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  • richardmitnick 11:43 am on September 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copernicus mission, Dubbed ɸ-Sat or PhiSat, ESA, Europe’s first artificial intelligence in space, FSSCat cubesats, FSSCat proposes a constellation of two 6U CubeSats, Hyperspectral camera   

    From European Space Agency: “First Earth observation satellite with AI ready for launch” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    12 September 2019

    A few months from now will see the launch of the first European satellite to demonstrate how onboard artificial intelligence can improve the efficiency of sending Earth observation data back to Earth. Dubbed ɸ-Sat, or PhiSat, this revolutionary artificial intelligence technology will fly on one of the two CubeSats that make up the FSSCat mission – a Copernicus Masters winning idea.

    As the overall 2017 Copernicus Masters winner, FSSCat, was proposed by Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and developed by a consortium of European companies and institutes.

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    ɸ-Sat AI
    12/09/2019 11:08 am
    Copyright CERN/M. Brice
    Description

    To demonstrate the potential of artificial intelligence in space, ESA has been working with partners to develop ɸ-Sat to enhance the FSSCat mission. The hyperspectral camera on one of the two CubeSats that make up the FSSCat mission will collect an enormous number of images of Earth, some of which will not be suitable for use because of cloud cover. To avoid downlinking these less than perfect images back to Earth, the ɸ-Sat artificial intelligence chip will filter them out so that only usable data are returned.

    The two CubeSats, each about the size of a shoebox, will collect data, which will be made available through the Copernicus Land and Marine Environment services, using state-of-the-art dual microwave and hyperspectral optical instruments. They also carry a set of intersatellite communication technology experiments.

    To demonstrate the potential of artificial intelligence in space, ESA has been working with partners to develop ɸ-Sat to take the mission to the next level.

    During ɸ-week, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “We see that there is huge interest in ɸ-Sat and thanks to our partners, it is ready to be launched.

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    FSSCat cubesats
    08/11/2017 9:01 am
    Copyright UPC
    FSSCat proposes a constellation of two 6U CubeSats that provide data on Earth’s ice and soil moisture content to complement the Sentinel fleet. FSSCat took the top prize at the 2017 Copernicus Masters Competition.

    “We live in exciting times, the pace at which digital technology is developing coupled with the wealth of satellite information being delivered and, indeed, the growing demand for such data, means there are many opportunities to make a step change for the future of Earth observation.

    “And, with ɸ-Sat – Europe’s first artificial intelligence in space – we are going to do just this.”

    The hyperspectral camera on one of the CubeSats will collect an enormous number of images of Earth, some of which will not be suitable for use because of cloud cover. To avoid downlinking these less than perfect images back to Earth, the ɸ-Sat artificial intelligence chip will filter them out so that only usable data are returned.

    Marco Esposito, from cosine Remote Sensing, the company that led the development of the artificial intelligence algorithm, explained, “While compact, the instrument – which covers the visible and near infrared with hyperspectral capability, enhanced with bands in the thermal infrared – is very powerful and will acquire terabytes of data that can be used to monitor vegetation changes and to assess water quality, for example.

    “However, generating this amount of data actually poses a problem, as the data have to be handled efficiently so that they can reach the users in a timely manner. With ɸ-Sat we have effectively given the instrument its own brain, which processes the data onboard to detect clouds in the images.

    “This not only ensures better quality data, but makes the delivery much more efficient.”

    ESA’s Massimiliano Pastena, noted, “Indeed, this will be the first satellite to demonstrate the use of artificial intelligence in orbit and we are very much looking forward to it being launched in the coming months.”

    Josef Aschbacher added, “We fully expect ɸ-Sat to be an important step forward for Earth observation satellite missions.

    “We acquire huge amounts of data every day and it all has to be sent back to Earth and processed, so having some of this processing done by the satellite in orbit is clearly an efficient way forward.

    “I am very proud that we at ESA and our partners are putting Europe at the forefront of this new approach for Earth observation. And, as I announced at the opening of ɸ-week, our efforts are not stopping at ɸ-Sat-1 – we are also soon going to release a new challenge to develop ɸ-Sat-2.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:32 am on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Tracing the environmental impacts of supply chains", ESA   

    From European Space Agency: “Tracing the environmental impacts of supply chains” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    11 September 2019

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    Tracing raw materials and their related impacts

    Globalisation and international trade allow us to consume produce from all over the world. But this comes at a cost to the environment – but, for the first time, satellite data combined with artificial intelligence is being used to provide information to assess the impact of global supply chains.

    The production of food and other resources is increasingly associated with issues such as deforestation and the loss of biodiversity in places thousands of kilometres away from where the end product is finally consumed or used.

    While progress has been made to understand the changing structures of supply chains, and to calculate the accumulated environmental impacts – from where agricultural products are harvested and mineral resources are extracted all the way to final consumption. However, existing models are limited to a national level – hindering the accurate calculation of global impacts.

    The ERC FINEPRINT project, implemented at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, has developed a new method for assessing the impact of supply chains. FINEPRINT uses various satellite data to map agricultural production and mineral extraction, as well as their related impacts.

