El Segundo, Calif. (UPI) Mar 31, 2011
The first black box flight recorder designed to endure a re-entry from space survived a fiery return from low Earth orbit, its manufacturer said.
Dubbed a re-entry breakup recorder, the heatproof device transmitted key data about its condition via satellite as it descended toward the Pacific Ocean between Chile and New Zealand Wednesday, NewScientist.com reported.
The recorder, built by The Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, Calif., had been inside the re-entering HTV2 unmanned Japanese Space Agency cargo spacecraft, which left the International Space Station last week and was jettisoned as the HTV2 disintegrated.
The 2.2-pound, 12-inch diameter recorder is designed to be placed somewhere in a spacecraft where it will easily break away in the heat and turbulence of re-entry.
It is not designed to be recovered, its designers say, but rather stabilizes itself in the atmosphere and beams sensor data to a communications satellite network, which can relay the information to mission controllers.
Even though it's not meant to be recovered, the recorder tested this week managed to survive impact with the ocean surface and continued to transmit data for several hours, Bill Ailor of The Aerospace Corporation said. The data will be analyzed during the next six to eight weeks, he says.
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MSUA Honors KVH For Innovation In Satellite Communication
Middletown RI (SPX) Mar 31, 2011
In 2007, KVH Industries unveiled a revolutionary approach to satellite communications with the introduction of its mini-VSAT Broadband SM network and compact TracPhone V7 hardware. This breakthrough and the network's global expansion were honored recently as the Mobile Satellite Users Association presented KVH the 2011 MSUA Innovation Award. The honor was presented by MSUA president Tim Fa ... read more
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