Archive for April, 2011

ALOS Satellite Shuts Down After 5 years

According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the 5 year old ALOS satellite abruptly lost power on 22nd April 2011. Launched in January 2006, the the design life of the satellite was only 3 years and has performed into it’s firth year as hoped. It’s replacement, ALOS-3, is not expected to be in operation until 2014.

From the JAXA website:

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been operating the Advanced Land Observing Satellite ‘DAICHI” (ALOS), which has exceeded its design life of three years and its target life of five years. However, at around 7:30 a.m. on April 22, we found that the satellite had shifted its operation mode to the low load mode (*1) and all the onboard observation devices were turned off due to power generation reduction. The anomaly was detected through relayed data via the Data Relay Test Satellite “KODAMA.”
Since then, the power generation has been rapidly deteriorating, and we currently cannot confirm power generation. The DAICHI was launched on January 24, 2006.

JAXA is investigating the cause of this problem while taking necessary measures.

*1: Low generation mode: the mode to save power consumption to maintain the minimum function of the satellite.

Original Article

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Cool Tools – GPS Camera

Finally available at a reasonable price, this Sony GPS Camera is the ultimate field data collection tool. The camera records coordinates and compass direction with each picture, information which is automatically detected by Google Earth or using the ArcPhoto tool in ArcGIS.

Sony DSC-HX5

Automatically encoding geo-location information eliminates the need for time consuming matching of photos to GPS tracklogs.

The camera is available in camera shops in Phnom Penh for about $350.


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