    “There is a huge, hitherto untapped potential to combine Earth observation and economic data to support efforts by business and policy in making supply chains more sustainable,” says Victor Maus, from the Vienna University of Economics and Business speaking at ESA’s ɸ-week.

    While remote sensing has been widely used to analyse a wide range of ecosystem changes such as deforestation, satellite data has rarely been connected to the underlying economic production, trade and consumption patterns that drive these changes.”

    By combining Copernicus Sentinel-2 and US Landsat time-series images, the spatial distribution of the production of agricultural commodities, such as soybeans, sugar cane, cotton and maize can be assessed.

    ESA/Sentinel 2

    NASA/Landsat 8


    And then using machine-learning algorithms, timely crop-type maps can be produced to map land-use change. This can be then traced along global supply chains to the final consumers through international biomass trade models, such as the Food and Agriculture Biomass Input-Output (FABIO) Model.

    Tracing product consumption back to the exact geographic location of production and the local environmental impact is crucial for informed decision-making. Policy, businesses and consumers need this information to realise more sustainable production and consumption practices.

    As well as this, FINEPRINT also assesses the extent and environmental impacts of the mining sector, using satellite imagery to quantify the land used for mining activities at a global scale, such as buildings, dams and tailings.

    By combining various sources of mining statistics with satellite images, mainly Copernicus Sentinel-2 and Google imagery, the land-cover changes caused by mining and deforestation can be estimated. A pilot study is currently being tested to trace the direct land-cover changes driven by agricultural commodities produced in Brazil, and then consumed in Europe.

    Earth observation satellites are the only viable and cost-effective data source capable of providing regular and consistent information regarding mineral extraction and agricultural production and their related impacts at a global scale.

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    From satellite images to global agricultural trade

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:12 am on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Cave training- to explore uncharted terrains on the Moon and Mars, , ESA, Futuristic Geology   

    From European Space Agency: “A new journey into Earth for space exploration” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    11 September 2019

    Six astronauts, five space agencies and a fresh start into underground worlds to help prepare for living on other planets. ESA’s latest training adventure will equip an international crew with skills to explore uncharted terrains on the Moon and Mars, this time with a focus on the search for water.

    The CAVES training course takes astronauts to the depths of Earth to improve their communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills.

    After a week of preparations above and underground, the ‘cavenauts’ are set to explore a cave in Slovenia where they will live and work for six days.

    “It is all part of a simulation, but the experience is the closest you can get on this planet to the environmental, psychological and logistics constraints of a space mission,” explains course designer Loredana Bessone.

    “It is all part of a simulation, but the experience is the closest you can get on this planet to the environmental, psychological and logistics constraints of a space mission,” explains course designer Loredana Bessone.

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    CAVES
    27/06/2016 3:19 pm
    Copyright ESA–V. Crobu

    Astronauts squeeze through a tight spot during ESA’s underground astronaut training course CAVES, June 2016. CAVES stands for Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills. The two-week course prepares astronauts to work safely and effectively in multicultural teams in an environment where safety is critical – in caves. After a week of surface training, the astronauts descend into the caves to set up basecamp 800 m underground. The similarities between caving and spaceflight are highlighted throughout the course. Speleologists and astronauts adopt the ‘buddy system’, and both astronaut trainers and CAVES instructors repeat the same mantras of “slow is fast,” “check your gear, and then trust it,” and “always be aware of where you are and where your buddy is.”

    “The training involves real science, real operations and real astronauts with the best speleologists in the field,” she adds.

    The six cavenauts of this edition of CAVES are ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Jeanette Epps, Roscosmos’ cosmonaut Nikolai Chub, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Josh Kutryk and JAXA’s Takuya Onishi.

    “This new space-caving adventure helps them to learn from each other, from themselves and from the cave, which always humbles you with its enclosing spaces and darkness,” says CAVES technical course director Francesco Sauro.

    The training starts today, and the cavenauts will begin their descent into the dark to set up a base camp on 20 September.

    Supported by a team of instructors and safety personnel, the six explorers will take their own decisions and work autonomously, isolated from the outside world and coping with communication delays.

    Follow the water

    Underground exploration means following air and water flows as telltale signals of new paths ahead. The crew will learn how to trace water – the main link with life on Earth and a precious resource in space exploration.

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    Astronauts from five space agencies around the world took part in ESA’s CAVES training course– Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills. The two-week course prepares astronauts to work safely and effectively in multicultural teams in an environment where safety is critical. As they explore the caves of Sardinia they encountered caverns, underground lakes and strange microscopic life. They tested new technology and conducted science – just as if they were living on the International Space Station. The six astronauts relied on their own skills, teamwork and ground control to achieve their mission goals – the course is designed to foster effective communication, decision-making, problem-solving, leadership and team dynamics. 2016 was the first international space cooperation to involve astronauts from China, Russia, Japan, ESA and America, with cosmonaut Sergei Vladimirovich, ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, taikonaut Ye Guangfu, Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide and NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Jessica Muir taking part.The ‘cavenauts’ said goodbye to sunlight and spent six nights underground, setting up basecamp in the Sa Grutta cave in Sardinia, Italy. This picture was taken on day five underground. Follow CAVES via twitter @ESA_CAVES or with #CAVES2016 or on the CAVES blog.

