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Comment the tide is changing (Score 1) 73

Most satellites are still simple "bent-pipe" kind, send data up in one frequency, translate, send it down in another frequency.

Boeing SDC (formerly Hughes Space and Comm) was (and probably still is) the leading company in DSP payloads and only one with the expertise to space qualify an IBM ASIC, but they have a broken business model and a hard time selling it to their customers. That and they have a very out-dated bus led to market deterioration over the years.

That aside, bigger satellites are just like bigger processors: it will become prohibitively expensive to develop and produce at some point. DARPA has been funding research in microsats with absolutely no redundancy and minimal radiation shielding, so you can build a Beowulf cluster with graceful degradation and a giant transmission relay (like TDRSS)

Comment Re:This is like the Millenium Bug (Score 2, Interesting) 210

I was first hearing warnings about this years ago.

Hmm... years ago, Boeing wasn't 3 years behind on launch schedule, and we wouldn't have this issue. If the AirForce had known 3 years ago, they would've exercised some option to build more IIMR builds. Boeing kept on pushing the launch date back, 3 months at a time, and here we are.

Comment Re:How much is actually going to be lost? (Score 5, Informative) 210

solar event will cause transient events that will recover in a few seconds.

GPS2F was awarded in the early 90s with a launch date of more than 10 years out. This caused parts issues that significantly magnified design issues. Without going into company secrets, let's just say that bean-counters and engineers fought long and hard. I wonder why Boeing lost GPS3...

If LockMart can't deliver as promised, Airforce can always buy more IIF. After 12-or-so builds currently on contract by Boeing, you figure even the incompetent can get their bugs worked out by then (sans part issues)

Editorial

Submission + - How to get the police to reopen an investigation (mayzhou.com)

evangellydonut writes: January 15th, the body of an MIT BSEE, Stanford Ph.D. candidate, May Zhou, was found in the truck of her car by Santa Rosa police. Officials declared it a suicide but all her friends and family did not believe this finding. After 4 months, the family had the second autopsy performed, which showed "multiple sites of trauma discovered on the body, such as about the head and extremities." Santa Rosa police refuse to review the evidence and reopen the case, so now the family has to pay for lawyers and P.I.s to look into the case. Is there some way to force the police to reopen the case? Is there action that can be taken against the city of Santa Rosa for criminal negligence?

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