Microwave Amplifier: Highly-Sensitive Tracking Nose in Space

Microwave Amplifier: Highly-Sensitive Tracking Nose in Space

ESA Introducing Updated Weather Satellites with Microwave Amplifier

European Space Agency – ESA,  in the forthcoming years would be introducing a sequences of updated weather satellites which would be capable of measuring significant atmospheric data like precipitation, temperature or water vapour much better than done earlier. The core of these evaluating devices comprise of very sensitive Microwave Amplifier which have been invented for Applied Solid State Physics IAF at the Fraunhofer Institute  that can see even the most weak signals from the atmosphere  which are essential for a precise weather forecast.

There seems to be a joke among meteorologists that the weather of the next day can be forecasted safely, while presuming that it would be the same as the current day.  The mutual belief is that in several cases it could be true. Evidently, presently meteorologists no longer depend on this.  In the case of weather predictions, they tend to depend on computer simulations that are fed with thousands of fragments of measurement data.

For some years these types of data had been supplied by satellites which tend to utilise sensitive sensors for evaluating the temperature or the precipitation on the earth.  If the sensors are better the measured values tends to be precise and so the weather predictions.

Meteorological Operational Satellites

Hence, European Space Agency in the next two years will be introducing the second generation of its MetOp weather satellite, Meteorological Operational Satellites, which are six in all and are equipped with state-of-the-art measurement machinery.  A sum of 1.4 billion EUR has been assigned for the erection of the second generation MetOp satellites, excluding the launch and operation.


Together with the satellites, small though very fine technological modules of highly precise amplifiers which tend to absorb microwave radiation from the Frauhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg would also be introduced. This radiation is released from each object, each surface identical to how a body tends to radiate heat that can be viewed in the infrared image.


Moreover the microwave amplifiers are adjusted to microwave frequencies since they seem to provide significant meteorological statistics, they capture microwaves released by water vapour, fog, rain or ice crystals especially also from the ice crystals high up in the atmosphere  in the cirrus clouds, which are presumed to have a major effect on the climate as well as the weather.

Microwave Amplifier Proved Perfect

Due to the microwave radiation, there is a possibility of reaching accurate conclusions regarding the ground temperature. Signals received by the microwave antennas of the satellites seem to be very weak but they are only a few nanowatts strong.  To be capable of measuring these microwave signals with some reliability it is essential of amplifiers.

Microwave Amplifiers from Fraunhofer IAF have been proved to be perfect. Dr Michael Schlechtweg heading the High Frequency Electronic business unit at the Fraunhofer IAF has commented that `the core of these amplifiers is a transistor from the semiconductor material indium gallium arsenide.  A characteristic of this material is that it is traversed very easily by electrons even if the electric field that drives the electrons is very small. Consequently the electrons in the transistor are set in motion already by the weak microwave signals making the transistor very sensitive.

Due to the microwave circuits established by the Fraunhofer, the satellite MetOp is capable of determining the temperature, type of precipitation, water vapour more accurately in the future. According to ESA Project Manager Ville Kangas, microwave amplifiers tends to enhance the reliability of the weather prediction.  But transistors of the conventional semiconductor silicon material could be quite insensitive. Indium gallium arsenide only is not what makes the amplifier so sensitive.  Their small sizes have made their contribution to this.  The electrodes of the transistors are only 50 to 35 nanometers long. They are measurable only with tiny electron currents or signals.

Five Frequency Bands of Microwave Amplifier

Michael Schlechtweg has explained that `this extreme sensitivity and small size of microwave amplifiers are due to 25 years of research.  During that time, they had developed a highly precise manufacturing process wherein the microwave amplifiers circuits were built in 150 production stages.


The electrodes were formed with an electron beam and only a few companies all over the world were able to do this with some amount of accuracy. The amplifiers on the MetOp satellite are utilised in three diverse microwave instruments that are said to measure various things lie precipitation, ice crystals, water vapour or the temperature.  Experts working for this purpose with Schlechtweg had to produce various sensors, wherein each had to be regulated to the equivalent microwave frequency.

In actual terms, it is said that there are five frequency bands between 54 and 243 gigahertz.  As explained by Schlechtweg a value of 243 gigahertz is a substantial value as, higher the frequency, more powerful the amplifier needs to be.  The components of the Fraunhofer IAF are said to be powerful and they have impressed the ESA and recently a US company have made enquiries regarding them.  Hence there is a possibility that the microwave amplifiers from the IAF would be introduced on board US satellites.

