Posts Tagged ‘satellite technologies’

Open source satellites

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

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After three years of research and one year of experience as a satellite engineer, Song Hojun has found that it is possible to launch and operate a personal satellite at a fairly reasonable price. In addition, he has for the past five years been exploring ways to integrate the concept of a personal satellite project into cultural contexts and into his artistic practice.

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All the satellite-related systems (except for the rocket to launch it) are DIY programs — designed so that regular people may also have the chance of developing and eventually launching their own.

Song have presented this system and how it works at the Machine Project, Los Angeles on 2010, 25th April.

For the people who want to study or getting a clearer picture of the involving mechanisme, they can download Song’s book from Google Books here.

Courtesy: Open Source Satellite Initiative via Make

Open Source Lion-Tracking Collars In the Works

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

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Want to help save some lions in Kenya? Well, help these guys make some open source lion-tracking collars, complete with GPS and GSM on board.

Lions are not doing too well in Kenya, with only 2,000 or so left. Two groups called Lion Guardians and Living with Lions are dedicated to studying and saving the diminished lion population. In order to help them out, Justin Downs of Brooklyn’s GRND Lab built them a solar-powered treehouse last year. Now, he’s working on some of the aforementioned collars to help them track the lions.

He’s looking for donations on Kickstarter for the project now, so if your passions create a Venn diagram between open-source hardware and lions, well, here you go.

Source Kickstarter via Clay Shirky

Google Maps to get better satellite imagery from GeoEye

Sunday, August 31st, 2008



Search giant Google signed a deal with Dulles, Va. startup GeoEye to use imagery from its newest satellite after it launches in September of this year.

This is not the first time Google has dealt with GeoEye. It already uses images from its IKONOS satellite, as well as from other sources including DigitalGlobe. As part of the new deal, GeoEye would exclusively provide its imagery to Google.
The half-billion dollar satellite is expected to provide the highest resolution images of any imaging satellite currently available. Google would even get a bit of promotion during launch: Its logo appears on the first-stage rocket.According to the two companies, Google did not pay for the logo to appear on the rocket, nor does it have any direct or indirect financial interest in the launch. It appears the Google logo is only on the rocket in recognition of its support for the project.

GeoEye says it hopes to launch the rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on September 4. If all goes well, it should be in its proper orbit within an hour-and-a-half of launch.

Imagery will be received by Google beginning in late October or early November, although it’s not clear how long it will take for the images to begin to appear on Google Maps. Imagery could conceivably be available at as high as 0.41 meters in black and white, and 1.65 meters in color.

How fine-grained is that? An Italian research project three years ago to study whether it was possible to discern certain types of automobiles that travel around the city of Baghdad (if you work in Baghdad, you’d understand why this is important) from satellite imagery alone, used pictures that had 0.68 meters resolution. And under federal law, only images with as high as 0.5 meters resolution can be used commercially.

Source: Beta News Related links: Google Earth, Geo Eye

Innovation award honours pioneers of BGAN

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

satelite-dishes14-05-2008 – Two Inmarsat experts have been presented with an innovation award by the mobile satellite industry for leading the development of BGAN.

The Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA) presented its innovation award to Inmarsat’s chief scientist Marcus Vilaça and director of systems and network engineering, Alan Howell, at its annual conference in Baltimore in the US on May 13.

MSUA president Tim Farrar said: “The award recognises the exciting new broadband applications that BGAN has enabled on a worldwide basis – including highly portable video, data and voice communications.”

Transforming communications
Both Marcus and Alan are proud that Inmarsat’s team has been recognised for introducing a system which has transformed global mobile broadband communications.

Alan said: “The award is all the more welcome because it came out of the blue. It’ s great that the industry is recognising that BGAN is a highly innovative system.

“Both Marcus and I feel a lot of personal attachment to BGAN – the fact that other people recognise its capabilities too is even more appreciated.”

The pair started working on ideas for a new system back in 1995 – focusing on trying to harness emerging technologies such as the internet and mobile data.

The team expanded over time, and BGAN owes its success to the effort and dedication of all those involved in the project.

Future success
And it was the move to develop a satellite version of the universal mobile telecommunications mobile broadband system – for people who are out of range of terrestrial services – which eventually proved pivotal to Inmarsat’s future success.

The team carried out painstaking research, working with external companies to create a flexible and efficient standard BGAN system – which could deliver high-speed data and voice services simultaneously – via satellite.

Alan said: “The result was a very capable system which can continue to be evolved and built on over time.”

Links: Immarsat, BGAN, Mobile Satellite Users Association