What Is a Covert Earpiece?

Can’t get over how low-priced the headset is now, a tremendous deal for any top-end product!

A covert earpiece is a miniature earpiece worn by an individual while being effectively hidden from plain view. It operates as a radio accessory in times when a user does not want other people to know she or he is communicating with others using radio earbuds. Also known as an invisible earpiece or a surveillance earpiece, a covert earpiece is often worn by government agents, corporate security personnel, undercover law enforcement officers and corporate as well as government spies.

covert earpiece

While many occupations require the use of a radio headset for communication, a covert earpiece is primarily used in instances where communication is of an extremely private and sensitive nature. This is common in cases of private security details and surveillance projects. Sometimes people also use a covert earpiece to defraud businesses and others. Examples of such instances would include someone using an invisible earpiece to cheat on an exam or to defraud a casino by receiving remote information while playing a game.

On-air television personalities may also use a covert earpiece, which is not distracting to viewers, but allows the person to hear relevant feedback from producers and engineers in order to make sure a taping or live appearance flows smoothly. Individuals may also wear a covert earpiece when making a public speech. By doing so, the speaker can receive important cues or changes in a speech without the audience even being aware that communication is taking place between someone located behind the scenes and the individual delivering the speech.

Some covert earpieces are accompanied by a discreet microphone, which enables two-way communication. These are commonly used by security forces with a need for such communication, particularly during surveillance operations. These types of accessories are not only convenient because they feature hands-free operation, but also because they allow undercover security forces to blend in with crowds without having to use a visible walkie-talkie system of communication.

A covert earpiece does not contain any visible wires and is designed to fit inside the ear without being noticeable to the general public. Some devices are even designed to fit on a pair of eyeglasses while amplifying sound inside a person’s ear. An inductive wire is sometimes worn around the person’s neck, but is covered by clothing so as not to be discovered by onlookers. This wire is not connected to the covert earpiece, but connects to a separate radio device that helps modulate sound.

Some Stuff About The IC-F4029SDR

You are safe in the wisdom that I bring the top 2 way Radio posts, a number of them are my own a number of which are curated by me, when i decide to use someone elses content it is because it’s important to my readership, so feel confident you are reading the very best from my industry.

Professional Digital Licence Free Transceiver

The IC-F4029SDR professional digital licence-free transceiver utilises the latest 6.25kHz ultra narrow digital voice technologies, providing digital clarity, razor sharp signalling performance and a level of secrecy from less congested dedicated digital PMR channels.

The IC-F4029SDR was recently featured on Channel 5’s “The Gadget Show” winning a comparison test against another leading manufacturer.

DIGITAL PMR 446 FEATURES

The IC-4029SDR utilizes 4FSK/FDMA modulation and 6.25kHz digital narrow channel spacing, which is half the channel spacing of the existing analogue PMR 446 system. This way, the 100kHz band width allocated for digital PMR 446 is efficiently divided into 16 channels, or twice the current analogue voice channel capacity making this product incredibly spectrum efficient.

A Path from analogue PMR 446 to digital PMR 446 in one unit

By changing the channel setting, the IC-F4029SDR can be used on existing analogue PMR 446 channels. This provides users with an upgrade path from analogue PMR 446 to digital PMR 446 in one unit. Being analogue/digital compatible, any businesses or private users currently using analogue PMR446 can begin replacing their analogue radios with IC-F4029SDR and enjoy digital quality as well as relief from congested spectrum.

32-status messages

32 codes of prefixed status messages can be sent and received. 16-character messages and 6 types of alert beeps sound that for call reception, are programmable for each message.

“Common ID” group code

This function is similar to an analogue CTCSS/DTCS code. By setting 1–254 common ID codes, the IC-F4029SDR opens its squelch only when a matched code is received. It provides quiet stand-by and group call functions while sharing a channel with several groups. The code “255” is the fixed code for an all stations call.