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Omnicopter Plays Catch with a Human with Pinpoint Accuracy

Omnicopter plays catch with a human with pinpoint accuracy

Human beings are omnipresent, so why not a helping hand too? Presenting the mighty omnicopter! Imagine playing catch with a drone? Difficult? Not anymore! This device is not only user friendly, it has huge potential in the developing industries over the world.

The omnicopter is a device that works on similar principles of a drone except that it does not go up or down. Hence it can fly over a wider radius in any direction. It follows airborne objects with accuracy like never seen before.

The construction of Omnicopter:

The device is built with eight motors, pointing in eight different directions, as a result widening the radius of its action. Perhaps one of its most relevant feature is the precision with which it functions. It can measure distances rapidly and follow its function. With its capacity to calculate 500,000 trajectories each second, the precision becomes clearer. At a particular time, the trajectories help the device to guide from a starting state to its final destination. It is like a mathematical competition in itself, reactions and algorithms measure the distance and the trajectory to reach the goal. The algorithms become the basis of selection of the trajectories and its path.

The omnicopter has an external camera, which helps in finding the position of an object. The camera helps in tracing the distance covered by the object and find the correct trajectory with extreme precision. Hence, the trajectories are important.


Drones like Quadrocopters consist of motors in only one plain, restricting its path of travel. This is the advantage of omnicopters over them, they travel in multiple directions. A quadrocopter will be unsuccessful in finding a random object thrown out of its path of trajectory, but the omnicopter can.

After obtaining the object, the Omnicopter device drops it in a direction, where the human can easily catch it. Simplifying jobs yet again!

The application of this Omnicopter is vast. According to researchers, the Omnicopter can travel to areas which cannot be commuted to, hence help in delivering important objects of relevance. That would mean , delivery into areas which require help from another individual, remote lands as well as hi-tech labs. Imagine a situation where you are eagerly waiting for your friend to play catch wit, but your friend cancels on you because of prior appointments. Would you go to bed disappointed, or would you want another companion to play with? There comes this legendary device, the drone will measure the trajectories of the catch ball with way more precision than your friend, something he could never beat.

The Omnicopter will develop more with time, probably one day becoming a device of security in national and international projects. Right now, it is a device of interest in various fields of research studies.

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Google I/O 2017  Annual Developer Festival Held

Google I/O 2017  Annual Developer Festival Held

Google I/O 2017: This  Google’s developer conference ended with 101 announcements

The Google I/O is a yearly developer conference from Google. Since 2008, people from all over the world have been traveling to San Francisco to attend the company’s product presentations and announcements from the Mountain View and listen to lectures from Google employees. The topic spectrum is always broadly diversified and is addressed explicitly to a technically savvy specialist audience. In the past, the event featured Android OS, Google Glass, Android Wear and Hangouts.

Google I/O _1

In the last three days everything was under the sign of the developer conference Google I/O and they heard many announcements there. Now the Google I/O developer conference is over and Google itself draws a conclusion from the event and has published an overview, in which all announcements are listed. In fact, during these three days, 101 announcements were made, some of which are already available.

As every year, Google’s developers save a series of announcements for the big show stage, which are then announced directly on the Google I/O – and best still on the keynote. There were fewer announcements this year than in the previous years, but this may be due to the fact that the developers only had improvements in their favored, but did not present or launch a single new product in Google I/O conference.

An overview of the most important innovations happened thro’ Google I/O:

Google Lens – new start with the picture search

Google’s CEO was very much excited to introduce the Google Lens in Google I/O conference. Google has already made several attempts to transform the visual search into the mainstream; Veterans of the Android early times may remember the Google image recognition app. “Google Lens”, which is integrated into the “GoogleAssistant” software and this boomed into a new start.

Google Lens” recognizes, for example, objects in the search field of the mobile phone camera and proposes actions or steps itself to act. Anyone who photographed a flower does not only display the name of the species, but can also be taken to the florist nearby. Scanning the WiFi code at the bottom of the router ensures that the smartphone logs in at the same time. In addition, photos with the Google lens will “blur” blurred motifs even better “and soon even auto-retouch photo obstacles away – instead of the smartphone camera puts the software in the center.

