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Researchers discover novel, cost-effective way to harness satellite signals

Picture produced by (a) SelfieStick1 Satellite tv for pc, (b) SelfieStick10 Satellites, (c) Cumbersome Climate Antenna. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University Electrical and Laptop Engineering

For many years, satellites have helped meteorologists forecast climate, provide cable, tv, and radio suppliers a option to relay alerts to their clients, and supply scientists with a instrument to collect knowledge for varied kinds of analysis. Huge, high-cost, stationary antennas have lengthy been the instrument used to seize these alerts, however now, as low orbit satellites turn into extra considerable, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are discovering methods to harness satellite tv for pc frequencies utilizing small, low-cost, cell units.

Transmission alerts from satellites tons of of miles into house are very weak, making it crucial that receivers have adequate energy and a transparent sufficient line of sight to seize them successfully. To place this into perspective, Carnegie Mellon Electrical and Laptop Engineering Affiliate Professor, Swarun Kumar, compares it to a cell phone attempting to obtain communication from towers at distances 10 to 100 instances additional than what’s presently in place.

To be able to create low cost, compact, moveable receivers, Kumar and his colleagues started in search of methods to spice up these alerts.

“Imagine you take a massive antenna and shrink it. The signal you receive becomes much weaker and noisier, making it difficult to capture anything useful,” says Kumar. “However, using many satellites, we’ve found a way to reinforce those signals, stitching them together to improve the data we receive.”

“Think about your smartphone’s camera in low light or night mode; it takes a lot of pictures, then puts them together to make a brighter, sharper image.”

Utilizing that very same concept, Kumar and his fellow researchers developed a novel handheld antenna machine, dubbed the “SelfieStick,” together with back-end software program and algorithms to mix a variety of very weak transmission alerts into one thing extra substantial.

To display the capabilities of this new methodology, the group is capturing satellite tv for pc photographs of planet Earth. Whereas the info from one satellite tv for pc produces a loud and unimpressive outcome, stitching ten or extra photographs collectively creates a picture akin to that of a cumbersome, costly climate antenna.

“Beneath the hood, there may be a variety of machine studying and signal processing occurring to line the photographs up appropriately,” says Kumar. “The images aren’t canceling one another out, but rather improving each other by eliminating the noise.”

Whereas Kumar admits that clunky stationary receivers are nonetheless the quickest option to obtain crystal clear satellite tv for pc alerts and pictures, he says utilizing a number of smaller receivers can present the same outcome. These more cost effective receivers additionally enable operators to make use of them in varied areas, offering a special sort of utility.

“One thing that inspired us to pursue this research is the lack of accessibility to infrastructure on the ground. There is a lot of commodification and reusability of the satellite infrastructure, but antennas and receivers are heavily monopolized by whoever owns and runs them.”

“More than anything else, the cost of large receivers is bottlenecked by finding someone to install these extensive setups. We envision the ability to place and use these small receivers anywhere, rather than finding a single location to build a bulky, expensive structure.”

Whereas the earth imaging side of Kumar’s analysis is a proof of idea of types, he believes this methodology may result in a greater approach of harnessing web and tv satellite alerts with out having giant dish receivers put in on the roof of houses. He believes the tactic may additionally lead to a greater option to transmit mobile alerts.

In May 2022, Kumar and his colleagues offered their work on the Worldwide Convention on Info Processing in Sensor Networks, taking dwelling the award for finest paper. This marks the third 12 months in a row the group has received the award, their fourth time up to now 5 years.

Easy prey for hackers—navigation systems

Extra info:


Researchers uncover novel, cost-effective option to harness satellite tv for pc alerts (2022, July 1)
retrieved 1 July 2022

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