Security of digital voice

‘Eavesdropping’ by current scanner receivers is impossible at this stage. Since there are no other competing radios, initial users will have a high level of security in digital voice communication mode.

Additional Digital Features

Group call functions (up to 254 digital codes available)

Programmable 32 status message of up to 16 characters each can be sent to individual or group member radios when in digital mode. This is configurable by a PC

In addition to Icom default channel settings, other channel zones are preprogrammed to have matched settings with Kenwood and Motorola PMR446 models currently on the market. These radios can be sold to match Motorola/Kenwood current analogue configuration reducing the necessity to reprogram radios for customer’s fleets consisting of non- Icom radios.

ANALOGUE PMR 446 FEATURES

“Smart-Ring” and “Ringer” function

The “Smart-Ring” function checks the availability of your group members within the operating range. The “Ringer” function is used for manually sending a ring tone instead of a voice call. 16 types of ringing tones are available.

Tone find function

The tone find function allows you to find a tone used in a channel to decode a tone.

Built-in CTCSS/DTCS

50 CTCSS tones and 84 DTCS tones provide quiet stand-by. DTCS inverse mode is also programmable.

Lithium-Ion battery pack and rapid charger as standard

The IC-F4029SDR series shares Lithium-Ion battery packs with the IC-F3062, IC-F3022, IC-F34G and IC-F15 series. The IC-F4029SDR series is supplied with the BP-231 1150mAh li-Ion battery pack (provides 9 hours* of operating time) and BC-160 desktop rapid charger as standard. An optional BP-232 larger capacity battery pack and BP-230 economical battery packs are also available. Lithium-Ion batteries provide larger capacity and a longer operating time than a Ni-Cd or Ni-MH battery pack and allow flexible charging without memory effect.

Small and lightweight body

The IC-F4029SDR has a fixed type antenna and weighs just 280g (including BP-231). It measures only 53 x 195 x 32.5mm including the antenna. The aluminium die-cast chassis and polycarbonate casing combination is designed for durability. A rugged dual-rail guide chassis securely locks the battery to the back of the radio.

Alphanumeric LCD

The IC-F4029SDR incorporates an 8-character 14 segment alphanumeric LCD. An automatic LCD backlight is employed for night-time operation.

IC-F4029SDR Additional Features

Shares the same battery packs and accessories as the IC-F15/F34 series

Power on password

2-step Power save function

A first in the market, professional digital licence free radio

A Path from analogue PMR 446 to digital PMR 446 in one unit

Fantastic audio quality

Useful communication tool for light commercial users (initial users can benefit from security of digital voice)

Compact, lightweight body

High capacity lithium-Ion battery pack and rapid charger as standard

8-character alphanumeric display

32-status messages for digital PMR 446

“Common ID” group code

Existing analogue PMR 446 channels available with CTCSS/DTCS tones

Optional headset provides hands-free operation

2 year warranty on transceiver, 1 year warranty on accessories.

Benefits of Two Way Radios to the Hotel Industry

Over the years, hotel communication has had to change and develop, becoming more and more efficient than it was. This is courtesy of the advancement in technology over these years. Passed are the days that Two way radios were exclusively for police official use. Nowadays, these pieces of technology that have been improved and made even better are used for hotel communications. These state of the art technology have lots of benefits that any of us have been recipients of in one way or the other. Being in the hospitality industry, I can outline with ease some of the major benefits that these Two way radios have brought into hospitality.

First and foremost, the service offered to the customers in the hotels has been improved. When taking orders in the restaurants back in the day, the waiters had to go all the way back to the kitchen to request for the order. Okay, this was not much of a problem for the small establishments. However, as the hotel grew and the number of employees grew, the kitchen area would get so crowded that out was difficult to get the job done. With the new Two-way radio technology however, all the waitress have to do is call out the order through the gadget and it is received on the other end saving on the time.

