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10 cool uses for satellites

We look at some of the most advanced technology that's in orbit

Let's take a look up and assess some of the advanced technology in orbit and the diverse tasks of those satellites.

The US FAA's satellite system

The US Federal Aviation Administration wants all aircraft flying in the country's busiest airspace to have satellite-based avionics by 2020.

Such systems would let air traffic controllers track aircraft by satellites using a satellite system known as Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B), which is 10 times more accurate than today's radar technology.

That 10-fold increase in the accuracy of satellite signals will allow air traffic controllers to reduce standard separation between aircraft, significantly increasing the number of aircraft that can be safely managed in the nation's skies, the FAA said.

Space weather

One of NASA's AIM satellite's goals is to study space weather phenomena. Last year it provided the first global-scale, full-season view of iridescent polar clouds that form 50 miles above Earth's surface known as 'Night-Shining' clouds.

Night Shining clouds form at a high altitude which lets them reflect sunlight long after the sun has set.

See also: $500m Google Earth satellite launches

  1. We look at some of the most advanced technology that's in orbit
  2. Satellites on the cheap
  3. The virtual satellite network
  4. The asteroid hunter
  5. The US FAA's satellite system

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