    Caves are normally made by running waters. ESA picked a cave for this edition in an area where rivers flow underground. To keep the element of exploration, astronauts themselves do not know the exact location.

    This entrance to the underground is called ‘Lepa Jama’ – meaning ‘Beautiful Cave’ in Slovenian. “The cave is a labyrinth of passages mostly unexplored and rich in indigenous species,” says Francesco.

    “This Karst area is one of Europe’s natural wonders and where speleology was actually born,” says Franci Gabrovšek, professor at the Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU in Slovenia.

    “The genesis of caves, mysterious groundwater flow and subterranean life still pose numerous scientific questions. Astronauts could help us answer them,” adds Franci.

    What lies beneath – science and technology

    Inhospitable and hard to access, caves are almost untouched worlds and ideal traps for scientific evidence. Astronauts will carry out a dozen of experiments and will be on the lookout for signs of life that have adapted to the extremes.

    “We are really hoping to find new species again,” says Loredana recalling the discovery of the crustacean Alpioniscus Sideralis during the second CAVES edition in 2012.

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    Alpioniscus species

    Monitoring the presence of ‘microplastics’ will be part of the science programme. These millimetric plastics can end up in the food chain and raise concerns for the environment and human health.

    The astronauts will use with an upgraded version of the Electronic Field Book. This all-in-one, easy-to-use platform will allow them to deliver science and video logs while checking procedures and cue cards on a tablet.

    Above the ground, mission control will track their progress with a 3D map generated on the app as they explore the cave. Scientists can locate the astronauts’ scientific observations paired with pictures, and send their comments back to the cave.

    “It is augmented science. This technology saves crew and ground teams time and helps improve the scientific return of the mission,” says Loredana.

    As all space agencies prepare for Moon exploration, “ESA is taking the lead in subsurface expeditions to shape future missions exploring lunar caves,” she assures. Ideas on how to detect, map and explore caves on the Moon are welcome.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:52 am on September 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESA, , ESA/NASA “AIDA” collaboration (for Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment),   

    From European Space Agency: “A burst of asteroid activity in Europe” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    10 September 2019

    The next few days will see a rare convergence of asteroid-related activity in Europe, as planetary defence and other experts meet in three locations to coordinate humanity’s efforts to defend ourselves from hazardous space rocks.

    Such intense levels of international scientific collaboration are driven in part by the fact that an asteroid impact could cause devastating effects on Earth. But this is also a testament to the fact that we are at a point in human history where we can do something about risky asteroids.

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    Infographic: asteroid danger explained

    According to recent ESA estimates, there are 878 asteroids in the ‘risk list’. This ESA catalogue brings together all asteroids we know of that have a ‘non-zero’ chance of impacting Earth in the next 100 years – meaning that an impact, however unlikely, cannot be ruled out.

    An impact by even a small asteroid could cause serious destruction to inhabited areas. This is why ESA, together with international partners, is taking action to search for asteroids, develop technology that could deflect them in future and collaborate at the international level to support mitigation measures.

    The flurry of upcoming meetings will cover vital topics in planetary defence, including the planned, first-ever test of asteroid deflection, coordination and communication of asteroid warnings and how to ensure the most effective emergency response on the ground. With all the work being done, the planet has never been so prepared for the unlikely but very real threat of an asteroid impact.

    The ESA/NASA “AIDA” collaboration (for Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment) will see NASA’s DART spacecraft crash into and deflect the 160-m asteroid Didymos-B (also known as Didymoon, the smaller of the Didymos dual asteroid system).

    NASA DART Double Impact Redirection Test vehicle depiction schematic

    Later, ESA’s Hera mission will survey the crash site and gather the maximum possible data on the effects of this collision.

    ESA’s proposed Hera spaceraft

    The AIDA workshop brings together asteroid researchers and spacecraft engineers from the US, Europe and around the world to discuss the latest in this first-ever test of asteroid deflection, planned for 2022.

    Astronomers from both sides of the Atlantic will also be reporting on the latest observation campaigns to gather additional data on the Didymos asteroid system, helping with the planning of both missions.

    The International Asteroid Warning Network, currently led by NASA, and the ESA-chaired Space Mission Planning Advisory Group regularly meet to discuss all things asteroid.

    Both groups have mandates from the UN to coordinate, at the international level, different aspects of any future responses to any asteroid risks.

    The latest meetings will be hosted by the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Munich.

    The organisations will discuss the recent ‘non-detection’ of asteroid 2006 QV89, the latest news from the Minor Planet Center and how asteroid warnings are communicated to the public and media.

    Representatives of civil protection agencies from six countries including Germany, Switzerland and the US, as well as from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, will join ESA’s Planetary Defence Office at the Agency’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

    This will be the third in a series of emergency response workshops with the purpose of establishing a link between ESA and national civil protection authorities, ensuring national agencies understand the asteroid threat and how ESA can support them in their work to protect life and infrastructure on the ground.

    These three meetings illustrate the breadth of activity currently taking place across the globe to mitigate the risk of an asteroid impact, to ensure early warnings of such a threat, and to prepare on Earth in the unlikely event of a strike – planetary defence is heating up!

