Satellite navigation also is being used to replace current highway toll systems and create a more intelligent transportation system that would enable the assessment of fees based on road use and other factors relevant to traffic and infrastructure management.
Boeing announced in October 2010 the introduction of a new subscription-based service, derived from a NASA software platform, to increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and reduce flight times. This service, known as Direct-To, is scheduled for availability in early 2011.
Satellite technology is being used to improve the efficiency, safety, security, and environmental impact of air travel. In the United States, the Next Generation Air Transportation System, better known as NextGen, is being developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and industry partners.
Technology designed to ensure proper operation of rovers exploring Mars is helping improve manufacturing on Earth. When deploying a vehicle to explore space and other planets, it is critical that bolts are properly tightened to ensure reliable operation.
Using systems and technologies developed for the Hubble telescope and the Columbus laboratory module of the ISS, Kentec, an Italian company, designed a machine vision system that improves the reliability of glass manufacturing operations.
A new laser technology, designed to create precise lenses and mirrors for space telescopes, is able to inscribe numbers inside glass without damaging it. The laser operates in a manner similar to lasers used in laser eye correction, by beaming energy through the surface of the glass to make changes within.
Location-based imagery data increasingly provides business and market intelligence to companies. This service combines satellite-based location data with geographic information systems. Satellite surveillance technology is now also being used in the financial sector.
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.
Technology designed to detect life on Mars has been developed into a portable device that can detect explosives and chemical agents. The technology is based on ion mobility spectrometry (IMS), a fast and sensitive method for separating and identifying gaseous molecules.
Satellite GPS tracking data is helping to recover stolen automobiles and increase employee accountability. General Motors has installed a Stolen Vehicle Slowdown capability in 1.7 million of its new vehicles since the service’s creation in 2007.