Photonic Modem, Linux’ Dronecode and Europa orbiter

lcrd_closeup-702x336@2xPhotonic Modem: NASA is developing a data modem driven by light

In a first-of-its-kind, a team at NASA is developing a new communications modem that incorporates light-based technology that could change everything from Earth-bound telecommunications, medical imaging, advanced manufacturing methods, national defense and go well beyond space communication.

The space agency’s first-ever “integrated-photonics” modem will be tested on board the International Space Station in 2020, as part of a broader NASA project called the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD). This laser system will enable data transmissions at rates 10 to 100 times faster than today’s communications equipment that needs significantly less mass and power, which the space agency says could greatly improve today’s radio frequency (RF) communications.

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Linux Foundation moves Dronecode project forward

As interest in drone technology continues to grow, also expanding is the open-source Dronecode effort, which is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Dronecode launched in October 2014 and has grown significantly since then, from only a handful of members to 51.

Dronecode isn’t just vaporware code, but rather, now serves as the basis for multiple commercially available drone technologies, including the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight. Over the course of the Dronecode project’s first year of existence, there has been substantial growth and development, said Chris Anderson, 3DR CEO and Dronecode board of directors chairman.

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NASA weighing dual launches of Europa orbiter and lander

EuropaClipper_NASAJPLCaltech-e1424451386578-879x485Faced with a congressional mandate to add a lander to a planned mission to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, NASA is considering launching the lander separately from the main mission. Agency officials said they are considering how to add a lander to a mission under development to make multiple flybys of Europa, even though the lander will weigh significantly more than the main “clipper” spacecraft.

Curt Niebur, outer planets program scientist at NASA Headquarters, said that the biggest challenge of adding the lander to the Europa mission is its mass: about 8,000 kilograms, to accommodate the propellant needed to land the spacecraft softly on the surface. He added that estimate was “very rough” based on the limited studies of lander concepts to date. By comparison, the clipper spacecraft alone would have a mass of only about 5,000 kilograms.

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A job opening for a Procurement Analyst, Boeing (USA). The position will support the Space Launch Systems team within the Supplier Management Business BDS-Development program organization. The selected candidate will develops solutions to a variety of complex problems referring to established precedents and policies. More information

Build up your space resume by participating in the project Asterank: to discover an asteroid, watch the animation of the night sky and look for a moving white dot. There’s a good chance that moving dot is an asteroid. The first user to notice the dot gets potential discovery credit and naming rights. You can contribute to the project and help with issues or additional features on GitHub. More information


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