ENTERTAINMENT

Shoebox-sized satellites built in the UK have launched into space


Four shoe box-sized satellites were successfully launched into space to monitor ship movements from near-earth orbit.

The satellites were all built in Scotland by global data and analytics company Spire with £ 6 million government funding.

They were successfully transported into space on a Soyuz launcher from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia at 12.25 p.m. UK time, the British space agency confirmed to MailOnline.

Two of the nanosatellites have built-in supercomputers with machine learning algorithms that can provide "hyper-accurate predictions" of the locations of boats.

The other two are used to establish connections between satellites, the British space agency MailOnline said.

Once in low-earth orbit, they will be part of a constellation of more than 100 satellites that will be used to calculate the arrival times of boats in ports and to help businesses and authorities manage busy docks.

Scroll down for video

Spire Nanosat with supercomputer under construction. The integrated supercomputer with machine learning algorithms that provide predictions about the locations of boats

"Satellites are getting smaller and more ambitious," said Science Secretary Amanda Solloway.

“A satellite the size of a shoebox might sound like a gimmick, but these nanosatellites are driving a revolution in the observation of planet earth – each with the power and intelligence of a regular satellite.

"The government is making sure the UK stays at the forefront of this revolution and the Spire nanosatellites we support will help us in that."

The devices are designed, built, tested, integrated and assembled by Spire Global employees at the company's headquarters in Glasgow.

Spire has received part of a £ 6 million fund from the UK Space Agency to build the four nanosatellites, which will also support other companies like Spire.

All four nanosatellites are part of the same constellation, confirmed the British space agency.

The second two essentially help tie the constellation together, but the purpose of the overall constellation is to monitor shipping.

The two satellites that No built-in supercomputers are used to create stronger links between satellites in the constellation.

"These connections allow satellites to act as relays and send data to each other and to ground stations, reducing the time between data collection and delivery," said the UK space agency.

Together, they will join a fleet of more than 100 objects in low-earth orbit that work together to track the whereabouts of ships and predict global maritime traffic.

The nanosatellites, which have received more than £ 6 million in funding from the UK Space Agency, will join more than 100 other space objects supporting sea trade. The nanosatellite is shown with a supercomputer

The nanosatellites, which have received more than £ 6 million in funding from the UK Space Agency, will join more than 100 other space objects supporting sea trade. The nanosatellite is shown with a supercomputer

Spire Global is a data and analytics company that identifies, tracks, and predicts the movement of the world's resources and weather systems by "listening" to the planet in real time and applying machine learning to understand what will happen in the future

Spire Global is a data and analytics company that identifies, tracks, and predicts the movement of the world's resources and weather systems by "listening" to the planet in real time and applying machine learning to understand what will happen in the future

Although the nanosatellites are the size of a shoebox and weigh no more than normal hand luggage, they have all the functionality of a conventional satellite.

Graham Turnock, executive director of the UK space agency, said nanosatellites are extremely powerful of what they can more than a teraflop of computing power.

"These four Spire satellites aim to make hyper-accurate trading of technology that will make business more cost-effective and efficient," said Turnock.

Artist's impression of the spacecraft that will join a fleet of 100+ objects in low-earth orbit that work together to track the whereabouts of ships and predict global maritime traffic

Artist's impression of the spacecraft that will join a fleet of 100+ objects in low-earth orbit that work together to track the whereabouts of ships and predict global maritime traffic

& # 39; Scotland's aerospace sector is booming. Our membership in ESA benefits businesses across the UK and we are committed to supporting the space economy in each region. & # 39;

Spire Global UK is a satellite-based data company that provides predictive analytics for global shipping, aviation and weather forecasting.

Peter Platzer, managing director and co-founder of Spire Global, said their goal is to help companies and organizations predict next steps and make better decisions.

"This month we're moving that forward by putting a real supercomputer in orbit – 1 to 2 teraflops – so we can analyze data right in orbit using smart algorithms and machine learning," said Platzer.

Spire Global UK is a satellite-based data company that provides predictive analysis of global shipping, aviation and weather forecasting

Spire Global UK is a satellite-based data company that provides predictive analysis of global shipping, aviation and weather forecasting

"In this way, we can provide our customers with better, smarter and faster analysis for their business decisions."

The services were developed as part of a European Space Agency (ESA) pioneering program, which is a partnership project co-funded by the UK Space Agency.

Elodie Viau, director of telecommunications and integrated applications at ESA, said this is a prime example of the benefits of the Pioneer program.

Artist's impression of a British spaceport. The UK space agency selected the first vertical launch site in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland in 2018, which could be ready next year

Artist's impression of a British spaceport. The UK space agency selected the first vertical launch site in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland in 2018, which could be ready next year

Meanwhile, the government is also supporting the development of spaceports across the country that will allow satellites to be launched from British soil for the first time in the coming years.

It is to be hoped that future nanosatellites can be launched from Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland as early as next year. Further locations are planned for Cornwall, Glasgow Prestwick and Snowdonia.

Horizontal launch sites have potential for a future UK space market that could attract companies from around the world to invest in the UK.

The UK's first space will support 12 orbital launches per year

The UK space agency has selected Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland as the site for Great Britain's first spaceport.

The website is being developed by the US aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin.

It will launch satellites and rockets into space as early as 2021.

The port will fuel Scotland's already thriving satellite industry.

Outside the US, Scotland produces more satellites than any other country.

It is hoped that the UK will launch an estimated 2,000 satellites by 2030.

The Sutherland project is under pressure from similar offers in Scandinavia.

The first Northern European site to offer commercial launches is set to hold a billion dollar stake in the global space industry.

(tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) sciencetech