Did you know that ‘Pokémon Go’ also needs satellites?

To speak about Pokémon Go at the moment is to speak about virtual reality, burning news, fads, eggs, gyms and incubators …

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For the few not yet in the know, Pokémon Go is a Japanese smartphone video-game based on traditional Pokémon creatures that the player has to hunt down, battle, catch and train.

These creatures might be found anywhere. The would-be player only has to download the app, activate the game and then simply aim and stare through the handheld screen until finding and capturing a Pokémon.

The takeup has been so keen that downloads have collapsed the servers. Since Nintendo launched this brainchild its stockmarket prices has soared through the roof. And the fact is that something so simple, quickly becoming the latest fad of young and old, also makes use of satellite technology. For example it is the satellite-based GPS of our cell phones that tells us where to look for each particular Pokémon.

This opening anecdote only goes to show that our daily world nowadays is replete with uses and applications of space technology. And their work is at times so crucial that without them humankind would be doomed irremediably to slip backwards in time.

Satellites make possible such routine activities as watching soccer matches, having internet on the cell phone, watching live TV news bulletins, getting to places without getting lost on the way, listening to radio broadcasts anywhere in the world, holding transatlantic phone conversations and finding out the latest weather forecast. But they are driving development in many other fields too. Satellite data can now be obtained to improve farming work, help in urban planning, give out flood-, earthquake- or volcanic-eruption alerts, monitor movements of sea-animal populations and supervise maritime traffic, among many other applications.

Europe is now setting up a state-of-the-art global navigation satellite system (GNSS) to provide and guarantee precise positioning for all types of civil applications, most notably satnavs, cell phones, sea-air- and road- and rail-transport. The Galileo satellite navigation system, developed by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and with a crucial role being played by GMV, will feed off thirty orbiting satellites to provide positioning information with unprecedented precision and reliability. The Galileo signal, moreover, will be compatible with those of GPS and GLONASS, the two GNSS systems up and running at the moment.

All of us are therefore duty bound to appreciate and recognize the spinoffs of navigation-,  observation-, science- or communication-satellites, all different aspects of the same crucial reality: Space is strategic and the challenges are endless.

Author: Marta Jimeno Jimenez

Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV
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