Giant nets could remove orbiting space junk

first_img Explore further A dozen space vehicles, equipped with 200 nets each, could scoop up the space debris floating in low Earth orbit, clearing the way for a future space elevator. That’s the idea described last Friday at the annual Space Elevator conference by Star Inc., a company that is receiving funding for the project from DARPA. Star Inc. president Jerome Pearson was one of the early pioneers of space elevators; in 1975, Pearson wrote a paper on the subject that inspired Arthur C. Clarke’s description of a space elevator in his popular science fiction book The Fountains of Paradise. Consisting of a long cable of nanomaterials, a space elevator would stretch from Earth to a point in geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles above the surface, carrying people and objects into space on its shuttles. However, one of the biggest obstacles to building a space elevator is space debris: defunct satellites, fragments of rockets, and any unused object originally built and launched by humans that is no longer used. At the conference two years ago, former NASA scientist Ivan Bekey pointed out that, if a space elevator were built, every single piece of space debris would eventually collide with the elevator cables at some point. Pearson predicts that, over a period of seven years, a dozen of Star Inc.’s Electrodynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) vehicles could potentially capture all 2,465 identified objects over 2 kilograms currently floating in low Earth orbit. After capturing the objects, the EDDEs could either fling them into the South Pacific, send them closer to Earth where they would eventually decay, or recycle the materials. As Pearson explained, the aluminum and other materials collected by the EDDEs could be used to build structures that could host crews or store equipment.In order for the 12 EDDEs to operate safely in space without colliding with one another, Pearson also emphasized the need to have some form of space traffic control. Already, he said, the US Federal Aviation Administration is looking into regulating space traffic, such as requiring space vehicles to schedule flight plans.Star Inc. plans to launch test flights in 2013, and if everything goes well, could start removing trash in 2017. The company is also shifting the project from DARPA to NASA – and possibly later to the UN – to alleviate concerns that the EDDEs could be used for military purposes to remove enemy satellites from orbit. via: TechWorld This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Giant nets could remove orbiting space junk (2010, August 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-giant-nets-orbiting-space-junk.htmlcenter_img Riding A Ribbon To Space A Thousand Feet Closer © 2010 PhysOrg.com The white dots represent space debris that is currently being tracked by NASA. The dots are not scaled to Earth. Credit: NASA.last_img read more

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Microsoft files patent for interchangeabledevices phone

first_imgLast year, NTT Docomo introduced a Separable Phone as the world’s first handset that separates into two functional units for multitasking. As for Microsoft’s endeavor, “The company clearly sees the potential, though, hence the push for a patent. We won’t hold our breath,” wrote Caleb Cox of Register Hardware.SlashGear posed the question of whether Microsoft was directly working on such a phone or whether it simply sought additional patent clout, as in keeping other firms from making something without paying fees to Microsoft. Motorola fires back against Microsoft in patent dispute © 2011 PhysOrg.com According to the patent, it is desirable to provide a mobile communications device sized for convenience yet allowing the user full functionality of the device. “Modern mobile phones have evolved over recent years to the point where they now possess a broad range of capabilities. They are not only capable of placing and receiving mobile phone calls, multimedia messaging (MMS), and sending and receiving email, they can also access the Internet, are GPS-enabled, possess considerable processing power and large amounts of memory, and are equipped with high-resolution color liquid crystal displays capable of detecting touch input. As such, today’s mobile phones are general purpose computing and telecommunication devices capable of running a multitude of applications. For example, modern mobile phones can run web browser, navigation system, media player and gaming applications,” says the patent application. The patent was filed in March 2010 but published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent was filed by Gregory Jones, Lisa Hanson and Thomas Kleist.Market reactions to the patent news were mixed. Some Microsoft watchers thought the patent concept as described seemed quirky and burdensome. Others thought Microsoft’s idea was impressive and capable of becoming a market success, as a high-end mobile device housing varied accessories that could be swappable according to user moods and needs. One frequent comment, though, has been the reminder that Microsoft is not the first company to have explored the idea of multifunctioning smartphones. Modu attempted a phone module that could be plugged into different jackets. Modu ceased operations earlier this year. Google bought its patents. (PhysOrg.com) — Microsoft has filed for a patent featuring slider smartphones designed to also carry interchangeable modules such as game controller, a spare battery or keyboard. The Microsoft patent is entitled “Mobile communication device having multiple, interchangeable second devices.” The patent describes Microsoft’s handheld mobile communication device with interchangeable parts. The key advantage is that the phone would allow a user to make fuller use of technical capabilities in a single mobile device. center_img Explore further Citation: Microsoft files patent for interchangeable-devices phone (2011, September 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-microsoft-patent-interchangeable-devices.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Microsoft Research does CloudOffloaded GPS

