Hurricane season 2017 has been one for the books. This year, North America has experienced some of the biggest and strongest hurricanes EVER in recorded history. Harvey, Irma, and Maria struck back, to back, to back, causing some of the worst destruction the world has ever seen. One thing many of us probably look over during a hurricane is its impact on satellite communications. Environmental factors, such as precipitation from hurricanes, can lead to a challenging phenomenon known as rain fade.
The international space station (ISS) is traveling in orbit around our earth at about 217 Miles (350 km) above earth’s surface. That’s equal to about 1,148,294 feet (yes, over 1 MILLION feet) or 350,000 meters above you. Those are some crazy heights! The ISS and other satellite communication devices must be able to cover a ton of earth’s surface from there, right?
Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s explore...
The age of space exploration and exploitation is about to enter an exciting new chapter. Once the sole domain of superpower government agencies, there are now over 800 private companies operating in space, as well as many more governments around the world. Innovations in launch technology have made it cheaper than ever to send payloads into orbit, and more parties are active in space than ever before. It’s led to significant changes in the space industry. One of the most important changes is the increased use of smaller constellation satellites.
If you’ve been following our blog, we recently announced the exciting hiring of both Atul Dhuria and Darshan Shah. Both have already been putting their noses to the grindstone and bringing new and innovative ideas to the company. More specifically, ideas around the future development of Satellite Communication and Commercial Space within Bliley and our products.
Spacecrafts must be designed to have very precise functionality when it comes to making the long journey to earth’s orbit and even beyond. Even simple vibrations can interfere with the spacecraft’s functionality during pre-launch transportation and powered flight. In both cases, the spacecraft itself isn’t even being powered.
More people are online than ever before. At the turn of the century, there were only around 500 million internet users in the whole world. As of 2015, 3.2 billion people had access to the internet according to an estimate by the International Telecommunications Union. Here's a graph to put that into persective. Almost increasing exponentially!
In spite of all this incredible progress, more work needs to be done. Today around 4 billion people still lack access to the web, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. Even in developed countries like the United States, there are still some 55 million people that don’t have access to broadband internet.