Posts Tagged ‘Visualization’

Whats on Telly Dear?

That’s just what we translated for you folks to read. It really was transmitted out and caught on our alien radar as Picture 2

Its fun-da-mentally friday at Mission Control today and we are taking a few minutes to wonder if you were an alien watching on Earth, what sort of things would you receive via television. Now EVERYONE (ok, clarification: everyone as big a fan of Futurama as I am) knows that this have significant impacts on the human race as portrayed in Season 2, Episode 3; where a premature ending to a television series called Single Female Lawyer causes great wrath on the part of Alien Overlords of Omicron Persei i 8  who launch an invasion fleet to destroy Earth a 1000 years later!

Doomsday talk aside, its a really interesting question – what are the waves conveying. We know that the Search for Extra Terrestrial Life (SETI) brainchild of The Carl Sagan, and if you are a SETI@Home User, you know you are always on the lookout for what it would be like when E.T calls! But what if, E. T is so busy listening to the transmissions from us and watching our television programs, before sending us that message – you know, like you google someone before you email them or facebook them for the first time? Now theres a fun question, with the elements of romanticism of talking to outer space as well as a reflection on what engages us. Back to the obvious question we started with: What is ET watching if they are watching our television? Abstruse Goose, who we think is one of the best webcomics around (Salutes to you sir!) did this interpretation of how we visualize  most watched tv programs and commercials.

electromagnetic_leak

Well, but we do know that ET is probably not only receiving television programs through our trasmitted frequencies! Some readers have already been let into the secret that we are investing some blood sweat and a lot of clicks recently in our new website design, but are still quite fond of the 8.19 sec Spectral signature of the visible wavelengths we receive from the Sun used as the backdrop to our Big On Good current website. We did take a deeper look at how do we visualize and utilise the full electromagnetic sprectrum this week and we didn’t have to look too far: The atlas of electromagnetic spectrum is a fantastic dynamic representation of how the spectrum works in scientific terms, how is it regulated, and what is exactly its relationship with common technologies present in everyday life like Radio, TV, WiFi, Mobile Telephony, and many others. The main attractiveness of the Atlas is its ‘projects’ view – which in combination of its services view (things that you will recognise as uses of the spectrum in daily activities) highlights unique interpretations and new initiatives from artists, ham radio operators, hackers, etc and how social technology services are emerging. Here’s one of our favourites – Your Own Internet Island by Techkwondo as a screenshot. We hope you tell us over the weekend whats your favourite here!

 

Project view in Atlas of Electromagnetic Spectrum

Project view in Atlas of Electromagnetic Spectrum

For now, we will leave you with this. Thank you to Futurama Decoder for translations to our Alien Radar!

Advertisements

Space Debris: How do we safeguard our future?

Iridium-Cosmos Debris cloud as it would be on July 10
Iridium-Cosmos Debris cloud as it would be on July 10

Satellite Collision simulation

 

The first accidental hypervelocity collision of two intact spacecrafts occurred on 10 February 2009 when Iridium 33, a US Operational communication satellite and Cosmos 2251, a Russian decommissioned communications satellite collided at 1656 GMT as they passed over northern Siberia at an altitude of 790 km leaving two distinct debris clouds in much of the Low Earth Orbit which are now dispersing and pose danger of future collisions.

The present incidence has generated a lot of concern in the space community (We were at the United Nations Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space recently) especially as the Iridium constellation is in a region of high spatial density and the Iridium constellation has 70 satellites in the operational altitude regime – at even the current situation, there are approximately 3,300 additional catalogued objects that whiz through the Iridium constellation’s altitude each day.

The effects of such debris clouds after collision would pose a significant risk to the access to space both in the short-term and long-term. Although tracking results from the Iridium Cosmos incident show that the debris created is short lived (and would re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere within the next 5-10 years depending on solar activity), incidents such as this could potentially lead to an “ablation cascade” where future collisions would create further and more energetic space debris objects that may be extremely dangerous for human space flights. The figure above depicts the predicted evolution of the Iridium and Cosmos debris planes by July 10 (six months after the collision)! 

Photo Credit with thanks: NASA, Orbital Debris Program Office