Google I/O _4

The “Virtual Positioning System” (VPS), a combination of the Augmented reality platform “Tango” and Google Maps, shows how far Google’s trained image recognition is. VPS is intended to allow navigation in closed rooms by scanning the objects there and matching them with a database. For example, consumers can find certain products in supermarkets easier when they look at their smartphone while walking.

The trend towards smart lenses is followed by the whole industry, among other things Facebook wants to use the camera more strongly for the identification, the change of pictures and the superimposing of digital objects.

Android O – small changes planned

Another innovative announcement in Google I/O conference is Android O. Initially available in the beta version, accessible from the summer, but still without nicknames: “Android O” is the latest version of the smartphone operating system currently equipped with two billion active devices.

The changes that Google is presenting are, above all, details that are meant to make everyday life easier. For example, a picture-in-picture function allows you to make notes or scroll through the calendar in video chat. Android O also allows the automatic completion of passwords for apps other than Google. The notifications in apps receive small speech bubbles, so that a constant call will no longer be necessary.

In the Play Store, Google promises more security, with batteries more runtime and with the light version “Android Go” an optimization for low-budget smartphones (memory of 512 megabytes / one gigabyte). As always, such promises can only be answered as soon as the “O” update is available. And here many users are still dependent on the schedule of manufacturers or providers.

Google Assistant

According to CEO Sundar Pichai declared in Google I/O Conference, is the organization and operating software Google Assistant currently has 100 million users. To make it more, more languages will be released in the coming months. In addition, the app is now available for Apple’s iOS devices. The opening of the wizard for developers is intended to enable the control of further devices and programs. The command center in the smartphone and voice control era is a major goal of companies such as Microsoft (Cortana), Apple (Siri) or Amazon (Alexa). To simplify operation in noisy environments, however, you can also use typed commands in Google Assistant.

Google Home sends visual answers

Googles command-receiving loudspeaker Home is also a fantabulous annoucement in Google I/O. The competitor of Amazons Echo, is to be launched in this summer. Exact details on prices are not yet available, in the US, the device supposed to costs around 130 US dollars. Functional updates are provided with a telephone function (“call mama on”), the integration of Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud as well as the display of visual answers if a screen is nearby – think of it A calendar or Google Maps.

The virtual reality software Daydream will run on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and on the next premium smartphones from LG. Own data glasses are to be produced together with partners.

As always, the innovations cover Google’s money, especially on the search for text, and thus remains the golden goose of the parent company’s alphabet. In the past quarter, Alphabet reported $ 5.43 billion in profits, while growth rates were in profit as well as sales at more than 20 percent.

This growth is probably due to the fact that the company has greatly expanded the number of ads in mobile search results. A success of the visual search on smartphones could create more opportunities for advertising ads

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Virtual Reality Typing Lights up Ideas and Keyboards

Virtual Reality Typing Lights up Ideas and Keyboards

Computer scientists from the Michigan Technological University have presented a new research that studies the different ways one could type into a virtual reality space also called as VR. They conducted a presentation at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems and stated that while texting has become an integral part of our digital lives, it is an area of research that has surprisingly less emphasis in the development of Virtual Reality.

Scott Kuhl, who is an associate professor of computer science at Michigan Tech, stated that many people are purchasing head-mounted displays for mostly video games and they are trying to figure out how the head-mounted displays can be used in an office for writing or editing a document or emailing someone.

These ordinary tasks are not yet ideal in Virtual Reality, but by making the user wear a headset that resembles a sleeping mask that’s oversized, Virtual Reality can transport the user in a surreal place which can be anywhere in the world. The trick lies in creating a balance between visuals on the head-mounted display and what can be touched physically by the person. Both the aspects are required for the purpose of typing.

Head-Mounted Display

Also researching with Kuhl was James Walker, a computer science lecturer, for the purpose of his dissertation. He said that the challenge lied in the fact that the user needed to see what they were typing and that was difficult with a headset mounted over the eyes.

So as a solution to this he developed a light-up virtual keyboard that was synced with a physical keyboard.This keyboard helps the Virtual Reality user to see what keys are typed in the head-mounted display while using the physical keyboard at the same time.Mid-air virtual keyboards or overlaying of real-world video into the Virtual Reality display are the two methods on which other Virtual Reality typing systems depend on.

