Using the latest technology in space to make life on Earth better will be an essential part of the future of mankind. A new IPCC report warns that we have a limited time window to prevent global temperatures from increasing further. Technological solutions based on data collected by earth observing satellites can offer a range of solutions to this pressing problem. These solutions are often on the cutting edge of technology, and they are often complex and unproven.
As the cost of accessing space continues to fall, new entrants to the space industry are pursuing innovative ways to develop satellites and other technologies. Several companies in a variety of industries are already leveraging satellite technology and space access. Here are three ways commercial companies can benefit from the space industry. 1. Create a satellite fleet. This sector will be a crucial element in commercial activities. Its success depends on commercial companies developing the technologies and capabilities needed to maintain and operate space-based assets.
As more private companies enter the space industry,
they will find that there is an endless amount of untapped potential for growth. Commercialization of space infrastructure will spur development of complementary services and products that complement the capabilities already available on Earth. For example, a robotic construction tool awarded by NASA in February 2020 would be designed to assemble low-Earth-orbit spacecraft. Similar tools would be needed to repair and construct private spacecraft.
High-precision reflective surfaces
In the field of high-precision reflective surfaces, strong reflectivity and high-resolution image reflection are key features. Precision reflective surfaces are used in various fields, such as military and civil applications, for example. The accurate detection of surface defects is also essential. Visual fast measurement is a common technique for defect detection. But in practice, specular reflection disturbances can affect the quality of images and obscure defect information.
The company HPTEX GmbH focuses on developing textile reflector surfaces for the space industry. Earth observation and communications are two important components of satellite technology. The mesh can act as a resonance body that facilitates data transmission. The mesh can be used for applications such as climate protection images and the networking of earth’s population. The company’s initial missions are pre-development of a mesh for the CIMR satellite (part of the Copernicus fleet) and qualification for small satellite antennas developed by the commercial New-Space industry.
Impact on Earth-based applications
The impact of space technology on Earth-based applications is vast and is advancing human life on the planet. It helps to develop communications, navigation and positioning systems, and improve medical instruments. The space industry also benefits the global economy through government-sponsored space programs. Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, human outer space capability has increased exponentially. Since then, humans have landed on the Moon, built the International Space Station, and launched more than eight hundred space objects. The United States recently announced an accelerated schedule to return to the Moon permanently by 2024.
Early space experiments focused on using large orbiting satellites as passive reflectors for earth-based communications. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, most of the work focused on the development of technology that could receive signals from the ground. These signals would be electronically processed and relayed to a second ground station. In 1962, American Telephone and Telegraph recognized the commercial potential of satellite communications and paid NASA to launch the Telstar satellite. However, Telstar’s low orbit meant that it was only in the receiving antenna’s range for a few minutes. For an operational system, a large constellation of satellites would have been needed.