Innovative technologies for satellites

EurekAlert  April 7, 2020 Researchers in Germany working on project INNOcube have developed two technologies, Skith and Wall#E, to further simplify architecture for small satellite. Skith (Skip the harness) eliminates the internal cabling of the satellite components by enabling data transmission with ultra-broadband radio. Wall#E (Fiber Reinforced Spacecraft Walls for Energy Storage) is a special fibre-reinforced structure that can store electrical energy and at the same time used as the supporting structure of the satellite. It contributes to a significant reduction in the mass and volume of a satellite while maintaining the same performance. A prototype is expected to be […]

Finding a killer electron hot spot in Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts

Science Daily  December 13, 2019 Scientists have known that electrons in Van Allen radiation belts that interact with ultralow frequency plasma waves accelerate to reach the speed of light. However, it has not been clear when or where these killer electrons start to accelerate. To gain more insight about the electrons an international team of researchers (Japan, USA – industry, University of Iowa, Russia) analyzed data generated on March 30, 2017, by the Arase satellite and Van Allen Probe. On one side of the Earth, the Van Allen Probe identified characteristic signs of an interaction between ultralow frequency waves and […]

Two tiny supercomputing Pioneer nanosatellites launched  July 8, 2019 ESA has launched two tiny supercomputing parallel supercomputing scalable satellites nanosatellites (size of a shoebox) built by an international team of researchers (UK, Canada). It can be programmed to both receive and process data while in orbit. The small satellites can collect over a terabyte of data per day which has to be analyzed in orbit so that true insights can be delivered to customers directly and in a timely fashion…read more.

Melting a satellite, a piece at a time  June 17, 2019 An international team of researchers (UK, Germany, Portugal) working on ESA’s Clean Space initiative, placed a 4 x 10 cm magnetotorquer in a plasma wind tunnel reproducing reentry conditions to study how satellites burn up during reentry. They noted some similarities but also some discrepancies with the prediction models. They observed the behaviour of the equipment at different heat flux set-ups for the plasma wind tunnel in order to derive more information about materials properties and demisability. A big source of uncertainty in the demise process is the tendency for parts to fragment, generating multiple items […]

Fleets of autonomous satellites to coordinate tasks among themselves  March 27, 2019 Working under the CORDIS project NetSat researchers in Germany aim to launch four small satellites, at the end of this year, to orbit the Earth and test formations with varying degrees of autonomy, with light-touch supervision from ground control. Each satellite weighs 3 kilogram and they will be placed in low Earth orbit. The satellites will be able to coordinate with each other over distances from about 100 kilometres down to 10 metres, as well as change their formation depending on the tasks they need to perform. AI can make a satellite aware of its surroundings and […]

Scientists reduced the weight of optics for satellite observation by 100 times

Eurekalert  August 8, 2018 Researchers in Russia have created an optical element for reconstructing images taken with diffractive optics on a satellite. It weighs only 5 grams and replaces a complex and massive system of lenses and mirrors similar to the one that is used in telephoto lenses with a focal length of 300 mm and a weight of 500 grams. They proposed to compensate for distortions with the use of digital processing. The computational reconstruction developed by them includes colour correction of the image and elimination of chromatic blurring using convolutional neural networks (CNN). The compact system is particularly […]