Space Products & Innovation
Retail, Finance, and Corporate Services
In October 2010, Toray Industries, a Japanese textile company, and J-Space, a company licensed to market JAXA technologies, announced plans to develop sportswear out of material originally designed for use in astronaut clothing.
In-flight broadband internet, a concept brought to market over the past decade with limited initial success, is beginning to show promise. Using upgraded technologies including satellite solutions, the company Row 44 provides internet access, voice services, cellular roaming, and live television to specially-equipped aircraft.
A new system developed by Flyby, an applied research company in Italy, uses information from weather satellites to estimate the power-generation potential of sites for proposed solar-cell power plants and to monitor the performance of established solar power plants.
Mining operations are often conducted in remote locations, making it difficult for corporations to monitor activity from a central facility. Mining equipment can break down unexpectedly, causing downtime that cuts into revenue.
DigitalGlobe, a high-resolution satellite imagery provider, and The AEgis Technologies Group, a modeling and simulation services company, partnered in early 2009 to develop a rapid 3D imagery development system.
IPIX is a new technology developed for NASA using 3-D “immersive” photography and video to allow a user to view a photographed environment with the same spatial awareness that they would experience in person. Originally intended to guide space robots, the technology is finding applications of benefit to a number of commercial enterprises.
Maintaining business continuity during and after natural or man-made disasters continues to evolve as a well-established satellite network application. Following hurricanes Gustav and Ike in September 2008, ViaSat quickly repaired or installed ground-based satellite terminals.
A new in-flight Internet provider, Row 44, which utilizes Hughes’ satellite network, will begin deploying service to North America commercially in 2009. Southwest and Alaska airlines are Row 44’s current customers.
Some of the key advances in satellite services technology are in ground equipment, particularly modems and routers. One of the leaders in this sector, Hughes Network Systems, in 2008 released an advanced networking device that can optimize corporate network bandwidth and reduce hardware complexity.