first_img © 2012 Phys.org More information: Research paper (PDF) Citation: Microsoft Research does Cloud-Offloaded GPS (2012, December 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-microsoft-cloud-offloaded-gps.html At the same time, energy constraints at different scales can affect battery life “and thus user experiences in embedded devices, and can be a limiting factor for the growth of IT infrastructure,” he said.How to serve up sensing data and at the same time reduce resource consumption has become a research task for Liu and co-workers. His group conducts fundamental and systems research on sensing and energy-efficient computing. Addressing the GPS battery drain, Microsoft Research is using a concept for location services that involves offloading some of the data and calculations to consume far less power. They have offloaded some of the work to the cloud. Their GPS system collects only a few milliseconds of information from satellites. The information is combined with information from public, online databases to calculate the device’s past locations. “We built an experimental platform using WWVB [the station used by radio-controlled clocks in North America to synchronize themselves] time synchronization and a GPS front end,” according to the team. “On this platform, sensing a GPS location takes more than three orders of magnitude less energy than GPS on mobile phones,” they stated. They moved to offload some of the work to the cloud, naming their platform, CLEO (Cultivating the Long tail in Environmental Observations). “Typical GPS receivers, although widely available, consume too much energy to be useful for many applications. Observing that in many sensing scenarios, the location information can be post-processed when the data is uploaded to a server, we design a Cloud-Offloaded GPS (CO-GPS) solution that allows a sensing device to aggressively duty-cycle its GPS receiver and log just enough raw GPS signal for postprocessing.”They said that by leveraging publicly available information such as GNSS satellite ephemeris and an Earth elevation database, a cloud service can derive good-quality GPS locations from a few milliseconds of raw data.They presented their research in Toronto at the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys). Their paper was titled “Energy Efficient GPS Sensing with Cloud Offloading,” by Jie Liu, Bodhi Priyantha, Ted Hart, Heitor Ramos, Antonio A.F. Loureiro, and Qiang Wang. Their study was awarded Best Paper at the conference.They said the reference platform consists of a GPS receiver (Maxim MAX2769), a microcontroller (TI MCUMSP430F5338), a WWVB receiver module for time synchronization, and a serial flash chip for storage and glue logic. In addition, the platform has a solar cell, a thin-film Micro-Energy cell battery, and a Hi-Jack inspired audio communication port. An 8Mbit flash enables storing up to 1000 GPS sample points. “The goal of the design is to demonstrate the low energy consumption per GPS sample.” Explore further (Phys.org)—GPS reduces battery life in a smartphone or tablet, a problem that has challenged a team led by principal researcher Jie Liu at Microsoft Research. Liu has said in the past that sensing and energy are emerging cross-cutting concerns in computer systems. “The proliferation of embedded and personal devices such as networked sensors and mobile phones gives computer systems increasing capability of gathering data from and adapting to the physical world and personal activities.” Overall results from 6 locations. The shadow is 100m in diameter. Credit: Microsoft Research Low-energy GPS sensing looms large This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Ancient Egyptian codex finally deciphered