    Find out more about ESA’s Planetary Defence activities, here.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 7:00 am on September 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UN offers use of ESA’s hypergravity centrifuge to researchers worldwide", ESA, ESA’s hypergravity-generating Large Diameter Centrifuge,   

    From European Space Agency: “UN offers use of ESA’s hypergravity centrifuge to researchers worldwide” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    5 September 2019

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    ESA Large Diameter Centrifuge at full speed

    Imagine being able to increase the force of gravity simply by turning a dial. A United Nations fellowship is offering this opportunity to researchers all over the world, through access to ESA’s hypergravity-generating Large Diameter Centrifuge.

    Manipulate gravity and a lot of other factors shift too: bubbles in liquid alter their behaviour, convection currents accelerate and metal alloys form in unprecedented ways. Electrical plasmas alter and test animals lose fat – even fire burns differently.

    For more than a decade ESA’s Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) at its ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands has been a place of pilgrimage for European gravity researchers, including student experimenters on regular Spin Your Thesis! campaigns.

    The LDC is popular with life and physical science teams, as well as for commercial experiments. Internal ESA teams use the centrifuge to see how spacecraft materials and components would respond to the violent accelerations involved in launching into space.

    Now the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is widening access to the LDC still further, as part of its ‘Access to Space for All’ initiative. This fellowship programme aims to provide opportunities to research teams including student members, with particular attention paid to developing nations.

    Jack van Loon of the centrifuge team comments: “Over the years we have seen an increasing interest in the application of hypergravity for life and physical sciences as well as for spaceflight payloads and materials within Europe.

    “This activity caught the attention of UNOOSA resulting in this unique, first time collaboration between ESA and the United Nations.”

    Operating within a sci-fi style white dome, the LDC is an 8-m diameter four-arm centrifuge that gives researchers access to a range of hypergravity up to 20 times Earth gravity for weeks or months at a time.

    At its fastest, the centrifuge rotates at up to 67 revs per minute, with its six gondolas placed at different points along its arms weighing in at 130 kg, and each capable of accommodating 80 kg of payload.

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    Loading gondola

    This new programme is formally known as the ‘United Nations / European Space Agency Fellowship Programme on the Large Diameter Centrifuge Hypergravity Experiment Series’, or HyperGES for short.

    To be eligible to apply, research teams should consist of one academic supervisor and several Bachelor, Masters and/or PhD students, with the proposed experiment being integral part of the students’ syllabuses or research. For full details go here.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:50 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESA, ESTRACK,   

    From European Space Agency: “Track our spacecraft” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    30 August 2019

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    Deep Space Antenna 1 is ESA’s first 35-m deep dish, staring out to space to communicate with missions far from home. This processed image was taken by local astrophotographer Jim Longbottom. Find more of his work on his Flickr page.

    Located 140 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, close to the village of New Norcia, this giant antenna is in the perfect spot to scan the skies.

    Launching spacecraft into orbit around Earth and on voyages through the Solar System relies on a network of antennas and ground stations across the globe.

    ESTRACK now allows you to find out out exactly which spacecraft are communicating with which ground antennas at any moment, via http://estracknow.esa.int.

    You can explore the impressive dishes and antennas at ground stations across the globe, working every day to gather all of the vital information returned from space and sending commands direct from mission control.

    Key Terms

    AOS – The beginning of a pass is called the ‘acquisition of signal’ or AOS. It is the moment that a spacecraft becomes visible to a ground station and telemetry (see definition below) is gathered.

    LOS – The end of a pass (see below) is called ‘loss of signal’ or LOS. It is the moment that a spacecraft is no longer visible and telemetry is no longer received at the ground station.

    MNT – preventative, predictive or corrective maintenance.

    Pass – The term ‘pass’ or ‘contact’ describes the period in which a satellite and ground station are in contact, specifically when a satellite or spacecraft is above the horizon, and therefore visible, from the point of view of a particular antenna or ground station.

    Round Trip Light Time or RTLT – The time taken for a signal (light) to travel from a ground station on Earth, to a spacecraft, and back to the station. From the RTLT the distance to the spacecraft can be easily determined.

    Successful contact – A successful contact means a signals have successfully been sent from the ground station to the spacecraft or picked up by the station from the spacecraft as planned.
    Percentages describe what proportion of time during a ‘pass’ that contact is successful.
    A traffic-light colour system makes it easy to visualise the performance of the network. Green indicates perfect contact between a station and spacecraft, yellow suggests contact is near-perfect and red would suggest a contact which has experienced some issues.

    Telemetry – Telemetry is the collection of measurements and data gathered by a spacecraft. The word is derived from the Greek tele meaning ‘remote’ and metron, meaning ‘measure’.

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    “The Wadjarri people from the Murchison region refer to much of the milky way as the emu, as it resembles an emu stretched across the sky,” says Suzy Jackson, Maintenance & Operations Manager for the ground station.

    “I’m told that when the emu’s nose reaches the horizon, that’s the best time to collect emu eggs. Having our antenna in the foreground just makes it all the better. I am amazed at how beautiful our workplace here is.”

    The New Norcia antenna provides routine support to missions orbiting Mars like Mars Express and Exomars TGO as well as the Gaia space observatory, in the process of making the world’s most precise map of the stars in our Milky Way galaxy and BepiColombo on its way to Mercury.

    ESA/Mars Express Orbiter

    ESA/Roscosmos Exomars 2020 “Rosalind Franklin”

    ESA/GAIA satellite

    Artistic rendition ESA/JAXA BepiColombo

    With the launch of ESA’s ESTRACK now ‘dashboard’, you can find out exactly which missions are communicating with which antennas at any moment, and discover more about what individual missions are up to – what is their mission and how far away are they?

    Explore the ESTRACK network in real time or go to http://estracknow.esa.int.

    Check out our guide to using the site, here.

    See the full article here .

    Further to this subject not included in the article:

    ESA Malargüe Station is a 35-metre ESTRACK radio antenna in Argentina. It is located 40 kilometres south of the town of Malargüe, Argentina

    NASA Deep Space Network

    NASA Deep Space Network dish, Goldstone, CA, USA

    NASA Deep Space Network Madrid Spain

    NASA Canberra, AU, Deep Space Network

    NASA Deep Space Network Canberra, Australia, radio telescopes on watch.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 9:04 am on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "'Rosalind Franklin' Mars rover assembly completed", Airbus' facility in Stevenage, , , , , , Called "Rosalind Franklin" after the British DNA pioneer the six-wheeled robot will search for life on Mars., China and the US are preparing their own rovers for launch in the same departure window as Rosalind Franklin., China's vehicle dubbed XH-1 is a slightly smaller concept., , Development work at component and instrument level has consumed more than a decade., ESA, It is an eight-month cruise to Mars with the landing on an ancient equatorial plain targeted for 19 March 2021., Lift-off atop a Proton rocket is scheduled for July 2020., , , , The new rover follows the design template of the Curiosity robot which landed on Mars in 2012., The Rosalind Franklin rover carries a drill to collect samples from below the Martian surface., The UK made the rover a centrepiece of its space science policy.   

    From BBC: “‘Rosalind Franklin’ Mars rover assembly completed” 

    BBC
    From BBC

    27 August 2019
    Jonathan Amos

    Assembly of the rover Europe and Russia plan to send to the Red Planet next year is complete.

    10
    The rover is named after the British scientist who helped decipher the structure of DNA. MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

    Engineers at Airbus in Stevenage, UK, displayed the finished vehicle on Tuesday ahead of its shipment to France for testing.

    Called “Rosalind Franklin” after the British DNA pioneer, the six-wheeled robot will search for life on Mars.

    It has a drill to burrow 2m below ground to try to detect the presence of microbes, either living or fossilised.

    The project is a joint endeavour of the European and Russian space agencies (ESA and Roscosmos), with input from the Canadians and the US.

    2
    The UK made the rover a centrepiece of its space science policy.

    4
    The Rosalind Franklin rover is nearing completion at Airbus’ facility in Stevenage. EMMA UNDERWOOD/Airbus

    3
    The Rosalind Franklin rover carries a drill to collect samples from below the Martian surface. ESA.

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    Kazachok lander: The rover needs a means to get it safely to the surface of Mars. TAS.

    6
    American rovers have established that Mars was certainly habitable – but was it inhabited? NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS [Malin Space Science Systems].

    7
    Jezero Crater shows strong evidence from orbit of past water activity. NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/MSSS/BROWN UNIVERSITY

    8
    The new rover follows the design template of the Curiosity robot which landed on Mars in 2012. NASA.

    Although the rover’s build took just nine months, development work at component and instrument level has consumed more than a decade (the initial feasibility study was started in 2004).

    Lift-off atop a Proton rocket is scheduled for July 2020. It is an eight-month cruise to Mars, with the landing on an ancient equatorial plain targeted for 19 March, 2021, around 0600 local Mars time.

    China and the US are preparing their own rovers for launch in the same departure window as Rosalind Franklin.

    China’s vehicle, dubbed XH-1, is a slightly smaller concept. The Americans are assembling a near-copy of the one-tonne Curiosity robot that has been investigating the Red Planet for the past seven years. Their machine is codenamed currently simply Mars 2020.

    NASA Mars 2020 rover schematic

    NASA Mars 2020 Rover

    The roughly 300kg Rosalind Franklin rover is being bagged and boxed, ready to be sent to an Airbus facility in Toulouse this week. It’s in southwest France that a series of checks will ensure the robot can withstand the rigours of interplanetary travel and operation.

    There are actually three outstanding items yet to be integrated on the rover.

    These are the radioisotope heaters that will keep the vehicle warm in the bitter conditions on Mars. But they are a Russian expertise and will not be inserted until just prior to blast-off.

    In parallel with the work on the rover, engineers in Italy at the Thales Alenia Space (TAS) company are preparing the mechanisms required to get the rover safely to, and on to, Mars.

    In Turin on Wednesday, the German cruise spacecraft that will shepherd the robot to the Red Planet, and the Russian descent module, which will protect it as it enters Mars’ atmosphere, will have their first fit-check.

    Eventually, all elements of the mission will meet in Cannes, at another TAS factory, for end-to-end mating and balancing.

