The Impact Antennas Have Had on Space Exploration

Exploring the deep, dark outskirts of the universe would be impossible without the use of antennas.

From the introduction of commercial radio to the invention of smart antennas, the importance of antennas has only grown. While functionality has increased, it could be argued it’s actually the profound impact antennas have had in space exploration which has allowed the technology to continue to advance.

While the 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, humanity’s first satellite, was the first instance of antennas actually entering space, it wasn’t their first jolt in the arena. The history of antennas in the field of space exploration goes as far back as 1932 and the accidental invention of radio telescopes.

By the end of World War II, astronomers were using antennas to survey the galaxy. In many ways, this is what began our step into the abyss of the cosmos.

Sputnik 1 may have been the first occurrence of antennas in the void, but it certainly isn’t the most impressive.

NASA’s Voyager spacecrafts are the only objects humanity has in interstellar space, the area between stars. At over 10 billion miles from Earth, without the use of their antennas, transmissions of Voyager data would never reach Earth, and instructions for the systems’ thrusters would, in turn, never reach the spacecrafts.

The Voyager mission was instrumental in helping to define what the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) has become. As the spacecrafts continued to move further away from Earth, larger and more advanced antennas were essential to the DSN’s success. Without the antennas that make up the DSN, humanity’s exploration into the space beyond our solar system wouldn’t be possible.

Antennas are essential to communication and, thus, continue to be prevalent in future space exploration. For example, TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) will utilize its unique antenna to transmit data from its search in the nearby galaxy for Earth-like and Super Earth-like planets. The Mars 2020 rover is going to be equipped with several small, omni-directional antennas, allowing for communication with Earth and the other Mars rovers. With the continuing development of commercial space exploration, companies are testing new satellite antenna setups all the time. It seems the bond between antennas and space exploration will continue to be tight.

Whether it’s communication from personnel to personnel or between a computer and an unmanned spacecraft in interstellar space, space exploration is something which requires the ability to communicate efficiently. Through this necessity, antennas will continue to grow smaller, more powerful, and more precise.

Exploring the deepest recesses of space is a job that antennas will continue to have a lasting impact on.


4 Tips to Understanding Thermal Desalination

Desalination plants cause sea and brackish water to become separated, according to Next, the the separation of the of the sea and brackish water will lead to two different flows. One of the flows will consist of a fresh stream, which is condensate in heat processes and permeated in reverse osmosis. Also, the fresh stream will be required to have a low salt content. The other flow will basically consist of concentrate or brine, which means it will have an extraordinarily high level of salt concentration.

All desalination technologies have to operate off of a powerful energy source. The energy sources either come from mechanics, which use electrical power, or they will use thermal power. The thermal process is founded on evaporation caused by the heat, and then, it uses the condensation from the steam. If you want to understand the intricacies of thermal desalination, you have to understand the methods. The following four tips to understanding thermal desalination are also the four methods simplified.


MED, also known as multi effect distillation, takes place through a series of stages or effects. Every stage is equipped with bundles of heat exchange pipes, which are made super hot from steam heating on the inside. When the pipe bundles are hot, the raw water is sprayed on them. Due to the heat transfer between the pipe walls, a portion of the liquid sprayed on the bundles evaporates. The evaporation results in steam, and the new steam is used in the next stage. This is how the process continues. Essentially, the first tip is understanding steam and condensation.


This method is similar to MED in almost all aspects. Efficiency is enhanced over regular MED in this method by putting a thermal steam compressor in the MED plant. The same process is used in the MED process by letting water evaporate into steam and using the resulting steam in the next process and so on. The difference is the thermal steam compressor, which is also powered by steam, uses steam from the final stage for more compression. The super-condensed steam is reused at a heat source when the process is started over. Like before, the tip is under standing the basics of steam, but additionally, it requires knowing how to compress steam to understand the process better.


This process and the tip are much easier to understand. MVC is mechanical steam compression. According to Wabag, it is almost identical to the MED-TVC process, except the steam used for evaporation is achieved through electricity or diesel power. The best analogy for this is to think of using either an electric or gas stove to get water hot enough to create steam.


This stage is also known as the multi stage flash. The tip to understanding this thermal process is understanding how distillation works. Condensing steam heats the raw water up to the max brine temperature. It turns it into saline, and the saline solution goes into the next stage where the pressure is lower. The water will boil immediately, which causes it to flash into steam and the brine to reach its saturation point. Each stage afterwards, the temp and pressure are lowered. The steam at the end of each stage is fresh water.

