Turn Your Smartphone into a Satellite Phone with this New Device

BivyStick, a two-way satellite communication device has been announced today by Bivy, an application that allows users to find, share and record activities like biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, paddling and more. 

BivyStick has been devised to work with existing smartphones, that will offer all benefits of any GPS unit and a satellite-based two way communication device that can send SMS, track location information and share it, get full access to GPS navigations and maps, get updated with weather forecasts and even send notification through EMS in case of an emergency.  

Amidst the lack of proper network coverage in distant remote and hilly areas and the phone’s unreliable battery backup, this device could be of great assistance in helping you and others find your location and communicating with you. 

Vance Cook, the founder of BivyStick, said in an announcement that the device had been designed for the ease of use, and it was tantamount to the processes involved in its development. It came as a natural evolution for the team to create a device around the Bivy App and make use of an interface that everyone is very familiar with – Smartphones. He further mentioned that going out and distant is always great for the mind and the soul, and the developers just ensured that such thing could assist people to do it enjoyably and safely. 

BivyStick performs with linking the device to any user’s smartphone through Bluetooth or by a cable and has enough battery capacity and backup to run the machine for long, along with charging the smartphone in case if need be. Similar to satellite phones, it works in locations where cell phone network coverage is absent or weak, as it beams data to and from the satellite directly orbiting Earth and is not dependent on being in the range of the cell tower. 

In general satellite phones costs somewhere from $600 to $1700, depending on the network and requires to pay for minutes of all times, even if they not being used, at much higher rates, as high as $10 for a minute. On the contrary, BivyStick is priced at $299, and there are data plans that have been designed to be flexible and does not require an annual contract or subscription plan to be signed. Users can also purchase credits and activate them by turning on the BivyStick normally when they need to use it and turn the same off, when not in use. 

BivyStick Kickstarter campaign has been made live and will be running through till 30th July. The device is expected to get delivered by the year-end.  

WHY SALLY RIDE DESERVES A POSTAGE STAMP?

Honoring the human race and its achievements by issuing postage stamps with a photograph of our lost heroes is one amongst the best things that have ever happened. Remembering those who became an example, an inspiration, a role model and a story that must never die, is crucial to keep our future connected with the past.

Generation Z and those about to come must know how it all began – How telephone came into existence, who were the people who thought of going to space, how the technology that came too handy for them was developed over a period of time. 

One such person worth remembering was Late Sally Ride, the first American woman to go the space. She was born in 1951 in Los Angeles in a family where education was given utmost importance. She worked with NASA and became the first American women to ever go into space when she became a part of the STS-7 mission in 1983. She was the third woman in the world to go to space following two Soviet women – Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982. She was also the first woman to use a robotic arm in space to retrieve a satellite. 

The post department of America has launched a “forever” stamp in her honor on 23rd of May which will be always acceptable for first-class mail. Sally although requested NASA not to put her portrait on anything which will be sold but her partner probably consented for the stamp since Sally herself was a stamp collector for her entire life. 

Sally was a pioneering astronaut, a brilliant physicist, and a dedicated educator. Her Deep interest in Astrophysics brought her to NASA where she became a part of two missions. After the STS-7, she flew again in 1984 for STS-41-G and then opted for retirement.

She used to investigate the panels of space shuttles after her expeditions and inspected two disasters – the explosion of Challenger in 1986 and destruction of Columbia in 2003. She was also offered the position for leading NASA when Mr. Bill Clinton was the president of America, though she denied it. She also wrote Children’s books about the solar system and researched on Thomson scattering. She also co-founded an NGO to encourage space exploration. Such a vibrant personality could not win the battle against pancreatic cancer and breath her last in 2012 at the age of 61.

The Mission of CubeRRT satellite now that the launching was a success

On Monday, the scientists of the Ohio State University had a big day. The group that refers to its self as COLUMBUS, Ohio launched their debut satellite into space. Its name is CubeRRT. The origin of the name is a video game that was the household name back in the 1980s. It goes by the name Q-Bert. How did it find its way into space? What is the mission of this satellite? Those questions may plague anyone. That is why I am doing what we do best. We will look at the details as well as the answers.

How can researchers counteract noisy radio transmissions? It is not a secret that such a situation can affect or interfere with detections of the space happenings for those on earth. After a long struggle with the same, researchers can now smile.  The technology on the CubeRRT could be the long-awaited solution.

Do you know about the launch by the Antares 5 rocket? If the answer is an emphatic no, let me enlighten you. Yesterday, there was the launch of the Antares rocket of NASA. It took a plane at the Wallops Island Research Station, Virginia. The time of the occurrence of the event was around 4:30 a.m. Now that you know, there is some additional information. That is the rocket that propelled the CubeRRT satellite to the orbit together with other contents.

