24 Jun 2011
Have you ever heard the expression “big things come in small packages?” Of course you have … and this expression nails precisely where innovation is headed these days…we are talking about going small. Earlier this week, we did a post about new drones being developed that will be the size of birds and bugs. And we all know that nanosatellites will be the next phase in GEOINT. So, we wanted to explore the concept of “small” in this week’s FFFT post. We hope you enjoy and happy Friday! Oh, and registration for GEOINT 2011 is officially open and USGIF members receive special registration discounts. Act fast! Some registration prices increase after July 15!
Tiny Satellites Can Do Big Science
When it comes to laptop computers and cell phones, bigger isn’t better. The same logic applies to satellites: the bulkier the satellite, the more time it takes to design and build, and the more expensive it is to put into orbit. Researchers are now taking advantage of the electronics technologies that have made personal gizmos compact and affordable to make satellites that weigh less and cost a fraction of their predecessors. These pocket- and backpack-sized satellites are changing the way astrobiology research is done. Conventional satellites used for communications, navigation or research can be as large as a school bus and weigh between 100 and 500 kilograms. Universities, companies and NASA are now building small satellites that weigh less than one kilogram (picosatellites) or up to 10 kilograms (nanosatellites). Read the full Space.com story here.
What is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology (sometimes shortened to “nanotech”) is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with structures sized between 1 to 100 nanometre in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices possessing at least one dimension within that size. Quantum mechanical effects are very important at this scale, which is in the quantum realm. Nanotechnology is very diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether we can directly control matter on the atomic scale. Read the full Wikipedia entry here.
World’s Smallest Car Measures 26 Inches Wide
What’s the size of a washing machine and made from a child’s coin-operated ride? The answer: The world’s smallest car. Made by British inventor Perry Watkins, the “Wind Up” measures just 41 inches high, 51 inches long and 26 inches wide and is now listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest car with a license to drive on public streets. It can drive 37 miles per hour and even has seat belts. Check out the full USA Today article here.
Mini-Homes: Cozy and Cost-Effective
It was mainly the burden of regular mortgage payments and the costly upkeep of his home in California that set Jay Shafer to thinking. Whittling away everything he didn’t absolutely need, he came up with a big idea – in a rather small package: the “Tiny House.” The 269-square-foot space is comprised of a kitchen, bathroom and living and sleeping space. Shafer’s mini-house even has wheels. Since designing the home, the 46-year-old has been producing and selling them through the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company he founded for that purpose. Each house costs roughly 40,000 dollars, or 30,000 euros. There’s a growing demand for the little homes, which are tailor-made to suit individual tastes and budgets. “Business is booming,’’ Shafer says. “The idea of keeping things to a bare minimum is currently very popular.’’ Read the full World Crunch post here.
Video of the Week: Disney’s “It’s a Small World”
We could have very easily featured Blink 182′s “All the Small Things,” but that would have been too easy. And I don’t think we are ready for an revival of the year 2000, or a Blink 182 revival for that matter (we’re just sayin). So, we thought to ourselves … is there a song about small things by Wilco or Fleet Foxes? Nope. So, we thought we would go right to the source for all things small and wonderful: Disney. Check out this clip from 1964 from “Disneyland Goes to the World Fair.” We hope you enjoy and yes, it’s a small world after all.