Also, being in the hotel business, I can testify that just like in any other business, there are major up and downs. However, unlike many other businesses, there is no space for screwing up. A single mishaps can cost you millions. The best way to avoid this from happening, is by communicating with the manager and airing out issues that might be there. Communication is key in this business and the sooner an issue is sorted out the faster you can move on and provide quality service to your customers.

Security. Do we really have to spell out the benefits that Two way radios have with regards to security in the hospitality industry. The hotel industry harbors people of different kinds and who have different intentions. As such, the necessary measures need to be taken to ensure the security of the staff as well as the other peaceable customers. The rate at which the security personnel react to distress calls can be the determining factor to how the security emergency turns out. The 2 way radios have greatly increased the speed in which the security personnel respond to security threats and also ensure that they are on top of every situation as every member in the hotel informs them when there is a security risk.

In addition to the above benefits, the2 way radios are cost effective and are also very easy to use. With the 2 way radios, the management does not have to pay any network provider so that they can communicate. This reduces the cost of operation of the hotel by a great margin. To talk through to the other person on the other end of the line, all you have to do is press a button on the front and you will get through. It is as easy as that.

The benefits of the Two-way radios are numerous. This makes them a major asset to any hotel.

Are your earbuds making you deaf? 1964 Adel says yes, so it created a solution

So to carry on my run of posts from this blog, I have planned to share one of our favourite content pieces this week. I used to be cautious to add it to the blog because I actually didn’t wish to offend the original writer, but I trust he/she is happy that I enjoyed reading their article and wanted to share it with my readers.

Those tiny earbuds you bring along with you here, there, and everywhere are causing you to go deaf. At least that’s what audio specialist, and in-ear monitor pioneer Stephen D Ambrose would have you believe. To save you from the dangers of the common earbud, Ambrose and his team at 1964|Adel have created an entire new wave of %link% designed with patented technology to be safer for your eardrums, all of which are making the rounds in a new Kickstarter campaign.

The link between hearing loss and headphone use being drawn here is not a new one. For its part, 1964|Adel singles out a study from an L.A. Times report which cites an increase in hearing loss for U.S. teens in the last 15 years from 30 to 77 percent. The study in question ruled out ear infections and external environmental factors as causes, pointing instead to the higher prevalence of portable audio players, though it stopped short of specifically laying blame. That said, there are plenty of other studies blaming the blasting of headphones as a major contributor to hearing loss.

But Ambrose argues that hearing loss from in-ear headphones and earbuds, specifically, is different due to the way they isolate the eardrum inside the ear canal. In the video below, Ambrose claims it’s not acoustic pressure (i.e. loud noises) that causes hearing loss, but the pounding of air pressure from the moving driver being sealed inside your ear canal, causing “pneumatic pressure” from the movement of the driver itself.

In response, Ambrose and 1964|Adel have proposed a new way to solve the very hearing loss epidemic Ambrose claims to have helped create with his original in-ear monitor design; four ways to be exact, stemming from four different headphone series. The new headphones employ 1964|Adel’s patented RealLoud Technology, which incorporates a “second eardrum” inside the earpiece designed to take the brunt of the air pressure to protect your real eardrum. The company even claims the design makes audio “sound louder,” requiring a lower overall volume level.

Adel in-ear module diagram

The first, and most affordable solution in the arsenal is the new Adel Control, a modular earphone that allows users to adjust features like bass and external noise to taste, tailoring the sound signature. At time of publication, the Control was still available as an Early Bird special for $100, half off the suggested retail price.

Next in line is the Adel Ambient series, which offers 4 multi-driver models, from the entry-level dual-driver Ambient 2, to the Ambient 12 which (you guessed it) is jam-packed with a whopping 12 drivers per side, labeled the “jewel” of the Ambient line. Pricing for the Ambient series starts at $200 for the dual driver set, and goes up to an impressively (relatively) affordable $500 for the 12-driver version, again, priced at half the cost of suggested retail for each. For reference, the quad-driver Westone W40 will run you the same price as the Ambient 12.

