanometers in thickness. NaBiS2 is comprised of nontoxic elements that are sufficiently abundant in the earth’s crust for use commercially. For example, bismuth-based compounds are used as a nontoxic lead replacement in solder, or in over-the-counter stomach medicine.

Aug 23, 2022

SKY Perfect JSAT signed Launch Service Contract for Superbird-9 satellite with SpaceX

Posted by in categories: business, satellites

The fully reusable Starship could launch as soon as next month.

Another private customer has signed up to use SpaceX’s fully reusable Starship rocket. Sky Perfect JSat penned a contract with SpaceX to launch its Superbird-9 communications satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit in 2024, the company announced in a press release.

Continue reading “SKY Perfect JSAT signed Launch Service Contract for Superbird-9 satellite with SpaceX” »

Aug 23, 2022

SpaceX tweaks Starlink Gen2 plans to add Falcon 9 launch option

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

SpaceX says it has revised plans for its next-generation Starlink Gen2 constellation to allow the upgraded satellites to launch on its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket in addition to Starship, a new and unproven vehicle.

Set to be the largest and most powerful rocket ever flown when it eventually debuts, SpaceX’s two-stage Starship launch vehicle is also intended to be fully reusable, theoretically slashing the cost of launching payloads into and beyond Earth orbit. Most importantly, SpaceX says that even in its fully-reusable configuration, Starship should be capable of launching up to 150 tons (~330,000 lb) to low Earth orbit (LEO) – nearly a magnitude more than Falcon 9. However, once said to be on track to debut as early as mid-2021 to early 2022, it’s no longer clear if Starship will be ready for regular Starlink launches anytime soon.

In August 2021, SpaceX failed a major Starlink Gen2 revision with the FCC that started the company along the path that led to now. That revision revealed plans to dramatically increase the size and capabilities of each Gen2 satellite, boosting their maximum throughput from about 50 gigabits per second (Gbps) to ~150 Gbps. Just as importantly, SpaceX’s August 2021 modification made it clear that the company would prefer to launch the entire constellation with Starship, although it included an alternative constellation design that would lend itself better to Falcon 9 launches.

Aug 22, 2022

DARPA Space-BACN in the pan, startup SpaceLink eyes potential for more DoD links

Posted by in category: satellites

SpaceLink intends to put four data relay satellites in Medium Earth Orbit, to complement and backup the Space Development Agency’s Transport Layer.

Aug 22, 2022

Life-saving lightning prediction technology under review

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

For decades children and adults have learned the motto “when thunder roars, go indoors.” It is a low-tech approach to staying safe when lightning could be in the immediate area, but thanks to advancements in forecast products, meteorologists are getting more advanced warning when these sudden dangers could be on the horizon.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says several forecast offices around the country are using an experimental LightningCast product to determine who has the greatest chance of seeing lightning upwards of an hour before a strike.

The data comes from the GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellites that are constantly monitoring the skies over North America.

Aug 21, 2022

SpaceX: Why Starlink has some astronomers worried

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

The new generation of Starlink satellites remains above the accepted brightness threshold.

Unlike the nascent Iridium constellation — which really only found niche applications — Starlink is already proving its worth. For example, Starlink is currently keeping the Internet on in Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion.

The main concern in professional astronomy is the impact on current and upcoming all-sky surveys, such as the Vera C. Rubin telescope. This survey will scour the sky nightly down to a faint +22nd magnitude. A recent article in Nature notes that the 1.5-meter Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) telescope at Palomar sees Starlink streaks on 18 percent of its deep-sky images. A recent International Astronomical Union statement called for operational Starlinks to fall below +7th magnitude.

Continue reading “SpaceX: Why Starlink has some astronomers worried” »

Aug 16, 2022

Elon Musk’s bid for a $886 million Starlink subsidy was rejected by the FCC: ‘it failed to demonstrate’ that it ‘could deliver’

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

The Federal Communications Commission denied SpaceX’s bid for $886 million in US subsidies on Wednesday.

Elon Musk’s startup was seeking funds to provide its satellite internet service to rural communities in nearly 650,000 locations across 35 states. The FCC funding is part of a $9.2 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund — an effort to bring WiFi to remote areas of the country where it would be more expensive to serve customers.

Starlink and LTD Broadband were both denied FCC subsidies. The agency said in a press release that both companies “failed to demonstrate that the providers could deliver the promised service.”

Aug 16, 2022

New information on ‘gigantic jet’ lightning bursts that reach toward space

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

A detailed 3D study of a massive electrical discharge that rose 50 miles into space above an Oklahoma thunderstorm has provided new information about an elusive atmospheric phenomenon known as gigantic jets. The Oklahoma discharge was the most powerful gigantic jet studied so far, carrying 100 times as much electrical charge as a typical thunderstorm lightning bolt.

The gigantic jet moved an estimated 300 coulombs of electrical charge into the ionosphere—the lower edge of space—from the thunderstorm. Typical bolts carry less than five coulombs between the cloud and ground or within clouds. The upward discharge included relatively cool (approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit) streamers of plasma, as well as structures called leaders that are very hot—more than 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continue reading “New information on ‘gigantic jet’ lightning bursts that reach toward space” »

Aug 15, 2022

SpaceX says researchers are welcome to hack Starlink and can be paid up to $25,000 for finding bugs in the network

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, internet, satellites

SpaceX says responsible researchers are welcome to hack into its satellite internet network, Starlink. It added that it could pay them up to $25,000 for discovering certain bugs in the service.

The announcement came after security researcher Lennert Wouters said last week he was able to hack into Starlink using a $25 homemade device. He said he performed the test as part of SpaceX’s bug bounty program, where researchers submit findings of potential vulnerabilities in Starlink’s network.

In a six-page document entitled “Starlink welcomes security researchers (bring on the bugs),” SpaceX congratulated Wouters on his research.

Continue reading “SpaceX says researchers are welcome to hack Starlink and can be paid up to $25,000 for finding bugs in the network” »

Aug 14, 2022

A hacker used a $25 custom-built tool to hack into SpaceX’s Starlink satellite system

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, internet, satellites

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