    “When the spacecraft is sent to Mars, it will be spinning. Like the wheels on your car, we have to check the balance to make sure everything spins smoothly,” explained Van Odedra, Airbus rover project manager.

    The entire system should be despatched to the Baikonur launch site in April to begin the process of preparing for the Proton lift-off.

    Rosalind Franklin was “superb scientific tool”, said David Parker, Esa’s director of human and robotic exploration.

    “We still have big challenges ahead but mission success is our number one priority.”

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    The rover will travel to Mars inside a capsule attached to a German cruise vehicle. ESA.

    What’s the critical next hurdle?

    Currently, there is concern over the readiness of the parachute system that will slow Rosalind Franklin’s descent through Mars’ atmosphere to the surface.

    Engineers have designed a two-chute system: a smaller supersonic envelope that opens first and a big subsonic membrane that opens once the entry speed has become manageable.

    Two tests earlier this year – on both chute types – led to tearing on deployment.

    Pietro Baglioni, ESA’s ExoMars manager, said the problem appeared to stem from the way the parachutes were packed and then extracted – not from the nature of the material used to fabricate them.

    ESA has called in NASA to help with finding a solution because the American agency saw something similar during the development of the parachute system used on the successful Spirit and Opportunity rovers in 2004.

    Further tests are planned for November and February.

    The November demonstration will see engineers travel to Oregon for the launch of a stratospheric balloon.

    This will drop a dummy mass from 30km in altitude; a mortar will fire the supersonic chute out of its container to simulate a Mars descent.

    Mr Baglioni said the November test had “to show that the implemented corrective measures are at least on the right track. Going for a redesign of the entire parachute system is out of the question for a 2020 launch.”

    A formal “go/no-go” decision on the mission is expected early next year.

    Why is Rosalind Franklin important for the UK?

    Tuesday’s send-off in front of the media was a big moment for the UK, which has made the Mars robot a central feature of its space science policy this past decade.

    Britain has invested in the order of €290m (£260m) in the wider Esa-Roscosmos programme, codenamed ExoMars, that also includes a satellite positioned in orbit around the Red Planet. This satellite will act as the relay to send the rover’s data home and, in the other direction, to feed Rosalind Franklin new commands.

    A further £14m (€16m) of UK public money was also set aside specifically for instrument contributions on both the rover and the satellite.

    UK scientists lead the PanCam (the panoramic camera system on the rover), for example, which will take the pictures that help the robot navigate Mars’ terrain and identify the rocks of greatest interest.

    With Rosalind Franklin now about to depart the country, there’s intense interest in a follow-up.

    Study work at Airbus-Stevenage is already considering the design of a rover that would pick up rock samples cached by Mars 2020 during its mission.

    The aim would be to bring these samples back to Earth for a deeper analysis than is possible on Mars with remote laboratory tools.

    The UK will tell its ESA partners when they gather in Spain in November for a major ministerial meeting that it will invest a substantial sum to secure the lead in building the “fetch rover”, as it has become known.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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  • richardmitnick 9:59 am on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , CERN’s VESPER facility, , ESA, , Radiation exposure to satellites in space   

    From European Space Agency: “CERN’s VESPER facility” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    1
    CERN’s VESPER facility

    This test facility at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, was used to simulate the high-radiation environment surrounding Jupiter to prepare for ESA’s JUICE mission to the largest planet in our Solar System.

    ESA JUICE Schematic

    ESA/Juice spacecraft depiction

    All candidate hardware to be flown in space first needs to be tested against radiation: space is riddled with charged particles from the Sun and further out in the cosmos. An agreement with CERN gives access to the most intense beam radiation beams available – short of travelling into orbit.

    Initial testing of candidate components for ESA’s JUpiter ICy moons Explorer, JUICE, took place last year using CERN’s VESPER (Very energetic Electron facility for Space Planetary Exploration missions in harsh Radiative environments) facility.

    VESPER’s high energy electron beamline simulated conditions within Jupiter’s massive magnetic field, which has a million times greater volume than Earth’s own magnetosphere, trapping highly energetic charged particles within it to form intense radiation belts.

    Due to launch in 2022, JUICE needs to endure this harsh radiation environment in order to explore Callisto, Europa and Ganymede – moons of Jupiter theorised to hide liquid water oceans beneath their icy surfaces. JUICE is being built by Airbus for ESA, with construction of its spacecraft flight model due to begin next month.

    Last month ESA and CERN signed a new implementing protocol, building upon their existing cooperation ties.

    Signed by Franco Ongaro, ESA’s Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality, and Eckhard Elsen, CERN Director for Research and Computing, this new agreement identifies seven specific high-priority projects: high-energy electron tests; high-penetration heavy-ion tests; assessment of commercial off-the-shelf components and modules; in-orbit technology demonstration; ‘radiation-hard’ and ‘radiation-tolerant’ components and modules; radiation detectors monitors; and dosimeters and simulation tools for radiation effects.

    “The radiation environment that CERN is working with within its tunnels and experimental areas is very close to what we have in space,” explains Véronique Ferlet-Cavrois, Head of ESA’s Power Systems, EMC & Space Environment Division.