Basically, the foundation of each method is very basic science and processes. The only difference is, is they are expanded upon and the processes are done at huge levels. It is worth it though. As thermal desalination technology gets better and cheaper, it will eventually utilize the oceans and salty sea water to irrigate the planet.


5 Surprising Advantages of Plug-and-Play Management

In today’s economy, workers are finding freelance an contract work more often. The labor force is increasingly being built by workers who are working from home — and that’s why there’a need for what are known as “plus and play” managers. These supervisors have the role of keeping their remote workforce on task — and there are many surprising advantages of having this kind of force to empower and inspire. Read on to learn five surprising advantages of getting into plug-and-play management:

Advantage #1: Work-Life Balance Means Happy Employees

When people are happiest, it’s because they have equilibrium in their lives — and younger workers cite this as a main desire for their careers, according to the Washington Post. Working from home gives a remote workforce the flexibility of staying close to home for family concerns while also pursuing a career. And when your employees are happy and feel content, they’re more productive, so it’s a perk that will be well-received among your potential work force recruits.

Advantage #2: You Can Empower Your Workers to Work

Being the manager of a remote workforce empowers you to empower others. One criticism,
as the Financial Times has pointed out, is that plug and play workers don’t receive enough training and support. This is a disadvantage of not having everyone at a physical table together. However, you can change that as a manager. You can provide on-going training and support through remote group sessions — empowering your employees to take the lead.

Advantage #3: You Save Overhead Costs

One great advantage of not having to come into the office is that you save overhead costs. When you hire your workforce to work remotely, you’re overseeing a smaller budget for startup costs. It’s good for business, and it’s good for your bank account.

Advantage #4: Productivity Hits a High

When you’re a plug and play manager, you’re likely going to be overseeing a work force that can work around the clock. That doesn’t mean you have to be up for 24 hours. It simply means that when you wake up in the morning to check your email, you’ll have a work force that has been working while you were sleeping. Productivity can hit a high when you are a plug and play manager.

Advantage #5: You Can Work From Home, Too!

Perhaps one of the best advantages of being in plug and play management is that you get to take advantage of the same benefits as your work force — which means you get to work from home too. You can the same flexible terms, and that’s good for your overall health and happiness.

Are you ready to start the new year in plug and play management? You’ll have job security in the long run, as contract work is not going away any time soon. If anything, it will continue to increase the makeup of the worldwide workforce.


9 Reasons to Buy Used Electronics

Gadgets, mobile devices and electronics in general can be both useful and fun to have. However, new tech also tends to come with a very hefty price tag. Many people may be left in the dust by their friends and co-workers who have all the latest digital toys. However, there is one solution. It’s to buy used electronics. Below are nine reasons why it’s a good idea.

1. It Saves Money

Buying used is always cheaper. This is especially the case for electronics. Depending on the device in question, the discount could be as high as 70 to 80 percent. You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

2. New Electronics Aren’t “New” for Long

According to CNN Money, smart phones on average tend to only be manufactured for less than 10 months. In less than a year, many digital devices will already be outdated. So why invest in a new device when you can buy used?

3. Used Doesn’t Mean Defective

Some people may worry that used electronics won’t work at all. This is certainly not the case. Most retailers that sell used electronics test them to make sure they are in working order before selling them to customers.

4. Used Electronics Can Still Be Sold

Even if you tire of a used device, you will still be able to recoup some of your investment by selling it again. According to a report by ABC News, even broken phones and electronics can be sold since the components inside can be quite valuable on their own.

5. You Can Buy Refurbished

A subsection of used electronics is known as refurbished electronics. What this means is that the electronic device in question was returned to the manufacturer and then thoroughly tested for functionality before being put back on the market at a deeply discounted rate.

6. It Helps the Environment

Buying used electronics is a form of recycling. It limits waste by lowering the demand for new electronics to be manufactured. If more used electronics were purchased by consumers, it would probably help curb pollution and industrial waste.

7. It Helps Small Business

Many of the businesses that sell used electronics are not large national chains. Instead, they tend to be small businesses. Many used electronic dealers are in fact privately owned local stores.

8. You Won’t Be Paying for Depreciation

Like automobiles, new electronics depreciate in value very quickly. While it may have been worth the amount you paid for it before opening the box, immediately afterwards, some of that value will be gone.

9. You Won’t Regret the Purchase as Much

Even when buying something new, many consumers have regrets. If a computer, phone, TV, game console, etc. isn’t as good as advertised, they will feel cheated out of a lot of money. Buying used removes some of this risk. Since a lot less money is being paid to own the item in question, the buyer will feel better about having decided to buy that device used for much less than full price.

