HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Electronics & Test
Disposable Satellite System Sees Soldiers
5/16/2012

An artist's concept depicts how DARPA's SeeMe program would work. The program aims to design disposable satellite clusters that will give soldiers location-based information in places where they  would typically not have satellite coverage.   (Source: DARPA)
An artist's concept depicts how DARPA's SeeMe program would work. The program aims to design disposable satellite clusters that will give soldiers location-based information in places where they
would typically not have satellite coverage.
(Source: DARPA)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Space junk items and collisions
TJ McDermott   5/16/2012 1:55:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Beth, it's a very real problem.  In the last years of operation the space shuttles suffered several impacts.  They've had several windows pitted with paint chips, and a radiator took a pretty substantial hit.

The final stage of satellite boosters often goes into orbit.  Those that are liquid-fueled, if simply abandoned, have been known to explode from the residual fuel and oxidizer.  The resultant debris cloud is much worse than just an empty stage.  Most launch companies now provide a means of venting the fuel after releasing the payload to prevent this sort of occurrance.

In 2009, a first-of-its-kind collision occurred between two whole satellites.  An Iridium communications satellite was nailed by a Russian Cosmos satellite.  The velocities involved are measured in kilometers per SECOND.

http://www.space.com/5542-satellite-destroyed-space-collision.html

Think of the debris created when a Formula 1 car hits the wall at 200 kilometers per HOUR.

There is money to be made in clearing the orbitals of junk (Paging Andy Griffith!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvage_1

 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Space junk items and collisions
Rob Spiegel   5/16/2012 12:07:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Beth, there is a bunch of space debris. According to NASA, there are 21,000 pieces: http://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/faqs.html#3

It's all man-made. It includes things such as a space glove. NASA tracks it. One piece of something almost hit the space station earlier this year.

Larry S.
User Rank
Iron
Two words ...
Larry S.   5/16/2012 11:47:03 AM
NO RATINGS
Star Wars

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Use & Throw Satellites
naperlou   5/16/2012 9:08:16 AM
NO RATINGS
@Mydesign, one of the reaons you have not seen satellites that are inexpensive and simple is the economics of launch.  This has been something that the military has been working on for a long time.  So, while it is not a big deal to design the satellite to a price, it is the inexpensive (and on-demand) launch capability that is the issue. 

My father worked on a program, in last century of the last millenium, that attempted to build a launch system for such satellites utilizing a super gun.  These are very large cannon.  The idea was originally developed by the Germans in WWII, I believe.  That concept relied on being close to the equator.  Some of his colleagues got to spend several months on a Caribean island. 

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Disposable Satellites
apresher   5/16/2012 8:15:29 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth, I agree with you on the questions that this raises.  Half a million dollars may be a lot less expensive but still ...   Interesting technology approach.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Cost deferential
Beth Stackpole   5/16/2012 7:11:10 AM
NO RATINGS
The price point on these "disposal" satellites is intriguing. I'm wondering specifically is there are any guidelines or requirements in the specification for these units that denote material choices or design approaches that would push the price of these units down so significantly. Seems like a pretty big jump.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Space junk items and collisions
Beth Stackpole   5/16/2012 7:09:07 AM
NO RATINGS
@mydesign: Are you saying there is so-called junk or garbage littering the new frontier of space before any human population gets its hands on it in terms of day to day living? That's a pretty scary thought.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Space junk items and collisions
Mydesign   5/16/2012 6:00:52 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Elizebeth, now a days the junk items and garbage's are causing many issues for space stations and satellites. Sometimes collisions are happening between these garbages with space vehicles and satellites causing damages to the satellites. So scientists are planning for a mechanism to clean up the space junk items for smooth navigation of space vehicles and satellites.

 More details are available from sciencenewsforkids.org

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Use & Throw Satellites
Mydesign   5/16/2012 5:47:01 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Elizabeth, finally satellites are also coming to use and throw way. I think the GPRS services are providing through a consortium of different satellites at different orbits, so for GPRS navigation, the range or line-of-sight may not be a problem. But if GPRS technology is using for military purpose, security and privacy may be an issue. There are also other options like networking of satellites for communication and geo tagging etc are feasible mechanisms with the country.

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Battery maker LG Chem Power Inc. plans to offer a new cell chemistry that could serve as the foundation for an affordable electric car with a 200-mile driving range by 2017.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
New developments in sensors span a wide range of applications in all areas of manufacturing and plant automation.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Two students have created a voice-command system for our homes, based on the simple and affordable Raspberry Pi.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 4 - 8, Introduction to Linux Device Drivers
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service