Both Chris Ball and Joel Johnson were in attendance at the launch. According to Joel, the size of the satellite is similar to that of a shoe. What? You heard me right. Nevertheless, do not underestimate its capability. None of the two aspects have something to do with the other. There is much that it can do and the equipment inside will facilitate various activities. They include the measurements of the temperature of the surface as well as the atmosphere of the Earth.

Mark Andrews had something to say about the radiometer. He is one of the associates of an OSU research. He said that it falls into the category of cameras. All you get is flashes of light as the device takes the measurements.  When you think of it, imagine television, satellite communications as well as cellphones among other gadgets that operate wirelessly.

According to Andrews, their hope depends heavily on the outcome of the mission. The reason is that it will clear everything and that will help them move forward. We wish them all the best and may the task be a success.

Airbus Contract will shift due to Brexit

According to the Managing Director of Airbus, a Euro 200 million contract that has been signed between European Agency and Airbus in Portsmouth will be separated and will be moved to the continent due to the case of Brexit. Airbus has announced that it will remove all the groundwork for the new EU satellite navigation system from the UK to either France or maybe Germany if it wills the contract. Colin Paynter, who is the managing director of the Airbus Defense and Space told that the company was very much committed to making this move to win the bid which the company had submitted on April 24.

The decision is made to abide by the rule framed by the European Space Agency whereby it has mentioned that it will allow only the EU member states who will be the lead contractors for the Galileo work post 29th of March when the UK is scheduled to leave the membership. One of the prominent clauses that were mentioned in the bid document from ESA was that the work has to be done by an EU company from March 2019 onwards. This means that Airbus has to shift all their UK factories to either to France or Germany from the very first day to win the bid and get the contract.

Galileo is supposed to be a new 26-satellite Euro 10 billion system which is being recently launched by EU to counteract the GPS system developed by the US. It finally went live in 2016 after 17 years of gestation and is designed to provide high-level data regarding global positioning for cars, air, rail, emergency services and so on.

Most of the smartphones are now supporting GPS and Galileo system which provide accurate GPS data within an area of 50 meters to 100 meters of distance in built-up areas and also for less than one meter in the best possible situations. This eventually will help the EU to become independent of US in respect of GPS enabled services, particularly for the military purposes.

The government has a recent story threatened to pull out of the project and launch their GPS services to compete with the other nations. The government is also trying to stop transferring of technologies from the UK to EU after the Brexit.

Think twice before launching a satellite without the government’s permission!

Do you have any idea what will happen if you launch a satellite into space without the knowledge of the government, but with government funding? Let’s find out!

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is in charge of regulating satellite activities by the U.S companies and citizens. There has been an inquiry on the launch of four satellites by a company called Swarm Technologies, and the case has been handed over to enforcement bureau.

The FCC does not put their hand in enforcement actions but can impose penalties and ban individuals or companies from working on satellites. Sara Spangelo, Swarm’s CEO and the co-founder Benjamin Longmier are waiting for the government to make a judgment, even as the satellites they built are orbiting the Earth. Their project received a minimum of a million grants, and other fundings for the launch.

There was a contract between the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley of NASA and Swarm, a tie that was described in a regulatory filing of 2018. In the contract, it was mentioned that NASA and Swarm both in collaboration were developing a satellite interlinking technology and they wanted to test it. But now the Ames spokesperson says that they no longer have a contract. He said that it was a contract that was delivered by an unidentified contractor and now has been terminated.

Some of the agencies have supported Swarm. Another two grants were made to Swarm by the National Science Foundation. According to the language of grant, they were for protecting the smallest 2-way communication satellites of the World and associated hardware on the ground. The focus was also on the Internet of Things applications.

The SpaWar and the U.S navy both had a development and research agreement with Swarm to test the radar retroreflectors for enhanced tracking of small satellites. A spokesperson of the Navy confirmed that this agreement was genuine and also found someone who could answer further queries about it. But he later stopped responding to phone calls and emails.

Swarm is a small startup which is not even two years old. It is not very clear from where this organization gets its funding from. But it has been clear that government funding played a role in launching these unauthorized satellites. The NSF individually had given $200,000 grant in the previous year, alongside the US Navy and NASA contracts.

There is a wide gap between the people who pay for these satellites and the officials who regulate them which causes all the problem. Lawmakers should be concentrated on bridging this gap so as to prevent such problems in the future.

Now commercial passenger could tweet from space

Social media and the internet have taken a toll on our lives. We can’t live without them. Recently the news had come which told that now people can use the internet in flights. Likewise, the commercial passengers could tweet from the space as well. Knowing the need of the internet 24*7; a group is working so that people can remain connected even when they are in zero gravity.

