ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Once there are thousands of miniature satellites called cubesats in orbit, how will you keep track of them all? You need ELROI, the Extremely Low Resource Optical Identifier.
(How to identify and track tiny cubesats)
David M. Palmer and Rebecca M. Holmes, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, have published a great paper describing this idea.
Space object identification is vital for operating spacecraft, space traffic control,
and space situational awareness, but initial determination, maintenance, and recovery
of identity are all difficult, expensive, and error-prone, especially for small objects like
CubeSats. Attaching a beacon or license plate with a unique identification number to
a space object before launch would greatly simplify the task, but radio beacons are
power-hungry and can cause interference. This paper describes a new concept for a
satellite license plate, the Extremely Low Resource Optical Identifier or ELROI. ELROI
is a milliwatt-scale self-powered autonomous optical beacon that can be attached to any
space object to transmit a persistent identification signal to ground stations. A system
appropriate for a LEO CubeSat or other small space object can fit in a package with
the area of a postage stamp and a few millimeters thick, and requires no power, data,
or control from the host object. The concept has been validated with ground tests,
and the first flight test unit is scheduled for launch in 2018. The unique identification
number of a LEO satellite can be determined unambiguously in a single orbital pass
over a low-cost ground station.
(Via ELROI: A License Plate For Your Satellite.)
Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein mentioned the idea of an identification beacon for objects in orbit around the Earth in his classic 1941 story Methuselah's Children:
They gave him an orbit; he matched in and steadied down, then set the Chili's identification beacon to his own combination, made sure that the radar of the ship's gig could trip it, and took the gig down to the auxiliary small-craft field at Goddard.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/9/2018)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.' - Charles Sheffield, 1979.
How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...' - Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr., 1940.
International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks' - Robert Heinlein, 1948.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'
Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'
IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.
Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories