RF Shorts for Sept. 14, 2012

Team SkyCube Meets Earth-Imagining Nano-Sat Funding Goal

Team SkyCube announced Kickstarter funding has ended for the project, surpassing its “stretch goal” of $110,000. The funding will be used to build a second copy of SkyCube. The first SkyCube was launched on July 14, 2012, and orbited 300 miles above Earth taking photos from space before inflating a visible balloon and cleanly de-orbiting.

Article Cuts Through Terahertz Hype

I've followed many of the press releases relating to new developments in terahertz (300 GHz to 10 THz) technology, and it’s easy to get excited about the potential of these sub-millimeter wavelength signals. Carter M. Armstrong cuts through the popular press hype of terahertz technology in an IEEE Spectrum article “The Truth About Terahertz”.He’s outlined the daunting challenges facing those seeking to develop real-world applications at terahertz frequencies.

Armstrong writes: “Wirelessly transfer huge files in the blink of an eye! Detect bombs, poison gas clouds and concealed weapons from afar! Peer through walls with T-ray vision! You can do it all with terahertz technology—or so you might believe after perusing popular accounts of the subject.”

He continues, “But the goal of turning such laboratory phenomena into real-world applications has proved elusive. Legions of researchers have struggled with that challenge for decades.”

Atmospheric absorption is perhaps the main challenge. See his article, including charts and graphs, for more.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.