Feb 2018 | No Comment

Iridium announces date for fifth Iridium® NEXT Launch

Iridium Communications Inc. announced that the fifth Iridium NEXT launch has been targeted by SpaceX for March 18, 2018. The first of four launches planned for 2018, Iridium-5 will deliver 10 more Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit, bringing the total number of new satellites deployed to 50.

Iridium NEXT is the company’s $3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. The constellation features 66 active satellites, plus nine on-orbit spares. In total, 81 new satellites are being built, with the six remaining satellites serving as ground spares. Iridium NEXT will replace the company’s existing global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely on to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more.

China launches remote sensing satellites

Recently, China launched a series of Yaogan-30 remote sensing satellites from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

A micro-nano 1A satellite was also sent into space along. The satellites have successfully entered their preset orbit.

NorSat-3 maritime tracking microsatellite

The Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) has announced that NorSat-3, a 15-kilogram microsatellite, has been ordered by the Norwegian Space Centre, and that construction is well underway. NorSat-3 follows from the highly successful NorSat-1 and NorSat-2 satellites also built by SFL.

NorSat-3 will carry an experimental navigation radar detector to augment ship detection capabilities from its Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver. NorSat-3 will add another satellite to Norway’s assets in space – four in total so far, all producing data related to maritime traffic monitoring. Combining a navigation radar detector and AIS receiver will potentially provide much better maritime awareness for the Norwegian Coastal Administration, Armed Forces and other maritime authorities.

Remote sensing captures ancient silk road cities

Using remote sensing, Chinese archaeologists believe they have located a city of the Protectorate of the Western Regions, a major city on the Silk Road, in Koyuk Shahri of Luntai County in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The city was established in 60 supervise domestic and foreign affairs around Tarim Basin, protecting the Silk Road from military assaults. Last year, archaeologists from the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) exploited remote sensing technology to find an “abnormal” ring around the Koyuk Shahri, which was later proved to be a moat. They also found the ancient city site in Koyuk Shahri was constructed with the rectangular facade and the round

Israel launches world’s first flight of nano-satellites

A group of three nano-satellites developed by scientists from Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will be the first autonomous spacecraft in the world to be flown in formation.

The project, developed with the support of the Adelis-Samson Foundation and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) in the Science and Technology Ministry, will be launched on the Indian launcher PSLV at the end of 2018 by the Dutch company Innovative Solutions In Space, which specializes in launching nano-satellites.

The satellites will be used to receive signals from Earth and c alculate the location of the source of the broadcast for rescue, detection, remote sensing and environmental monitoring. Each of the satellites is 10 cm. x 20 cm. x 30 cm. – about the size of a shoebox – and weighs about eight kg. They will be equipped with measuring devices, antennas, computer and control systems and navigation devices. The software and algorithms that will control the flight were de veloped in a laboratory for distributed space systems at the Technion.

NITI Aayog, India initiates the first course on Sustainable Urban Planning

The First Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) course on Sustainable Urban planning using remote sensing and GIS has been launched at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpurs outreach center in Noida. Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog, Ratan P. Watal, inaugurated the course at a function in Noida on 15th January,2018.

This course aims to give participants state-of-the-art remote sensing and GIS skills which will allow them to rise to the challenge of managing the rapidly changing urban environment of Indian cities. Focus will be on issues such as water resource management, water pollution and strategic emplacements for water treatment facilities.


ISRO launches 31 satellites, puts remote sensing Cartosat-2 into orbit

India has deployed a remote sensing Cartosat and 30 other satellites, including 28 from six nations into the earth’s orbit. The 44.4-metre tall Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) roared into a clear sky after a perfect lift-off.

Of the 31 satellites, three are Indian and the rest are from Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, UK and the US. The Indian satellites include the 710 kg Cartosat-2 series for Earth observation as the primary satellite of the mission, along with copassenger payloads, including 100 kg micro satellite and a 10 kg nano satellite.

Cartosat-2 series was the first to be separated from the rocket and injected into the sun synchronous orbit at 505km above the earth, followed by the 10 kg nano satellite and the 100 kg micro-sat in different orbits. The Cartosat-2 series would orbit around the Earth for five years. The micro satellite would be India’s 100th satellite in space around the earth’s orbit.

The first space mission in 2018 came four months after a similar rocket failed to deliver the country’s eighth navigation satellite in the earth’s lower orbit on August 31, 2017.

K Sivan takes charge as new ISRO chairman

K Sivan took charge as the new Secretary, Department of Space, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Space Commission on January 15. On this occasion, Dr. Sivan said that he took charge from the former ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar.

A Ph.D in aeronautical engineering, Dr. Sivan is the ninth head of the space establishment.

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