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SPOT-assisted rescue map

Emergency rescue beacons from SPOT have been slowly but surely moving toward a satellite device that provides seamless real-time communication around the world – in other words, a satellite phone. The company has moved from pre-written messaging to custom type-and-send messaging, and with the new SPOT Global Phone, it now adds capabilities for real-time voice. The phone keeps you connected with friends, family and rescue agents even when you're standing in the middle of a roadless, fly-in wilderness in Alaska.  Read More

The 5G millimeter-band transceiver has been developed by Samsung Electronics

LTE may only be wiping its feet on the proverbial doormat, and yet Samsung has already announced a significant breakthrough in the development of 5G mobile communications. The company says this will pave the way for next-generation mobile networks offering transmission speeds in the tens of gigabits per second, hundreds of times faster than LTE.  Read More

The research took place at the German Aerospace Center (Photo: DLR)

For the first time, quantum cryptographers have successfully transmitted a quantum key from a fast-moving object – a Dornier 228 turboprop. The experiment involved sending a secure message from the aircraft to a ground station via laser beam, and can be considered a significant step toward the creation of a network of “unbreakable” satellite data transmissions.  Read More

Astronauts in spacesuit simulators (Image: OeWF (Katja Zanella-Kux))

Of all the nations who might get to Mars first, Austria doesn’t loom large. Yet the Austrian Space Forum (OEWF) has sent a manned mission to the Red Planet – or at least, to an Earth-bound version of “Mars” located in the northern Sahara near Erfoud, Morocco. During February OEWF conducted a series of experiments and simulation tests with the aim of gaining a better understanding of how to execute a manned mars mission and develop technology for making it a reality.  Read More

Graphic showing the Sun/mars Conjunction (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA is taking an enforced holiday of sorts in April as it suspends Mars exploration missions for 17 to 21 days. This isn't due to budget cuts, but rather because Mars will be in conjunction with the Sun during April, which will make direct communications with the probes difficult, if not impossible.  Read More

Artist's impression of the interaction of the Sun and the Earth's magnetosphere (Image: NA...

Britain is better prepared for a solar superstorm than many countries, including the United States. The Royal Academy of Engineering has released a multi-disciplinary report on space weather’s impact on Britain, as part of the UK National Risk Assessment. The declassified portion of the assessment shows the level of UK preparedness in the face of severe solar storms, and outlines the dangers Earth faces from superstorms and how to avoid or mitigate damage.  Read More

An image of the Mona Lisa has been beamed by laser to a probe orbiting the Moon

High art recently met high tech as NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) received an image of the Mona Lisa via laser. Traveling about 240,000 miles (386,000 km), the image was sent to the probe in lunar orbit using a laser beamed from NASA’s Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) station at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland as a demonstration of lasers as a deep-space communications tool.  Read More

The Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL)

Boeing has been awarded contracts worth US$13.6 million to upgrade the U.S. Air Force’s Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) radio and the CSEL ultrahigh frequency (UHF) base stations that support it. The purpose of the contract is to bring the personal survival radio and the CSEL network in line with the latest Information Assurance standards to protect them against jamming and other interference by hostile forces.  Read More

Volvo will use the Connected Vehicle Cloud in future models

Volvo has announced a technological partnership with another big Swedish company – Ericsson – with the aim of developing a connected infotainment framework.  Read More

The Meteron Operations and Communications Prototype, or Mocup (Photo: ESA)

The internet has changed a great deal of modern society, and now it promises to change space exploration as well. In late October, International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams used a NASA-developed laptop aboard the station to control a LEGO Mindstorm robot, located at the European Space Agency (ESA) European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Using a “space internet,” she was able to control the robot in real time despite being in orbit at an altitude of 230 miles (370 km).  Read More

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