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News briefs: March 6
Posted: Thu, Mar 7, 2002, 7:30 AM ET (1230 GMT)
Boeing 702 satellite illustration
  • Boeing received $336 million from the US Air Force Wednesday to build two military communications satellites. The Wideband Gapfiller Satellite (WGS) program will use Boeing 702 communications satellites to provide up to 10 times the capability of existing military communications satellites. The WGS system will use up to six satellites if all contract options are exercised.
  • Brazil has shipped to China a new remote sensing satellite for launch later this year, Reuters reported. The China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite 2 (CBERS-02) was built in Brazil and recently shipped to China for launch on a Long March booster. CBERS-02 is a follow-up to CBERS-01, launched by China in 1999.
  • The Sun may be the blame for some cell phone reception problems, scientists reported Wednesday. Researchers found that solar storms can disrupt wireless communications at least 10-20 times a year, and up to twice a week during peaks in the Sun's 11-year activity cycle. Cell towers that face east and west are most vulnerable to disruption at sunrise and sunset.
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