Tech & Science : 'Sensing the Earth': Nano-satellites swarm to boost disaster readiness - - PressFrom - Australia
  •   
  •   

Tech & Science 'Sensing the Earth': Nano-satellites swarm to boost disaster readiness

02:20  20 november  2019
02:20  20 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Why Astronomers Worry About the Brightness of SpaceX's Starlink Satellites

  Why Astronomers Worry About the Brightness of SpaceX's Starlink Satellites SpaceX is planning to launch the second installment of its Starlink megaconstellation on Monday (Nov. 11), and astronomers are waiting to see — well, precisely what they will see. When the company launched its first set of Starlink internet satellites in May, those with their eyes attuned to the night sky immediately realized that the objects were incredibly bright. Professional astronomers worried the satellites would interfere with scientific observations and amateur appreciation of the stars.

Spire, a US-based builder and operator of these satellites, picks up radio signals from every aircraft and ship plying the seas. Peter Platzer, chief executive of Spire, says his company's swarm of nano - satellites can plug some major gaps in our knowledge of weather and the aviation and maritime

A small satellite , miniaturized satellite , or smallsat is a satellite of low mass and size, usually under 500 kg (1,100 lb). While all such satellites can be referred to as "small"

Peter Platzer wearing a suit and tie: Peter Platzer, chief executive of Spire, says his company's swarm of nano-satellites can plug some major gaps in our knowledge of weather and the aviation and maritime industries - among others.© Michelle Mossop Peter Platzer, chief executive of Spire, says his company's swarm of nano-satellites can plug some major gaps in our knowledge of weather and the aviation and maritime industries - among others.

If the ill-fated flight MH370 were to take to the skies today, tiny satellites would have tracked its path well before it disappeared.

Spire, a US-based builder and operator of these satellites, picks up radio signals from every aircraft and ship plying the seas.

“It's a bit of a morbid argument," Peter Platzer, Spire's chief executive and founder, said on the sidelines of UBS Conference in Sydney on Tuesday. "We were inspired by the [MH 370] event and what happened afterwards."

SpaceX's Starlink internet satellites could make astronomy on Earth 'impossible' and create a space-junk nightmare, some scientists warn

  SpaceX's Starlink internet satellites could make astronomy on Earth 'impossible' and create a space-junk nightmare, some scientists warn SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites into space on Monday as part of a plan to blanket Earth in high-speed internet. The company's planned network could eventually include up to 42,000 satellites. But astronomers worry the SpaceX satellites are too bright and could form a "megaconstellation" that blots out the stars and interferes with the work of telescopes. Too many bright satellites could make astronomy "impossible," one scientist told the New York Times. Sending many satellites into orbit also increases the risk of collisions.

In a swarm (Figure 4 (a)) satellites are rapidly deployed one after the other so to be located in the same orbital plane and to make the distances among them very small 18 . In a constellation (Figure 4 (b)), the deployment of the satellites is sequential and highly synchronized, so they can be equally

swarm of Earth remote sensing satellites . The scheduling process of a swarm of Earth remote sensing satellites is affected by the following factors The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security or the Disaster Monitoring Constellation are first examples of this increasing demand.

An artist's image of one of Spire's nano-satellites. The company aims to have as any as 130 of the devices orbiting the earth at a height of about 500 kilometres.© Spire An artist's image of one of Spire's nano-satellites. The company aims to have as any as 130 of the devices orbiting the earth at a height of about 500 kilometres.

Spire's array of 84 satellites - each shoe-box shaped and weighing 5 kilograms - uses radio frequencies "to sense the earth", giving it a cost edge over larger, visual satellites, the physicist said.

It also works with NGOs such as Global Fishing Watch, to detect and intercept illegal fishing boats.

"By international rules every ship has to regularly say, 'I’m here,'" Mr Platzer said. “If they stop saying that, something bad could have happened - or more likely they want to hide what they are doing.”

