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When Your Project Ends Up on the Scrap Heap
4/29/2019

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Figure 2
Despite serious early operational setbacks due to problems with the lithium-battery package, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has seen wide acceptance.  (Image source: The Boeing Company)

Despite serious early operational setbacks due to problems with the lithium-battery package, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has seen wide acceptance. (Image source: The Boeing Company)

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steve.taranovich
steve.taranovich
5/1/2019 8:24:10 PM
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Re: What a long journey an idea can have
@BillWM---please also see https://www.planetanalog.com/author.asp?section_id=3065&doc_id=563979 and https://www.planetanalog.com/author.asp?section_id=3065&doc_id=563979

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Bill_Jaffa
Bill_Jaffa
5/1/2019 6:57:27 AM
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Re: What a long journey an idea can have
Iridium's rise, fall, and re-birth is a fascinating story--see this book for a good accounting of the story:

"Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story" bny John Bloom

https://groveatlantic.com/?s=iridium

It's a stark reminder that PEOPLE or the determined force of one person makes technology happen, it doesnt happen by itself.

 

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BillWM
BillWM
4/29/2019 6:34:59 PM
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What a long journey an idea can have
https://patents.justia.com/patent/6385513

 

 

What a long meandering journey the invention of a new technology can be. In about 1993 I submitted the idea for an iridium satellite phone to Jim Wilson, VP of Engineering at Global - Wulfsberg systems. AlliedSignal then bought GWS. Soon Tim Swords from Honeywell's SATCOM group was brought in and the idea mushroomed into the Arinc-761 SATCOM. Then the group was moved to Olathe KS, after much negotiations with Motorola -- the originator of iridium, work started on the AirSat 5/8 product and the Airsat Single Channel Product. While I worked on the E1 bus for the cabin and cockpit audio, the TWA 747 crash near long Island happened. Myself and John Cessna both submitted the idea for using the Satcom to uplink/downlink distress and avionics data. We were named as co-inventors on the Patent that was awarded. The AirSat multichannel suffered from channel to channel power-supply noise rejection and really only worked well with one or two channels up. At that point Iridium faced with poor handset sales and Motorola pinched by competition from Nokia in wireless handsets declared bankruptcy. Honeywell dropped work on the multichannel leaving me with a move to Nokia. I can neither confirm or deny if the Multichannel hardware was reincarnated as a classified Aero Satcom.

 

Fast forward close to 15 years, and Iridium began a venture with Thales and SpaceX to replace satellites with new technology.   This included high speed internet capability, and an ADSB receiver for flight tracking, and air traffic control.   Inmarsat also joined with a competing offering so that there would now be dual - dissimilar global coverage.   The idea and system has received its first real life use in the recent Boeing 737 MAX incident in Ethiopia  -- what a long journey an idea can have.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_satellite_constellation

 

https://aireon.com/resources/overview-materials/iridium-next/

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