Since the time Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are trying to make space traveling commercial, people are trying their hand in making them online from there as well. To match the pace, Brian Barnett, CEO of Santa Fe, NM-based Solstar is working in the field and trying to provide internet in the space. He said, “We want to be able to live and work in space, have fun in space, and vacation in space. And when we get there, we want to make sure we have Internet.”

Using commercial infrastructure, the first tweet from space was made and sent by Solstar. Space is one of the most potential frontiers, but it is incomplete without the internet and remaining connected to the outer world. The first tweet- “Brought to you from above the Karman Line – this tweet from Solstar’s Space Communicator on board #NewShepard!” was made to test the Wi-Fi capabilities in the space and the feasibility to remain connected with the outer world through the internet.

COO of Solstar said that we are very excited about the venture and our first experiment for full of fun and excitement. He said, “Any activity like this in aerospace is moments of sheer terror punctuated by hours of boredom. So those critical moments when the rocket’s going and things have to happen quickly, yeah it’s pretty exciting.” However, approval from the Federal Communications Commission is always required to execute this technology in the space.

According to Barnett, rocket science is already there to make it work, but the Wi-Fi of Solstar would be extremely feasible to use as compared to any other network. It can be used either on the cell phone or laptop without any hassle.

Utilizing a series of satellites to endow internet access to the space passengers, the need of switching between the satellites to avoid the loss of connection is also critical. Barnett said the concept is similar to how cell phones switch cell towers. Solstar’s Communicator will be inside the spaceship or space station, to create the Wi-Fi network.

A Group of Wealthy Men Want to See the Planet from Space All the Time 

A group of big businesses and wealth guys are looking forward to start seeing the entire Earth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using a video camera in space. 

EarthNow, a firm that counts amongst its investors Airbus, SoftBank, Bill Gates and Greg Wyler “ a colorful technology tycoon, declared plans last April 18 to send a huge constellation of state of the art imaging satellite that will give real-time, constant video clip of virtually any part on Earth. According to EarthNow, LLCV, the objective is to give customers the capability to see events unfold on Earth in real time. You can visit the website company to see the list of the far ranging activities the satellite will keep an eye on, which include typhoons and hurricanes, illegal fishing activities, big whales as well as your home. 

These cameras will be attached on satellites developed in the first place for Wyler’s satellite internet company called OneWeb. This was mass produced by renowned company AirBus, this is according to the latest report. 

There is a kind of typical techno-utopian idea behind this activity. According to Russel Hannigan, Chief Executive Officer of EarthNow LLC, “We believe the capability to witness and at the same time know more about our planet. Understand more the place we live in. This also help us see our planet unfiltered that will help everyone living and non-living things better appreciate and eventually care for our one and only home”.

This camera will help find the culprit of Earth destruction like illegal logging, illegal fishing and many others. This can also save life by means of monitoring the movement of the hurricane. These help us track the direction of the hurricane. In general, this is a good way to keep human being safe and sound. 

On the other hand, actual objective of this company is a little bit sensible and practical. According to EarthNow LLC, “we are hoping to sell the live-video as well as smart vision items first to an array of government and private enterprise clients. 

 Huge spenders are, at the very least, will be going to have first crack at seeing Earth within this way.) Though, down the road, the company stated,  they want their video feeds or clips to be accessible right away from a tablet or smartphone or any type of gadgets. 

Glasgow Spearheaded Britain’s Satellite Space Race          

It is believed that satellites take 10 to 15 years to produce and design. However, with the innovation of latest nano-versions, it can now be easily produced in just a few days or weeks. In today’s digital world, Glasgow is considered as the capital of Britain’s satellite building industry. 

The latter shipbuilding hub has renovated itself for the space era. It can now craft more satellites compared to other cities outside the United States. Four years ago, Scotland’s first satellite which was made by Clyde Space was launched. As Spire Global and Alba Orbital joined the space race, 100 satellites were put in orbit. 

With the continuous innovation of technology, Spire produces one satellite per week in its dust-free clean room. Traditional satellites were commonly built like a large bus, and it takes for about 10 to 15 years of designing and building. It has a working life in orbit of a decade or more. Fortunately, with the help of the nano-sats, the production of satellites can now be reduced in days and weeks. 

This is effective to reduce time, budget as well as the effort in building such satellite. In addition to this, it now has a lifespan of two years before it drops out on their very low Earth orbit and burns up in the atmosphere. 

“It allows the hardware to be regularly updated with newer models, according to Joel Spark, a co-chief technology officer of the company. “The whole point is to launch and replace. We change our phones every two years. Why would you want a spacecraft that old?” he added. 

