Satellite-enabled remote telemedicine can also be valuable for passengers on an airplane who may require emergency medical attention. In September 2010, Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, installed the Tempus IC telemedicine system.
Advanced telemedicine, or remote medical care, has improved due to space-related research in electronic sensors and navigation technology. One example is the development of a wrist monitor that, over time, calculates a person’s pattern of biological readings, such as body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and other basic measurements.
A new space-related product on the market with application in physical training is the smart e-shirt and the related TrainGrid technology. This product can measure and transmit key health data more accurately and more comfortably than current monitoring devices.
Dentists will soon be able to use a new dental instrument: a tiny, high-resolution X-ray camera that is thinner and smaller than current X-ray machines, minimizing patient discomfort. This tiny X-ray camera was built by a Swedish company, Nanospace, drawing on the same techniques that are used to build micro-propulsion systems for satellites.
Military users of a mobile satellite communications system are benefiting from an efficient, fault-tolerant communications coding method used in ESA’s Rosetta mission. In July 2010, while on a journey to rendezvous with a comet in 2014, the Rosetta spacecraft visited the asteroid Lutetia.
Another security application of space technology is the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which tracks ships at sea. This system, which employs satellite communication links, reports vessel identification, position, course, and speed.
The U.N. is also using GIS to help resolve disputes over the location of international boundaries. The U.N. Cartographic Section is developing the U.N. International Boundary Information System (UNIBIS), a worldwide geographic database of international boundaries.
As of the end of 2010, 13 U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world use systems that integrate location information with satellite imagery, referred to as geographic information systems (GIS), as part of daily operations.
Satellite communications and GPS have fostered the proliferation and rapid enhancement of one increasingly vital military technology, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Satellites relay communications from the UAV back to its home base, which can be located on the other side of the planet.
The technology used to produce the telescope mirrors for ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory is being extended to the production of smaller, faster, and cheaper computer microchips. An Italian company, Media Lario Technologies, has developed technology that uses extreme ultraviolet rays to create semiconductor circuits that operate 100 times faster.