first_imgAll Giza Pyramids in one shot. Credit: Ricardo Liberato/Wikipedia Citation: Ancient Egyptian codex finally deciphered (2014, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-ancient-egyptian-codex-deciphered.html More information: A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power, www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProd … d=IS-9782503531700-1via LiveScience (Phys.org) —A pair of Australian researchers, Malcolm Choat with Macquarie University and Iain Gardner with the University of Sydney, has after many decades of effort by others, succeeded in deciphering an ancient Egyptian codex. In meeting with members of the press, they revealed that the codex is actually a handbook of a practitioner of rituals and for that reason have published the converted text as “Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power.” No one knows where the codex was found, but most scholars who have studied it believe it was written by someone in pre-Islamic Upper Egypt approximately 1,300 years ago. An antiques dealer came across it in the late 70’s or early 80’s who subsequently sold it to Macquarie University in 1981. Since that time, various researchers have attempted to read the text but none were successful until now. The 20 parchment pages of text were written in Coptic, the researchers note, and offer 27 spells and multiple invocations and drawings. It appears likely, the team reports, that the two types of subjects meant that they were once separate documents that were later combined in the codex.The researchers found love spells, a means for casting out evil spirits and even ideas on how to treat ailments, such as one known as black jaundice. They also found multiple references to Jesus and Sethians—religious groups that identified with Adam and Eve’s third son, and others that identified with a previously unknown character referred to as Baktiotha—a god-like figure. Because of the mix of subjects in the invocations, the two researchers suggest the document was likely a representative of a transition period for the people of that time. They also suggest that the person who wrote or used the text was likely not a priest or monk (there was a large number of Christians living in the area during that time) but more likely was a scholarly type, using the codex as a means of helping people achieve desires or goals. Some examples, included spells to help a person do better in business, or to help them get along with others. One spell could be used to assist one person in subjugating another. © 2014 Phys.org UCSB scholar’s reading of hieroglyphic verb alters understanding of Mayan ritual texts Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Art and the enchanted

first_imgBinoy Varghese’s work questions his own concern about the marginalized that might be the silent believer in him or the approach towards life that is so emotional, loving and caring. His work reflects  important messages that are taking one and transforming into a certain conditional approach to look at the peoples who are living on the streets as well as the deprived. This soft approach as the artists calls it is a result of his approach to spirituality, his lessons learnt at the church during his childhood and his adoration of Mother Mary. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What has also shaped this approach is his understanding and learning from other philosophies and religions like Osho, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Paramahansa Yogananda. This eventually lead him to adopt an unconditional love towards life and people who are displaced.If art is your thing, head over and take a look at the exhibition in the city mall over the weekend.DETAILWhere: Chawla Art Gallery, District Centre, SaketWhen: 10 April – 10 MayTimings: 11 am – 7pm (Mondays closed)last_img read more

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From origins to antiquity

first_imgStarting around the 4th century in the southern regions of India, especially Kerala. Kalamezuthu is a local art form which includes painting, music, rhythm, dance, drama and magic under its fold.Kalamezhuthu’s ritual art is connected to sacred groves and very old ancestral homesteads in rural Kerala. As a form of worship, it traces its origin to antiquity. As an art form, it is a complex network of kalam, thottam and koothu (drawing, singing and performance) that ends in a finale close to epiphany. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Kalam is dhuli silpa, handcrafted art in 3-dimensional form made of powders from natural plants and done in primary colours. They can be broadly divided into figurative and abstract, which are representational in function. Close to sunset, lighted bell-metal lamps are placed around the kalam with offerings for the deity with tender coconut leaves hanging around the awning. Now, the kalam is a combination of drawing that creates three-dimensional illusion, special lighting and installation. It has a religious aura under night skies of summer days in Kerala. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAfter sunset, consecration starts with thottam – invoking the deity. The myth connected with the special aspect of the deity called upon is the content of the song sung to the accompaniment of native orchestra. Thus, geetham and vadyam are complementary in thottam pattu. The singing style takes us to the roots of later sopana sangeetham exclusive to Kerala. The orchestra consists of percussions and string instruments and is effectively used for inducing trance when needed. Koothu is the performance part, the dramatisation of the myth associated with the deity that is pictured in the kalam. This ritualistic dance is performed by people empowered to represent the deity. As the personification of the deity drawn in the kalam for the ritual, the performer is known as kolam. When kolam takes over the spell begins to build up. Soon the singing, orchestra and dance synchronise to create a heightened frenzy.Major art colleges will be invited to be part this festival with the participation of  senior students. These students would be a part of the festival as observers among the participating traditional artistes from Kerala.When: 8-14 DecemberWhere: Lalit Kala Akademi Regional Centre, Garhilast_img read more