The Benefits of Flexible Bandwidth For Remote Coverage

In the contemporary world, having access to areas that might have previously dismissed as unavailable due to a variety of reasons is in many cases now a reality. These remote areas are the beneficiaries of the growth of flexible bandwidth that’s now able to bundle a collective group of internet connections into one that provides maximum impact for both businesses and the consumer.

Such flexibility allows for access to these areas at a reduced cost, since the bandwidth service isn’t required to be available all the time. By being able to narrow the use within this time frame, a much more reasonable rate of service is available. That more inviting price is something that gets the attention of all businesses, which helps the concept grow in popularity.

For example, periodic meetings between groups of individuals in such geographically distant areas had always been a logistical nightmare for business planners or simply cost-prohibitive. In the latter case, that was because the fixed costs involved in acquiring bandwidth made it economically inefficient.

However, the growth of flexible bandwidth now can help a business tap into new areas in emerging markets that might have been considered unthinkable just a decade ago. One area that many multinational organizations see as an untapped resource is the continent of Africa, which has more than 1.1 billion people.

While certain countries have already established relationships prior to this emergence, others have barely scratched the surface of their potential. Some of these countries have remote sections that have their own vibrant economies, but remain virtually cut off from much of the outside world.

By establishing the framework for building a market for the goods and services from these areas, the economic impact that results is something that can vault such areas into potent weapons of commercial activity.

Perhaps even more important than simply helping a business expand their markets, is the possibility of taking advantage of the cost containment variables of flexible bandwidth to make quality education available to all who seek it.

Top-notch instructors can be difficult to either find or place in these remote areas. Yet due to the financially-friendly aspects involved, these teachers can connect with willing students in countries that may be otherwise ill-equipped to address the inequalities inherent in their current educational structure.

In the end, the educational benefits have the potential to have a much wider impact than the simple growth of additional business markets. However, regardless of which area takes advantage of the current and future capabilities, the ultimate winner will be society. That’s because the economic impact will resonate across the world.

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The Environmental Benefits of Induced Corrosion

Corrosion takes place due to chemical reaction with oxygen. While this applies to most materials, nearly all metals will eventually lose strength and malleability while decomposing to metal oxides. Iron, for example, inevitably reacts with air and moisture to form iron oxide – rust.
Inevitable decay is a problem to our metallic structures and equipment. Effort has been made in the past to develop corrosion-resistant materials like stainless or galvanized steel, or chemical and other surface treatments such as paints and polymers.
Corrosion of building materials represents a safety hazard, while corrosion has an economic impact measured in hundreds of millions of dollars annually. There are safety, and toxicity issues related to heavy metals and leaking industrial compounds, including the hydrocarbons of the fuel industry. Certain metals have negative health effects. Heavy metals in the environment occur from nearly all metal-using industries, but particularly from metal mining and smelting operations, as well as metallic waste.

But the oxides of these metals formed by corrosion are more stable and occur naturally.

Corrosion can occur as a result of contaminations. Microbiological corrosion occurs when colonies of bacteria develop on a surface, known as a “biofilm”. While the bacteria itself does not do damage, the waste products which they secrete can – this is known as “induced” corrosion. There is also chemically-induced corrosion resulting from exposure to substances like sodium hydroxide or methanol. This occurs because oxygen is much more soluble in methanol than water, and corrosion is accelerated. This is a problem in the oil and gas industries where localized corrosion leads to pipeline leaks.
It is thus possible to induce corrosion with these agents. In some cases, as with aluminum, titanium, chromium, or zinc alloys, a hard outer layer of oxidation prevents further deterioration of the underlying metal. This is why stainless steel, made with chromium, is more resistant than ordinary steel. Strong alkaloids applied to certain metals such as cadmium have the same effect.

Bearing this in mind, inducing corrosion in such materials can actually help preserve them. In common iron alloys, it can accelerate disposal of non-reclaimed scrap which otherwise might lie intact for decades. It can also benefit concrete structures, where some level of corrosion is needed to bind the concrete to otherwise smooth steel. Concrete made with magnesium oxides is better than traditional cement for the environment, releasing much less carbon dioxide during manufacturing.

Metal oxides are known to immobilize arsenic in contaminated mining sites. Induced corrosion is also beneficial in the destruction of nuclear wastes, which includes quantities of carbon steels. Corrosion is typically low in deep ground water environments, but microbial corrosion has an enhanced effect on the biodiversity of the surroundings.