X-Message-Number: 13155
From: Eugene Leitl <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 23:47:58 -0800 (PST)
Subject: AeroAstro Develops $75 Asset Tracker


AeroAstro Develops $75 Asset Tracker 

Herndon - January 14, 2000 - AeroAstro, Inc., the world's premier
microsatellite technology company and builder of the first Personal
Satellite, has announced the development of a global satellite
tracking and messaging service, which offers transmitter prices as low
as $75 for a unit smaller than a pager.

The Sensor Enabled Notification System, or SENS, will enable companies
and individuals to access the Internet to track and monitor virtually
unlimited assets. These assets can be either mobile or fixed, using
GPS and a vast array of compatible sensors.

Messages are linked through a satellite constellation to deliver
global service at prices comparable to a pager service. AeroAstro has
been developing SENS for over a year, backed by investments from the
Internet service provider industry.

Dr. Rick Fleeter, President and CEO of AeroAstro, said, "Only SENS
accommodates both individuals and businesses by providing either
single or very large numbers of maintainable tiny sensors at prices so
low that industries can equip their entire operation from end to
end. Unlike other systems that perform complex functions such as
e-mail and voice, SENS focuses on delivering focused, key data
directly over the Internet.

"The straightforward, inexpensive nature of this system creates
'tendrils of the Internet,' allowing the user to reach out via the Web
and obtain information from virtually any object in any region of the

In addition to industrial operations, other SENS applications include
"Personal Trackers" for the adventure traveler, and tracking and
monitoring of nearly any object.

Furthermore, the system inaugurates a new field of "In-Situ Remote
Sensing" where data are read from thousands of tiny sensors scattered
around farms, industrial sites, and other broad geographic areas for
applications such as precision farming and environmental monitoring.

"In less than a decade, every object with a value over $40 will be
monitored remotely via the Internet, and millions will do it with
SENS," added David Goldstein, AeroAstro's Director of Business

"SENS is the first system to leverage advances in micro-electronics
and communications technologies to deliver a global solution so
affordable that it revolutionizes the way we use space."

The system will ultimately deploy ten satellites in two orbital
planes, delivering global service to literally tens of millions of
transmitters. Several patented, proven innovations enable high-quality
service to large numbers of sensors at low cost, using an uplink
transmitter as simple as a modern garage door opener.

The SENS satellites are based on the Bitsy Nanosatellite Core Module,
a modular commercial spacecraft product flying a NASA payload in
2001. The satellites will be launched using the Small Payload Orbit
Transfer (SPORT) system, a commercial AeroAstro product enabling small
satellites to reach their desired orbits from readily available
piggyback launch accommodations.

AeroAstro, a pioneer of micro- and nano-spacecraft applications in
science, remote sensing, and communications, is a leader in innovative
small satellite applications that open the space frontier.  It led the
trend towards "smaller, better, cheaper, faster" spacecraft-- that is
now NASA's mantra--with its highly successful ALEXIS satellite begun
in 1988 and currently in its seventh year operating on-orbit.

AeroAstro is now leading the way to a new age of commercial space with
flexible tools that enable new users to benefit from unprecedented
access to space technology. AeroAstro has designed, constructed,
tested and supported the launch of several small satellites. It
completed numerous spacecraft systems programs and manufactures
low-cost small rocket engines, nano-satellites and spacecraft
components. NASA, the Air Force, and commercial and university
customers have all employed AeroAstro throughout its 11-year history.

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