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Blending Boundaries

first_imgOver the years, Kathmandu-based Uma Shankar Shah and Seema Sharma Shah have established themselves as Nepal’s foremost printmakers. Both of them will be exhibiting their recent works in a show titled Sacred Spaces that has been presented by Gallerie Ganesha at the Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam in the capital from 4 to 14 November.49-year-old Uma Shankar hails from Janakpur in Nepal, 48-year-old Seema traces her ancestry back to Lahore where her grandfather served as the family priest to Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s family. During the partition in 1947, her family came to India and settled in Varanasi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It is in this city that both Uma Shankar and Seema pursued studies together and also imbibed the piety of the city which has seeped into their art practice as well. When they married in 1995 and moved to Kathmandu eighteen year. Both are professors of art at Tribhuwan University, Nepal.Their paintings express the subconscious merging of their Indo-Nepalese experience. Both artists source their inspiration from the rich heritage and culture of Nepal and India; in the stories of the Ramayana and in the avatars and pantheon of the Gods. Their prints serve as a documentation of the festivals and jatraswhich breathe life into the cityscape of Kathmandu and Janakpur. ‘In fact, our art practice was quite different before we met each other,’ reveals Uma Shankar, ‘while I used to paint cityscapes and landscapes inspired by the Pagodas of Nepal, Seema was into painting the daily scenes of Indian life. When she came to Kathmandu, she was inspired by the religious pulse of this city. For me, the need to portray peace, and depict the victory of good over evil through the stories of Ramayana happened when Nepal was in turmoil.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe epic Ramayana is the inspiration for Uma Shankar’s new series of work which includes 4 oil paintings and 13 prints. The artist’s work documents the birth of Sita, the garland ceremony and the mighty bow, her trip to Ayodhya, her subsequent exile into the forest with Lord Rama, her abduction, the search launched for her and the ensuing battle in which the demon Ravana is defeated. As the artist hails from Janakpur, his narrative and imagery are deeply rooted in Mithila tradition and folklore.  In 2006, Uma Shankar exhibited his series Shanti Yagna – as a response to the bloodshed in the country. Once again, the artist uses the imagery of the prayer wheel to make an appeal for peace. The iconic Tibetan prayer wheel, is reworked with Mithila folk characters to portray a tragic reality – the land where the Buddha was born is in a state of unrest.Seema’s new series including 15 prints encompasses deities from the Hindu and Buddhist pantheon. Seema is adept at creating a landscape in which, a pantheon of heavenly beings, are surreptitiously caught in a mysterious twilight zone. The recurring symbol of an open doorway allows you to enter and depart from these surreal dreamscapes. In this series, Seema takes heed of the fact that Nepal has been regarded as a great tantric shakti staal or power centre, where the cult of the Goddess has led to the worship of her many manifestations – from Virgin Goddess to the wrathful Kali.last_img read more