However, both require additional equipments such as tracking cameras, which are prone to errors and are invasive. The quality of texting also declines with the availability of only virtual keyboards. Walker says that his solution is significant as it allows people to continue using the physical aspects to interact which makes way for better performance. Also, it doesn’t need additional hardware or an arrangement where a video feed is superimposed into the virtual environment.

Autocorrect Algorithm called VelociTap

Walker conducted an experiment in order to assess the efficiency of a physical keyboard where participants had to type on a keyboard they couldn’t see. In the first part, participants were given a head-mounted display to use which in this case was an Oculus Rift.

In the second part, participants were made to use a desktop monitor along with a keyboard that was out of their view but could be used to type. Both were tested with and without Walker’s virtual keyboard. Most of the participants reported back with at least proficient typing skills.

However, those without the virtual keyboard lighting up keys made a lot of mistakes. This experiment help set the basis for not just Virtual Reality testing but also to observe how far does autocorrect help in this scenario.Through this study, their team developed a language model to automatically correct the typing called VelociTap, a touch recognition screen program that has been trained on billions of words making it very accurate. The aim is now to implement texting, for both work and play, into Virtual Realityby using physical keyboards.

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Wing Things: The Various Types of Aerial Drone Platforms

Wing Things: The Various Types of Aerial Drone Platforms

If you’re considering getting started flying drones for recreation, you have your task cut out for you — you have an endless array of choices with wonderful, high-tech models everywhere you look. You have a learning curve ahead of you finding out what kind of choice to make.

Right here, you can start with these quick descriptions of the four major designs in use today.

Multi-rotor drones

The most common drone type seen in many applications, multi-rotor drones have three or more rotors. Designs start from cheap toy models that cost as little as $20 to ones that are powerful enough to carry several pounds of payload and cost as much as $5,000.

Multi-rotor drones have a lot going for them, including low cost, ease of control, an ability to hover like a helicopter, and safety. The spinning rotors on these vehicles are tiny and not very powerful. If you accidentally hit someone, the injuries aren’t likely to be serious.

While multi-rotor models are the cheapest drone variety, they do come with downsides. With their many rotors to spin, their batteries don’t usually last very long. A good, mass-market model is likely to fly no longer than 20 minutes, less if there is a heavy camera to carry.

Fixed-wing drones

Fixed-wing drones tend to look like one of those cool Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers. Unlike multi-rotor drones, these needs to glide to stay aloft — they don’t hover. Extended flight time is the greatest advantage that comes with choosing this design. Since these craft are able to glide on their wings, their propellers don’t need work as hard. A battery-powered fixed-wing drone can stay up two hours, and one powered by a gas engine can fly as long as 16 hours.

On the downside, fixed wing drones are like airplanes — they need space to take off and land, and the take skill to fly. You need to pay attention to technical nuances like angle of attack, pitch and yaw. If you bank wrong or angle too hard into the wind, you’ll face a stall situation. If you’re happy to really invest in learning the skill and don’t need to hover, fixed-wing drones are for you.

Single-rotor drones

Single-rotor drones come in a very familiar form — they look and function exactly like helicopters. While there are models that run on battery power, the most popular ones run on gas engines. Single-rotor drones tend to be large at 6 feet from tip to tail, and are powerful enough to carry movie cameras. With only one rotor to fly on, they do offer a lot more flying time than multi-rotor models that tend to waste a lot of energy. These vehicles can be very expensive, however, and take a great deal of skill to fly.

It’s also important to keep in mind that with their large helicopter-like blades, their weight, speed and size, these are not toys. If they are handled incorrectly, terrible accidents are bound to happen.

Hybrid VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing)

These are large, helicopter-like craft as well, but with a huge difference — they have wings as well as rotors. These are used by companies like Amazon to deliver some of their merchandise. At this point, these are expensive, and you would need special connections to find one. They aren’t in production yet. But when they come on the market, they could be a lot of fun, because they provide both hover and gliding flight, and come with various autopilot features.

According to Drone Enthusiasts (Dronethusiasts Rankings – Top Camera Drones), the kind of model you choose depends on the purpose that you have in mind, the amount of investment that you’re willing to bring to the activity and the amount of skill you’re willing to learn.

If you’re only starting out, multi-rotor craft are likely to work the best.


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