    “The underlying physics of the interaction between particles and components is the same, so it makes sense to share knowledge of components, design rules and simulation tools. Plus access to CERN facilities allows us to simulate the kind of high-energy electrons and cosmic rays found in space. At the same time we are collaborating on flying CERN-developed components for testing in space.”

    Petteri Nieminen, heading ESA’s Space Environments and Effects section adds: “Along with JUICE, CERN heavy-energy radiation testing will also be useful for our proposed Ice Giants mission to Neptune and Uranus. The spacecraft may have to be pass through Jupiter’s vast magnetic field on the way to these outer planets, and both worlds have radiation belts of their own.

    “And the ability to simulate cosmic rays benefits a huge number of missions, especially those venturing beyond Earth orbit, including Athena and LISA as well as JUICE. It is also a huge interest for human spaceflight and exploration to study radiobiology effects of heavy ion cosmic rays on astronaut DNA. Not to mention that radiation simulations developed in collaboration with CERN help set space environment specifications for all ESA missions.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:00 am on August 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A space cocktail of science bubbles and sounds", Amyloid aggregation, BioRock experiment, Bubbles in altered states of gravity, Can you hear me?, Dexterity in space, ESA, Everywear, Kubik experiment, Multiscale Boiling experiment-Rubi, NutrISS, Time Grip Grasp experiments   

    From European Space Agency: “A space cocktail of science, bubbles and sounds” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    19 August 2019

    1
    Day and night

    The International Space Station was again the stage for novel European science and routine operations during the first half of August. Plenty of action in the form of bubbles and sounds added to the mix in the run-up to a spacewalk and the comings and goings of visiting vehicles.

    ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano installed the Multiscale Boiling experiment, known affectionately as Rubi, in its new home in Europe’s Columbus laboratory. It took Luca a few hours to fit the container, the size of a large shoebox, inside the Fluid Science Laboratory.

    A lot of science will take place in there – Rubi will generate bubbles under controlled conditions using a special heater to expand our knowledge of the boiling process. Larger bubbles in slow motion will allow scientists to observe and measure effects that are too fast and too small on Earth.

    With this insight and more accurate calculations of the boiling process, products such as laptops can be improved and made more compact.

    2
    Bubbles in altered states of gravity

    Can you hear me?

    3
    ESA and NASA
    Protein aggregation in space. Amyloid aggregation
    So much science in a little container: the Amyloid Aggregation experiment on board the International Space Station studies the aggregation of amyloid proteins connected to Alzheimer’s disease.

    As we get older, the way protein accumulates in our brain is thought to cling together in larger threads, depriving us of memories and a sharp brain. The possibility that astronauts have a higher propensity to develop neurodegenerative diseases is the focus of the Amyloid Aggregation experiment.

    Amyloids are protein aggregations associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Luca carefully manipulated a set of tiny tubes with different incubation times. Upon completion of the experiment, the whole kit will remain frozen at –80°C until it is shipped back to Earth on the SpaceX Dragon vehicle on 27 August.

    4
    Dexterity in space
    The GRASP experiment (Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance) seeks to better understand how the central nervous system integrates information from different senses, such as sight, sound and touch, to coordinate hand movements and determine what role gravity plays. Luca Parmitano performs a GRASP session wearing virtual reality headsets as they carried out a range of tasks.

    Disrupted time perception, altered eye-hand coordination and loss of body mass are some of the effects that life in space has on the human body. Both Luca and Andrew ran sessions of the Time, Grip and Grasp experiments to help scientists understand how our brain copes with microgravity.

    A new experiment for Space Station research is NutrISS. During five consecutive days, Luca logged his nutritional intake and assessed any changes in his body weight, fat mass and fat-free mass in an app called Everywear. Medical teams on Earth will use it to limit bone and muscle loss in space.

    Little creatures

    Keeping germs at bay on the International Space Station is the focus of the Matiss-2 experiment. For nearly a year, sample holders have been exposed in the Columbus module, letting the air flow through and collect any bacteria floating past.

    5
    Matiss-2 experiment on the Space Station
    Everybody knows a clean house is a healthy place to live, but what if you live on the International Space Station? Air and water are constantly recycled and waste can only be removed when a spacecraft departs for Earth every few months. For the six astronauts living in humanity’s habitat in space, keeping the Station clean is an important part of their life to avoid bacteria and fungus. Every Saturday is cleaning day, when the whole crew wipe surfaces, vacuum and collect waste. The Matiss experiment is investigating antibacterial properties of materials in space to see if future spacecraft could be made easier to clean. The experiment consists of plaques placed in the European Columbus laboratory and leave for at least three months. France’s CNES space agency, in collaboration with the ENS university of Lyon, research institute CEA Tech – LETI and construction company Saint-Gobain, selected five advanced materials that could stop bacteria from settling and growing on the surface. A sixth element, made of glass, is used as control material. The materials are a diverse mix of advanced technology – from self-assembly monolayers and green polymers to ceramic polymers and water-repellent hybrid silica. The smart materials should stop bacteria from sticking to the surface and growing, effectively making them easier to clean and more hygienic – but which one works best? The units are open on the sides to let air flow naturally through and collect any bacteria floating past.

    Luca removed one of the holders and prepared it for download to Earth, where scientists will assess the antibacterial properties of five advanced materials that could stop bacteria from settling and growing on the surface. Which one will work best?

