Hackers are working on an independent satellite system

The project hackerspace Global Grid (HGG) is pursuing the utopian goal of enabling its own satellite system simple and inexpensive ground stations to the Internet communication, which is of no country in the world. Activist Nick Farr called in August to cooperate in the project, which he threatened with censorship such as that prepared by the U.S. law, “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) explained: “The first goal is an Internet in space. Let us take the Internet out of the control of terrestrial bodies.”


Farr and colleagues announced their plans more aggressively on the 28th Chaos Communication Congress 28C3. Not to be overlooked but is a distinct irony in their presentation (PDF), which give them realize that they are well aware of the practical obstacles. The project works with the research platform Constellation together that uses Internet-connected computers to accelerate research for aeronautics and astronautics.

The Hacker Space planners can not rely on satellites, which are shot with a rocket into space and remain in a fixed position in orbit. It succeeded, however, private enthusiasts in the past few years to bring a much lower cost satellite with a payload into space. However, they had to use balloons for transportation into orbit, and it is difficult to locate these moving satellites from the ground exactly. As a solution to this view, the HGG activists provide for a network of base stations at a cost of around € 100: “The first step is to create the precise synchronization of the distributed network.”



As a realistic basis to see Armin Bauer, a 26-year-old participant from Stuttgart, the existing GPS standard, “It is something like a reverse GPS,” he told the BBC. “GPS uses satellites to calculate where we are. We want to use GPS coordinates, but extend it by starting from fixed positions at precisely known locations.”


Bauer and his aides want to finish the first three prototype ground stations in the first half of 2012. They hope to distribute the first working models at the next Chaos Communication Congress. Experts say the satellite project is feasible in principle, but see also have technical limitations. “Satellites in low orbit, as they have so far been launched by amateurs not stay at a particular position,” the BBC quoted Professor Alan Woodward of the University of Surrey. “That does not mean that they cannot be used for communication purposes, but apparently only for relatively short periods in which they are within sight.”


Minor problems like these keep the space-hackers not stop them from announcing far bigger plans. She explained her goal as “Hacker Space Program” by the year 2034 a man to carry on the moon, which was last made with Apollo 17 in 1972. With their “modest proposal for the next 23 years,” they demonstrate unbridled enthusiasm. “Phase one is the introduction of an open, free and accessible worldwide satellite-based network as the best possible protection against terrestrial censorship of the Internet should appear to be simple, our stage, let two address: to bring a hacker in orbit until 2034, we plan to land a hacker on the moon.”


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