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HIVE. Photo: Hypergiant Industries

A new tool for satellite operators could allow one ground controller to keep an eye on dozens of spacecraft at once.

Why it matters: Today, satellite operators are only able to control three to five satellites at a time. With potential mega-constellations of hundreds or thousands of satellites coming online, companies and governments will likely need to find ways to scale up their operations rapidly.

  • The new tool called Hyper Intelligent Vehicle Enhancement (HIVE) from Hypergiant Industries aims to make satellite operation more flexible and able to respond to crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

How it works: According to Hypergiant, HIVE software can be used on top of existing platforms to streamline them and make them remotely operable using tablets or phones.

  • "This software is built to reduce the cost of operations, support nominal and safe manned and unmanned spaceflight operations, and decrease training time while increasing productivity for the satellite operators of tomorrow," Hypergiant founder Ben Lamm told Axios. "In essence, it is satellite command and control in the palm of your hand."
  • Hypergiant also hopes to incorporate social media feeds and FEMA databases into the tool to alert operators when a major event like an earthquake or other disaster occurs to help people make decisions about where to task their satellites to look.
  • "We want people to be able to operate their entire constellation from their phones or tablets while in the field," Lamm added.

What's next: The Air Force has already signed on to use the tool, according to Hypergiant, and the company is in talks with other agencies and commercial entities as well.

Go deeper: The earthly limit on satellite ambitions

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Aug 4, 2020 - Science

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.

44 mins ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.