Broadcasters who use satellites can’t accept shutdowns, even when they happen only twice a year during eclipses. The Optus D3 satellite made by Orbital Sciences Corp. will use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from Saft for power when the spacecraft is blocked from the sun during two eclipses. The two rechargeable Saft lithium ion 180W/hour average cells trim weight in half compared to alternative technologies studied by Orbital, letting the company add more critical payload equipment. It carries 32 transponders that will provide Ku-Band direct television broadcasting services to Australia and New Zealand after 2009.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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