Having orbited Earth more than 26 000 times, the world’s largest and most complex environmental satellite ever launched has travelled a distance of more than 1 000 000 000 kilometres, nearly the equivalent of travelling to Jupiter and back.
Generating some 280 Gigabytes of data products daily, Envisat has gathered 500 Terabytes to date. The amount of data returned by Envisat’s suite of 10 instruments is providing scientists with a global picture of our environment and is helping to fulfil the initial needs of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative until the launch of the Sentinel satellites.
Results of ongoing research projects using data from Envisat, as well as other ESA satellites, will be presented at the 2007 Envisat Symposium in Montreux, Switzerland, from 23 to 27 April. This anniversary is particularly important because it marks the end of Envisat’s nominal lifetime, as the satellite was initially only intended to stay in orbit for five years. However, given the overall excellent standing of the satellite, the ESA Member States have agreed to fund the mission operations until 2010.
Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
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Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
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