News That Matters

Tag: Satellites

Small satellites key to NASA’s lunar search for water

Small satellites key to NASA’s lunar search for water

Science
Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Can shrinking satellites grow planetary science? NASA thinks so. With a handful of CubeSat and small satellite science and space exploration missions already under its belt -- a couple even successfully having made the trip to Mars -- NASA is enlisting several new small satellites to study the moon. Often, rockets carrying larger payloads into space aren't at maximum capacity. Until fairly recently, that extra capacity went wasted. But over the last two decades, engineers and scientists have been able to miniaturize satellite technology, as well as the instrumentation that helps scientists observe the solar system's many objects. "NASA is committed to using excess launch capacity to fly small satellite science missions," Carolyn Mercer, the agency's program executive for...
Satellites to monitor whale strandings from space

Satellites to monitor whale strandings from space

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Scientists developing techniques to count great whales from space say the largest ever recorded mass stranding event was probably underestimated.The carcasses of 343 sei whales were spotted on remote beaches in Patagonia, Chile, in 2015 - but this survey work was conducted from planes and boats, and carried out many weeks after the deaths actually occurred.However, an analysis of high-resolution satellite images of the area taken much closer in time to the stranding has now identified many more bodies.It's difficult to give a precise total for the number of whales involved but in one sample picture examined by researchers, the count was nearly double.The new investigation, published in the Plos One ...
Project Oberon: UK eyes cluster of military radar satellites

Project Oberon: UK eyes cluster of military radar satellites

Science
The UK government is pushing ahead with its plans for a cluster of military radar satellites, placing a design study with Airbus.Project Oberon, as it's known, has been in discussion for a while.It envisages a network of small spacecraft capable of seeing the Earth's surface in all weathers and at night, and at very high resolution.The satellites would also have sensors to locate the use of radio transmissions.This is information that can be used in tandem with the radar pictures to better identify targets on the ground and interpret their behaviour.Currently, British forces do not have the benefit of a sovereign Earth observation system. They must rely on commercial imagery or data supplied by allies.Radar satellites have tradit...
Iceye satellites return super-sharp radar images

Iceye satellites return super-sharp radar images

Science
Finnish space start-up Iceye has once again given an impressive demonstration of its novel technology's capabilities.The company's radar satellites are now returning sub-1m resolution images of the Earth's surface.This level of performance is expected from traditional spacecraft that weigh a tonne or more and cost in excess of one hundred million euros.But Iceye's breakthrough satellites are the size of a suitcase and cost only a couple of million to build.The Helsinki-based outfit is leading a group of "New Space" companies that aim to fly constellations of such radar imagers.This is something that would have seemed technically very challenging and prohibitively expensive just a few years ago. ...