    Elsewhere inside the Columbus module bacteria will continue to grow but for our benefit. The International Space Station is hosting some of the smallest miners in the universe: microbes. Luca unleashed biofilm-forming microbes for incubation in the Kubik experiment container. The BioRock experiment grows different species on basalt slides for 21 days under microgravity, Earth’s gravity and martian gravity.

    Bacteria were sent to the Space Station in a desiccated, dormant state and rehydrated on board. Scientists want to learn how altered states of gravity affect the interaction of microbes with rock, and how the little miners could help astronauts on future missions to the Moon and Mars.

    Learn more about the science of Luca’s mission Beyond and what goes on behind the science to help research run smoothly in space in this month’s episode of the ESA Explores podcast.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:19 am on August 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Cryptography ICE Cube experiment", , , “The first is a method of re-exchanging the encryption key if it gets corrupted. This needs to be done in a secure and reliable way to restore the secure link very quickly.”, “The second is an experimental hardware reconfiguration approach which can recover rapidly if the encryption key is compromised by radiation-triggered memory ‘bit flips’"., “We’re testing two related approaches to the encryption problem for non rad-hardened systems., , , ESA, In addition the payload carries a compact ‘floating gate’ dosimeter to measure radiation levels co-developed by CERN., Making encryption-based secure communication feasible for even the smallest of space missions., Raspberry Pi Zero computer, Satellites in Earth orbit might be physically remote but still potentially vulnerable to hacking., Up until recently most satellite signals went unencrypted.   

    From European Space Agency: “Cryptography ICE Cube experiment” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency

    31/07/2019

    1

    A compact experiment aimed at enhancing cybersecurity for future space missions is operational in Europe’s Columbus module of the International Space Station, running in part on a Raspberry Pi Zero computer costing just a few euros.

    2
    Raspberry Pi Zero computer

    “Our CryptIC experiment is testing technological solutions to make encryption-based secure communication feasible for even the smallest of space missions,” explains ESA software product assurance engineer Emmanuel Lesser. “This is commonplace on Earth, using for example symmetric encryption where both sides of the communication link share the same encryption key.

    “In orbit the problem has been that space radiation effects can compromise the key within computer memory causing ‘bit-flips’. This disrupts the communication, as the key on ground and the one in space no longer match. Up to now this had been a problem that requires dedicated – and expensive – rad-hardened devices to overcome.”

    Satellites in Earth orbit might be physically remote, but still potentially vulnerable to hacking. Up until recently most satellite signals went unencrypted, and this remains true for many of the smallest, cheapest mission types, such as miniature CubeSats.

    But as services delivered by satellites of all sizes form an increasing element of everyday life, interest in assured satellite cybersecurity is growing, and a focus of ESA’s new Technology Strategy for this November’s Space19+ Ministerial Council.

    CryptIC, or Cryptography ICE Cube, – the beige box towards the top of the image, has been a low-cost development, developed in-house by ESA’s Software Product Assurance section and flown on the ISS as part of the International Commercial Experiments service – ICE Cubes for short. ICE Cubes offer fast, simple and affordable access for research and technology experiments in microgravity using compact cubes. CryptIC measures just 10x10x10 cm.

    “A major part of the experiment relies on a standard Raspberry Pi Zero computer,” adds Emmanuel. “This cheap hardware is more or less flying exactly as we bought it; the only difference is it has had to be covered with a plastic ‘conformal’ coating, to fulfil standard ISS safety requirements.”

    The orbital experiment is operated simply via a laptop at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands, routed via the ICE Cubes operator, Space Applications Services in Brussels.

    ESA Estec

    “We’re testing two related approaches to the encryption problem for non rad-hardened systems,” explains ESA Young Graduate Trainee Lukas Armborst. “The first is a method of re-exchanging the encryption key if it gets corrupted. This needs to be done in a secure and reliable way, to restore the secure link very quickly. This relies on a secondary fall-back base key, which is wired into the hardware so it cannot be compromised. However, this hardware solution can only be done for a limited number of keys, reducing flexibility.

    “The second is an experimental hardware reconfiguration approach which can recover rapidly if the encryption key is compromised by radiation-triggered memory ‘bit flips’. A number of microprocessor cores are inside CryptIC as customisable, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), rather than fixed computer chips. These cores are redundant copies of the same functionality. Accordingly, if one core fails then another can step in, while the faulty core reloads its configuration, thereby repairing itself.”

    In addition the payload carries a compact ‘floating gate’ dosimeter to measure radiation levels co-developed by CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, as part of a broader cooperation agreement

    And as a guest payload, a number of computer flash memories are being evaluated for their orbital performance, a follow-on version of ESA’s ‘Chimera’ experiment which flew on last year’s GomX-4B CubeSat.

    3
    GomX-4B CubeSat

    The experiment had its ISS-mandated electromagnetic compatibility testing carried out in ESTEC’s EMC Laboratory.

    “CryptIC has now completed commissioning and is already returning radiation data, being shared with our CERN colleagues,” adds Emmanuel. “Our encryption testing is set to begin in a few weeks, once we’ve automated the operating process, and is expected to run continuously for at least a year.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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