Qld in grips of bushfire disaster and conditions to deteriorate in NSW

  Qld in grips of bushfire disaster and conditions to deteriorate in NSW With Queensland in the grips of the bushfire disaster, residents across New South Wales are being warned not to become complacent as fire conditions deteriorate this week. With Queensland in the grips of the bushfire disaster, residents across New South Wales are being warned not to become complacent as fire con  The NSW Rural Fire Service warned temperatures could climb into the 40s – creating severe fire danger ratings for a second consecutive week.

Water resource monitoring with satellite data has included hydrologic mapping, soil moisture studies, and snow surveys. The effects of mining and other activities on the land can also be studied. The future of orbital remote sensing in global monitoring of the Earth 's resources seems assured.

Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters, explained that small satellites can reduce the costs of space-based Earth observations. And they enable affordable distributive science observation systems using constellations or swarms of small satellites to achieve broad coverage."

The company has unsuccessfully been seeking to install ground stations in Australia to complement their 30 in 17 nations ranging from the UK and the US to Portugal and South Africa.

“It’s impossible to get a licence for that frequency," he said. "We’ve tried for many years.”

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which issues licences for such data transmissions, has been approached for comment.

Commercial demand for such data is broad, including from commodity traders "wanting to know where stuff is", Mr Platzer said. How much coal or oil a ship is carrying and where it's heading is one application of the data.

However, it is the improvement of predictive weather forecasting that Spire sees as some of the most important applications.

The company's sensors detect and analyse how radio signals sent by GPS satellites get bent as they move through the atmosphere, deriving precise details of temperature and pressure.

Last survivor of the Hindenburg disaster dies at age 90

  Last survivor of the Hindenburg disaster dies at age 90 The last remaining survivor of the Hindenburg disaster, who suffered severe burns to his face, arms and legs before his mother managed to toss him and his brother from the burning airship, has died. Werner Gustav Doehner, the last among 62 passengers and crew who escaped the May 6, 1937, fire, was 90. The fire killed his father, sister and 34 others. He was just 8 years old at the time. “He did not talk about it,” his son Bernie Doehner said, adding that his father took him years later to visit the naval station where the disaster happened but not the Hindenburg memorial itself. “It was definitely a repressed memory.

Thousands of artificial satellites orbit the Earth . Such a satellite constellation, or a network of satellites that operates as a single entity, allows individual satellites within the constellation Indeed, Planet's data is already being used by first responders in natural disasters ; from images of Hurricane

Partial list of Earth observation satellites by series/program. Disaster Monitoring Constellation (9 different satellites as of 2013, 5 operating). Pléiades (2 operating satellites ).

"Meteorologists view that information as close to liquid gold,”  Mr Platzer said. “It doesn’t matter how big your satellite is. You need many points of observation."

For instance, weather balloons are typically restricted in their use, covering only about 8 per cent of the planet.

So far, the UK Met Office and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are among meteorological agencies signing up.

"Climate change is driving the frequency and intensity of weather events," Mr Platzer said. "We definitely have seen that for some weather events, especially hurricanes, we had better paths sooner [than national agencies]."

The data's use is typically predictive rather than reactive. When it comes to bushfires, Spire's ability soon to measure temperature, soil moisture and predict wind speeds should assist authorities here and in the US to assess the risk of fires and how fast and wide they can spread, he said.

With $221 million raised, the private US company has plans to extend its array to 130 satellites.

SpaceX's Starlink satellites are already messing with astronomical research but there are thousands more planned .
Elon Musk's commercial space firm SpaceX has a project called Starlink whose aim is to launch up to 42,000 satellites into orbit to provide global high-speed internet. There are only 120 Starlink satellites currently in orbit, but they have already started to become a problem for astronomical observatories, leaving bright streaks across their images and obscuring the stars.Astronomers already warned the bright satellites could majorly jeopardize astronomical research.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 3
This is interesting!