The space race to better internet access
01 Mar 2016
OK, so it’s going to be a few years until this has an impact on your Wifi business telephone system in Oxfordshire, but there’s a huge amount of activity going on in space, including the use of ‘smart satellites’ that looks like it will result in better internet access globally.
You may not be aware that the two technology leaders Google and Facebook are already working on ways to beam internet access from the sky to remote areas, Google with high-flying balloons and Facebook with a combination of drones and larger, more complex satellites.
And there’s an even newer player on the scene with some groundbreaking results. Israel Israeli startup Skyfi is looking to outflank Facebook and Google by developing the first self-correcting antenna that can turn mini-satellites into powerful transmitters covering the globe.
The way he hopes to do it is by using a parachute-like antenna that deploys once in space. The antenna can then mechanically adjust itself for imperfections in the transmitter’s surface, allowing a stronger signal to pass, and even alter the direction it points should broadcast needs change over the course of the satellite’s life.
That may not sound like much, but those are two major hurdles that have limited satellite operators for years.
Thousands of new satellites will be launched into space in the coming decade and many will use technology from Israel, which has built on its military expertise to capture a sizeable chunk of the growing commercial space market, particularly in the field of miniaturization.
So watch this space…excuse the pun!!!
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