Nano-sats amount a few thousand pounds which is just a fraction of its larger cousins. Since it is tiny, its launch costs are also smaller which makes it feasible to have constellations of the devices that cover a greater area of the planet’s surface than previously possible. As of now, Spire comes with 78 nano-sats in orbit which monitor radio signals from ships and an aircraft later this year. 

The signals will enable the company to monitor 75,000 individual vessels per day. It can help to possibly spot illegal fishing, monitor for piracy as well as trade various commodities before a cargo ship can reach the port. Spire’s chief executive Peter Platzer explained that the world trade is now $12.5 trillion per year having 90 % of goods transported by sea. 

 

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Signs Saudi Satellite for the First Time 

The Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, toured the Silicon Valley facility of Lockheed Martin on April 5. Sunnyvale is considered as the home to most of the satellite programs of the company and technologies for solar array production, cutting-edge research and development and missile defense. 

Marilyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin chairman, the Crown Prince, as well as the President and Executive Officer, explored advanced technologies for missile satellite and air defense communications. The tour was composed of main elements of the THAAD system and a visit of the test and satellite assembly facility where Lockheed Martin is developing 2 communications satellites for the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Arabsat. 

At the facility, there was a display of the communication, control and command system, which will be relocated and localized in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These satellites are known to be the first of its type, and the most accurate and efficient. 

In 2015, KACST and Arabsat awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for 2 LM 21000-based satellites: Hellas Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 and Arabsat-6A. The 2 satellites will offer advanced telecommunications abilities that include secure, television, internet and telephone communications to essential commercial customers and government users in Europe, Africa, and Middle East. Both satellites are slated for delivery this year. 

Lockheed Martin has had an existence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ever since 1995 along with the initial delivery of C-130 Hercules. After that, the corporation has sustained to collaborate to develop its trail in the Kingdom of integrated missile and air defense systems, rotary and tactical wing technologies, satellite communications, and maritime systems. 

The presence of the company is supported with training initiatives, which train and support the following generation of Saudi talent – making sure the sustainability of the defense and aerospace industry and to help the Vision 2030 objectives of the Kingdom. 

As part of the formal visit, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was able to meet the majority of young Saudis who will go back to the country and add to the expansion and development of the domestic aerospace industrial and communications infrastructure of the country. With the proclamation of Vision 2030, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has already started to encounter massive social and economic transformation attracting global investment and business partnerships and even increasing domestic job creation as well. 

Three different payloads delivered after three launches from America and Asia within last last 24 hours

Last day were in fact busy in space – CNSA, SpaceX and JAXA launched payloads for both commercial and government operators.

A Chinese Long March 2D rocket with Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite 2, “Antonio José de Sucre”,  lifted off from the Launch Pad 603 at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 4:13 UTC on October 9, 2017. Rocket managed to deliver satellite perfectly to orbit during its first after ten months break. To remind last time Long March 2D with SuperView satellites was launched on December 26, 2016 from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Rocket suffered for technical issues after start, which caused preliminary MECO and as consequence deploying two satellites below planned orbit.

This time everything during 14 minute flight went fine and Long March 2D delivered to SSO 645 km orbit weighing 1000 kg remote sensing spacecraft. Based on CAST-2000 satellite bus VRSS-2 will provide remote sensing data for environmental monitoring, resource management, urban planning and security monitoring. Satellite will be operated by Space Agency of Venezuela (ABAE).

Second launch took place from Japan. H-IIA rocket lifted off from Tanegashima Space Center at 22:01 UTC with weighing 4t Michibiki-4 Quasi-Zenith Satellite System navigational satellite. Mission objective was delivering satellite to highly elliptical transfer orbit and successful deployment. MELCO H-IIA performed again without any problems. Rocket supported with two SRB boosters was launched from Launch Pad 1 at the sea coast of Tanegashima Island. After launch and setting course to south over Pacific. After 29 minutes of flight, second stage of the H-IIA (202) rocket  deployed Michibiki-4 on GTO orbit with following parameters 250 km by 36140 km, inclined 31.9 degrees. Satellite begun successfully its planned for another 15 years mission.

Ultimate launch on October 9 from America took place in California at Vandenberg Air Force Base around noon. SpaceX Falcon-9 FT rocket delivered to orbit another ten communications satellites for Iridium, satellite mobile phone operator. Launch took place at 12:37 UTC from SLC-4E launch site at Vandenberg AFS. Rocket performed flawlessly including landing of the first stage of the Falcon-9 on drone ship in the Pacific Ocean near Vandenberg. Ten satellites manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and weighing 860 kg each, were deployed on 780 km × 780 km orbit after lasting 70 minutes of flight. SpaceX announced about successful landing of the first booster at 12:44 UTC.