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Doppelganger Satellites Help Understand Signal Distortions From Space

NASA’s doppelganger Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment or E-TBEx CubeSats are programmed to launch in June 2019 along with the Space Test Program-2 of Department of Defense. The launch will have a total of 24 satellites from research institutions and government. The satellites will be reaching the space boarding a SpaceX Falcon Heavy from its historic Launch Complex 39A located in Kennedy Space Center of NASA. The E-TBEx CubeSats concentrates the way radio signals that surpass through Earth’s upper atmosphere can be scattered by structured bubbles in the ionosphere. Over the equator, these distortions can cause a lot of trouble for military and airline communications as well as GPS signals. The bubbles evolution can explain the amount of trouble caused.

The studying of the bubbles from the ground is difficult. The Earth’s upper atmosphere has a layer of the ionosphere that consists of ionized particles, which means that they are swimming in the sea of positive and negative particles known as plasma. The plasma has neutral gases such air we breathe as well. The electric charge of particles gives the plasma a capability to respond to magnetic fields. The ionosphere thus responds to space weather such as altering magnetic or electric fields, which are influenced by Sun’s activity.

The pressure waves generated by the large storm systems propagate into the upper atmosphere and form winds that cause the bubbles to move and change. The E-TBEx CubeSats provides radio beacon signals of three frequencies that can be used by communications and GPS satellites using which scientists can detect small changes in the signals’ phase or amplitude. The created maps of the disruptions in the ionosphere can help understand the evolution of the bubble. The beacons onboard NOAA’s six COSMIC-2 satellites complement E-TBEx CubeSats giving scientists multiple angles to study. NASA plans to find its long lost Apollo 10’s Snoopy Lunar Module using the CubeSats. In 2018, the Mount Lemmon Observatory or MLO had its data confirming the presence of Snoopy.

Scot Gallegos
Scot Gallegos Author
CONTENT EDITOR At Daily Industry Updates

Scot Gallegos pursued a Master’s Degree in Astrology from a US-based university. He manages to handle science-related topics, which specifically includes research activities in the field of Space and Science. His coverage over the recent space exploration is phenomenal. Scot is quite experienced in playing with words, while due to his good understanding regarding space and technology-related concepts, Daily Industry Updates news portal has offered him the post of Content Editor. During his spare time, he updates his knowledge regarding Space and the Universe by reading space journals and books. He has set up a separate books section in his living room.

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