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Communications

Artist concept of commercial Mars satellites providing communications (Image: ASA/JPL)

You can land the most advanced spacecraft in history on the Mars, but if you can’t keep in touch with it, it might as well be so much scrap. To prevent that from happening, NASA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to investigate the feasibility of using private satellites to provide communications into the 2020s between Earth and the fleet of exploration probes operating on and around Mars.  Read More

'Network coding' could make the internet faster and more secure (Image: Shutterstock)

Researchers at Aalborg University, MIT and Caltech have developed a new mathematically-based technique that can boost internet data speeds by up to 10 times, by making the nodes of a network much smarter and more adaptable. The advance also vastly improves the security of data transmissions, and could find its way into 5G mobile networks, satellite communications and the Internet of Things.  Read More

Talk is an augmentative and alternative communication device that allows people to spell o...

For people with disabilities that affect their ability to speak, communicating with others can be very difficult. A new device known as Talk, however, is designed to help such people to do so. It senses dots and dashes made by the person using their breath, in order to spell out words.  Read More

The goTenna provides connectivity for sending text messages when mobile networks are unava...

When a mobile network is down, overloaded or simply out of range, it can certainly be inconvenient or potentially much worse. goTenna aims to keep mobile devices connected regardless of network status by creating its own network over which users can send messages to each other.  Read More

The C-Bird VSAT provides an inexpensive 'always on' internet link for ships

Even as engineers work on autonomous ship-handling technologies, skilled and experienced crews are still vital for keeping shipping lines operating. The only snag is that most sailors today have become so used to never being out of touch that they've come to expect similar connectivity while at sea. To help maintain morale and retain skilled crews, Maritime Broadband has developed its C-Bird Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite transceiver to keep sailors connected with their families and the internet.  Read More

The OG2 mission carries 17 satellites (Image: SpaceX)

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket today, carrying six Orbcomm OG2 communication satellites in the second mission flight of a Falcon booster equipped with landing legs. At 11:15 am EDT, the Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch comes on the heels of three aborted attempts. The first, on May 10, was cancelled due to a helium leak; a second on June 20, was scratched because of a depressurization alarm in the second stage; and a third, on June 21, was called off because of bad weather.  Read More

LG's KizOn straps to a child’s wrist so that parents can know their location at all times

Children are wily creatures. They just love to run around with their friends, explore new places, and generally enjoy the freedom of just being a kid. Though this is part of the stress-free life of being a child, it is also often the source of anxiety for some parents who constantly worry about where their child is. In an attempt to relieve this anxiety, LG has created KizON, a wearable device that not only lets concerned parents know where their precious progeny are 24 hours a day, but also provides the ability to call them if necessary.  Read More

PowerCube is deployed as a shipping container and morphs into a power stations, communicat...

It was seven years ago that Ecosphere Technologies revealed its first iteration of a self-contained relief unit to provide power, water and shelter to disaster-struck areas. The company has since been busy refining the system's form and function and now announces the completion of what it says to be the world's largest deployable solar power generator. Capable of generating 15 kW of electricity, PowerCube is transported as a standard shipping container and can morph into a shelter, water treatment plant and communications base all with a push of a button.  Read More

The glass-fibre cows at the Glastonbury Festival act as WiFi hotspots

Running on and off since 1970, Britain’s Glastonbury Festival is famous for hosting such acts as David Bowie, The Who, Coldplay, and Beyoncé. It’s also famous for its sea of mud and streams flowing through tents thanks to the typical English weather. This year, high tech meets the bucolic at the Festival as visitors are greeted by a herd of life-sized, glass-fiber cows that double as free Wi-Fi hotspots to keep them connected.  Read More

Falcon 9 on the launch pad

SpaceX today aborted the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying six Orbcomm OG2 communication satellites; the second mission flight of a Falcon booster equipped with landing legs. Six minutes and nine seconds before the lift off, mission control declared the abort due to a problem with the second stage of the rocket.  Read More

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