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Submission + - Satellite Uplinks for the Masses ( 1

kgeiger writes: Intellectual Ventures has spun out Kymeta to develop and mass-produce their mTenna product line. mTennas are based on metamaterials like the invisibility cloaks discussed on Slashdot and elsewhere. Metamaterials enable beam-steering that ensures an mTenna remains in contact with satellites even during motion. Kymeta will use 'established lithographic techniques' to make them.

IMHO, these antennas may be as big a leap for mobile computing and remote communications as the invention of fractal antennas was for mobile phones.

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Satellite Uplinks for the Masses

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  • The solution to this problem lies in where you place the constellation. Satellites in low earth orbit (a few hundred miles) don't take much power to talk to with a minimally directional antenna. Think 60 to 90 degree beam width; you just vaguely point it in the right direction. Takes care of the speed of light problem too: latency isn't so bad across a 1000 mile round trip.

    Shooting at geostationary orbit 22,000 miles away that you have to share with 3/4ths of a continent just doesn't work well for 2-way com

"The algorithm to do that is extremely nasty. You might want to mug someone with it." -- M. Devine, Computer Science 340