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Haringhata Meat wins customers expectations

first_imgKolkata: At a time when the row over carcass meat has led people to cut back on red meat while dining at hotels and restaurants across the state, the outlets of Haringhata Meat have been an exception. The sale of meat has not suffered at all, claims a senior official of West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation (WBLDC) on Tuesday, which sells meat under the Haringhata brand.”This is a clear indication that people of the state have complete faith regarding the quality of meat that we sell from our outlets. There is a sale of 1.5 tonne meat on a daily basis from our outlets which amounts to nearly Rs 3.7 lakh. Even after a fortnight of the carcass row, our daily sales have remained the same,” said Gouri Shankar Konar, Managing director of WBLDC. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that Haringhata Meat has a total of 240 outlets in the state including 37 in North Bengal. Out of 240 outlets, there are 13 in the city that is directly run by its own staff while the rest are run by franchisees. “In the last week of April, there have been a lot of calls on our toll free number regarding our source of the processed meat of animals like chicken, goat, lamb, port and turkey among others whose meat is sold by us. We answered all the queries and informed the callers about our state of the art processing plant at Haringhata in Nadia. People visiting our outlets have also enquired about the same. We have made arrangements for display of the procurement and sales of our meat at all our direct outlets in the city,” a senior official of WBLDC said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to the official, the stores run by the franchisees had witnessed a dip of 5 percent sales in the last week of April. However, the deficit in sales was adjusted by the rise in sales at the direct units in the city. “However, since the beginning of May, sales at all the outlets have become normal,” he added.Apart from raw meat in packets and ready to cook items of chicken, tropical meat like lean pork, fresh pork, dressed Pekin duck, dressed turkey meat, dressed quail, are very much in demand.last_img read more

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Neighbour rapes thrashes teenage girl in Faridabad

first_imgA 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped and thrashed by her neighbour at SGM Nagar, police said, on Saturday.In a complaint filed on Friday, the girl said that while she was asleep in her room on February 13, the accused, Ashok, entered her room and locked the door from inside. The girl woke up due to the noise and the accused raped her.She then threatened him of complaining to her parents however, the accused asked her to keep quiet and promised to marry her. Later, he called the girl in a park and beat her black and blue, the complaint said.last_img

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Missing fishermen total 9 bodies found

first_imgKolkata: With the recovery of another body today, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has recovered the bodies of nine of the 19 fishermen who went missing on Monday after their trawlers capsized in the Bay of Bengal, a top ICG official said. “Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, hovercraft and ship Sujay are continuing the search for the 10 others who are not accounted for yet,” ICG Inspector General (North East region) K S Sheoran said. The search area has been extended, he said adding that one more Dornier from Bhubaeswar has also been engaged in the search operation. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “Despite challenging weather condition due to the formation of a low pressure area in north-west Bay of Bengal, all out efforts will be made by the Coast Guard to continue search for the remaining 10 fishermen,” Sheoran said. The ICG official said the ICG station at Frazerganj is maintaining close liasion with West Bengal government’s Department of Fisheries, fisheries associations and families of the missing persons. While six bodies were recovered yesterday, two were found on Wednesday. The bodies were found from an area in the sea, about 35 nautical miles from Dalhousie island of West Bengal. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The fishermen had ventured into the sea from Frazerganj in South 24 Parganas district. Fishing trawler FB Joykishan had capsized amid an extremely rough sea condition and inclement weather on Monday, following which the search-and-rescue operation was launched by the Coast Guard. Six to seven trawlers carrying men from the Namkhana and Kakdwip areas of South 24 Parganas had set sail around 10 am on Monday, Bijan Maity, Secretary, West Bengal United Fishermen Association, said. Three of the boats — FB Malleshwar, FB Joykishan and FB Maa Shibani — capsized in the sea. Ten fishermen on board FB Joykishan, six on board FB Malleshwar and three more, who were on other trawlers, had gone missing, Maity said. All the 17 fishermen of FB Maa Shibani, six of FB Joykishan and five of FB Malleshwar were rescued, he added.last_img read more

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