Satellites monitor Mount Etna's unpredictable behavior

Italy's Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, has recently been on explosive form, with 17 eruptions in less than three months. Instruments onboard three different satellites orbiting Earth have acquired imagery of the ...

New microchip devices produce a wide range of laser hues

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland have developed a microchip technology that can convert invisible near-infrared laser light into any one of a panoply ...

Melting a satellite, a piece at a time

Researchers took one of the densest parts of an Earth-orbiting satellite, placed it in a plasma wind tunnel then proceeded to melt it into vapour. Their goal was to better understand how satellites burn up during reentry, ...

Video: The making of the largest 3-D map of the universe

DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, will mobilize 5,000 swiveling robots – each one pointing a thin strand of fiber-optic cable – to gather the light from about 35 million galaxies.

Image: 3-D-printed satellite imager design

Weirdly organic in appearance, this prototype is the first outcome of an ESA project to develop, manufacture and demonstrate an optical instrument for space with 3D printing.

OPALS boosts space-to-ground optical communications research

Ever wonder why stars seem to twinkle? This effect is caused by variations in the density of our atmosphere that cause blurring in light coming from space. It's pretty for stargazing, but a challenge for space-to-ground communications.

Instrument housing produced with 3-D printed mould

3D printing offers engineers various ways to construct hardware that simply could not be built in any other manner – such as this single-piece casing to house an optical instrument for Earth observations.

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