A powerful laser shining up into space will soon transmit data between the Earth and the International Space Station. Nasa is hoping to establish laser links at a rate of over one gigabit per second - a speed most home broadband users could only dream of.
The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will help Nasa to understand the best ways to operate laser communications systems. This could enable much higher data rates for connections between spacecraft and Earth, including downloading scientific data and allowing astronauts to send better video messages back home.
LCRD - which will be launched by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland - is designed to function for between two and five years. Two ground terminals equipped with laser modems will be set up on Table Mountain, California, and in Hawaii. They will test the communications capability to and from LCRD - which will be located in an orbit that matches Earth's rotation, called a geosynchronous orbit - between the two stations.
The LCRD launch is scheduled for summer 2019, and a terminal is also being designed for the International Space Station that will be launched in 2021.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Laser communications - also known as optical communications - encode data onto a beam of light.
This is then transmitted between spacecraft and eventually to computers back on Earth.
This technology offers data rates that are 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency (RF) communications systems.
The LCRD mission is hoping to reach gigabit per second speeds.
While such speeds are possible through conventional fibre optics back here on Earth, it is likely to be the best part of a decade before they are seen in most homes.
The systems themselves are also much smaller than RF, weigh less and consume less power.
This combination of factors will become critically important as humans embark on long journeys to the moon, Mars and beyond.
The LCRD will beam data between modems on Earth and the satellite in geosynchronous orbit at speeds 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency
USING LASERS IN SPACE
The mission builds upon a previous mission, the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD).
Launched aboard the lunar atmosphere dust and environment explorer in 2013, LLCD successfully demonstrated the potential for laser communications in space.
The test, in October 2013, beamed data at speeds reaching 622 megabits per second to Earth from a spacecraft orbiting the moon.
The space switching unit is also connected to a radio-frequency downlink.
The controller electronics (CE) module commands actuators to help point and steady the telescope despite any movement or vibration on the spacecraft.
Instagram is adding a global blurry block with a 'sensitive content' warning on top of posts that have been marked as 'offensive' by users.
WHAT DOES THE NEW 'SENSITIVE CONTENT' FEATURE DO?
Instagram will blur potentially sensitive photos in both list and grid view.
Affected posts will be those flagged by other users as offensive.
The app displays a warning: 'This photo contains sensitive content which some people may find offensive or disturbing.'
Users will have to tap an acknowledgement before they can see the photo or video.
Kuwait: Investigations are ongoing in search for a suspect who attempted to kidnap a 30-year-old Filipino woman in Salmiya area , the incident happened when the woman was walking to her home, the suspect tried to force her into his car but failed when she screamed for help then he fled.
Kuwait’s embassy has urged Kuwaitis in Britain to commit themselves to police instructions in the wake of the attack on a policeman near the House of Commons in Westminster on Wednesday. the embassy called Kuwaitis to carefully observe the measures of safety and security applied by the British authorities in such conditions. It urged them to contact the embassy on 02075903400 in case of emergency.
Police are asking people to avoid Parliament Square, Whitehall, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Victoria Street up to the junction with Broadway and the Victoria Embankment up to Embankment Tube. The Thames has been closed from Vauxhall to Embankment 'as part of the security response', after a member of the public, believed to have been hit by the car, was recovered from the water near Westminster Bridge.
The closure of the river, along with roads in the centre and Westminster, used by thousands of people visiting and working in Whitehall every day, caused temporary chaos in central London. Dozens of people were stranded in the air at the top of the London Eye, which stopped amid the carnage in Westminster. The huge security increase comes just days after Britain banned electronic devices such as laptops from the cabins of UK-bound planes from six middle eastern nations amid fears they could be used to blow up planes.
The death toll so far stands at four, including the attacker, who was shot after stabbing a police officer with a knife. The officer suffered fatal injuries and has also died, police have now confirmed. The Met's head of counter-terrorism Mark Rowley said: 'Looking forward, throughout the rest of the day including when people are commuting home and over the days that follow, the people of London will see extra police officers - both armed and unarmed - out on our streets.'
He confirmed that 20 people have been wounded, mostly on Westminster Bridge, where the attacker ploughed through cyclists and pedestrians.He said officers are now searching the area for any other threats, adding: 'We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only one attacker. But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on.' Two of those injured were police officers who had finished their shift and can be heard screaming at civilians to 'get out the way' as the car approached, in shocking footage of the attack.
Mr Rowley said the dead policeman who died was one of the armed officers who guard Parliament and the other victims confirmed dead were on Westminster Bridge.
HOME SECRETARY PROMISES SECURITY IS 'TOP PRIORITY'
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the Government's top priority following the Westminster attack was 'the security of its people'.
Speaking during a visit to Pakistan, Ms Rudd urged the public to remain calm and keep vigilant.
She said: 'I know the whole country will be thinking of and praying for those affected by this terrible incident. Our top priority is people's security.
'We have the best police and security services in the world and we will let them get on with their job.'
The Home Secretary described the incident as 'on-going' as she said the Prime Minister would hold a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee to consider the situation.
'I want to thank the emergency services for the quick response, and pay tribute to their bravery, their courage, and their professionalism.
'I have been briefed by the Met Police and by the security services, and the Security Minister has also been updated.
'This is an on-going incident and the Government will continue to be updated. The Prime Minister will chair Cobra today.
'I urge everyone to remain calm, but to be vigilant, and if they see anything they are concerned about they should report it to the police.'
Source : Mail Online
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Ministry of Electricity and Water warned the consumers who are defaulting the payment about disconnecting the power line. Al-Nahar daily reported that the ministry will not restore power to the buildings until the bills are paid in full, while the re-connection cost will be borne by concerned citizens and expatriates.
As per report, the outstanding bills running into millions of dinars.