Two major elements in Britain's space strategy
have been officially unveiled in Oxfordshire. One is the European Space Agency's (ESA) first technical centre in the UK, to be known as the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecoms. The other is the Satellite Applications Catapult, one of seven new government initiatives intended to drive innovation in growing areas of the British economy. Both centres are on the Harwell campus. Their co-location is quite deliberate. The Oxfordshire science park, most visible for its giant Diamond synchrotron facility, is already home to a lot of space activity, not least the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, which builds and tests satellite equipment.
Space debris collisions are expected to rise
according to new research. Unless space debris is actively tackled, some satellite orbits will become extremely hazardous over the next 200 years, a new study suggests. The research found that catastrophic collisions would likely occur every five to nine years at the altitudes used principally to observe the Earth.
Scientists at the University of Surrey, working on the project funded by the European space company Astrium, have devised a 3 kg miniature satellite or "nanosatellite" fitted with a "solar sail"
. "CubeSail" is a device which can be fitted to satellites or launch vehicle upper stages that are sent into orbit and then can be deployed to successfully de-orbit equipment that has reached the end of its mission.
One of the very best ways to understand the changes taking place on Planet Earth is to make observations from space. The latest incarnation will go up from California's Vandenberg Air Force base on an Atlas rocket, and, after a few weeks of checks, assume the lead role of imaging the planet from an altitude of 705km. The Landsat spacecraft
view the Earth in visible and infrared wavelengths, and track details as small as 30m across.
A powerful new telecommunications satellite for the UK Military
has been launched into orbit. The five-tonne Skynet 5D was sent up on an Ariana rocket from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.
Simon Watt's presentation 'IP Acceleration and Quality of Service' from the IET Symposium Satellite Communications and the Cloud on 22 November 2012 is now available on MyCommunity. Login above or register
to view the downloadable file
Presentations are now available to view from the Maritime Surveillance from Space
event on the 6 December and videos of the speakers presentations can also now be viewed
What does an XBox and a Satllite have in common? The Kinect. STraND-2 is a nanosaetllite
with docking capabilities. It will utilise components from the XBox Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes - thus allowing them to dock.
Technicians and engineers are completing final system checks and spacecraft inspections on the first of NASA's third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS)
Astrium is undertaking research into a 'harpoon' system
to remove space junk from orbit.
Satellite launched using new satellite language SPELL