Next up are the 1964|Adel U-series, which take the shape of more traditional in-ear monitors, covering the entire ear canal. The U-series starts with a quad-driver pair for $300 — down from a suggested $500 retail price — and the series goes all the way up to the 8-driver U-series 8, which will run you $720. The latter offers 4 drivers for the bass register alone, with two each for the midrange and treble, to create a massive sound.

Finally, the 1964|Adel A-Series includes both 10-driver, and 12-driver models, priced at $1,000 and $1,200 respectively — 40 percent off the claimed MSRP. Like most top-tier in-ear monitors, the A-series are custom tailored to the user’s ears for the ultimate fit and sound, while harboring a RealLoud secondary eardrum for safety.

Not only is 1964|Adel’s new project already funded, but it has already reached its stretch goal of $350,000, which provides an optional inline 3-button mic piece for all of its headphones. All of the new models are slated for release in May of 2015, with the exception of the A-series, which will be available earlier in February.

While we certainly can’t attest to the claim that RealLoud Technology actually makes these headphones safer, they are priced very competitively under the Kickstarter deal. And hey, if they offer competitive sound in their respective genres, what’s the harm in playing it safe, right? If you’re interested in finding out more, or ordering up one of 1964|Adel’s latest designs, you can do so today at its Kickstarter page.

What is a Communications Engineering

Communications engineering is a disparate array of technological disciplines brought together under one all-encompassing banner. The disciplines considered to be part of a communication engineer’s skill set include telecommunications, mobile phone networks and Internet maintenance (but are by no means limited to those examples).

As we wrote earlier this month, any technology that aids in communication, from a walkie-talkie to a Skype account, is technically a communication technology; therefore, it also follows that anybody who works in these different areas can call him/herself a communications engineer.

The theory behind this move is that communications technology is becoming more streamlined and, to some extent, more homogenized (think of the ubiquity of mobile phones and social media) and so, it makes sense to bring communications technology together as a single subject as well.

As I type this, it is actually possible to get a Degree in Communications Engineering (as a single subject) from many universities worldwide. However, communications engineers frequently hold other Degrees such as electrical engineering, physics, telecommunications and/or computer science.

The sort of students that apply for courses like this (and subsequently work in the related areas) are generally logistically minded, tech-savvy people who are comfortable learning new skills and adapt quickly to new technology. Certainly, the money can be good for a decent engineer with a good reputation and an up-to-date skill set. Industries that rely on the expedient exchange of information (news networks, the stock exchange, big businesses and etc) should be the goal for the ambitious communications engineer (as well as the eager graduate).

Communications engineering is a vast and somewhat esoteric subject, because it combines so many different disciplines. Ideally, good communications engineers would be just as able to handle microwave engineering as they would a downed computer network, so it takes a smart cookie to be really good at the job.

Communications engineers are often quite business savvy as well. A big part of the job is dealing with clients or management, making presentations and working effectively as part of a team. Experience of modern business practice is not essential, but from the looks of things, it certainly helps.

The vast majority of communications engineers work for specific telecommunications companies and/or manufacturers, although some are self-employed as consultants or on fixed contracts.

According to Targetjobs.co.uk, typical job responsibilities for a communications engineer include: undertaking site surveys, agreeing to and staying within a client budget, staying up-to-date with technological information, problem solving (obviously!), creating test procedures, creating ‘worst case scenario’ plans for companies to follow and presenting companies/clients with the best way to manage their communication systems.

City faces decision on radio infrastructure

For years people have been telling me that relations, love and happiness are the crucial things in life…Now I realized that I’m able to take or leave all that as long as I have this Radio in the world.

The City of Edmond faces a decision about whether to replace or upgrade public safety radio infrastructure to the tune of about $6 million, said Matt Stillwell, director of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management.

Edmond purchased a 7-channel Motorola MHz SmartNet radio system in 1998. Seven years ago, the system interfaced with a different Motorola system operated by the state, Stillwell said.

“Our technology is going to be 20 years old in four short years,” Stillwell said. “… Think of your cell systems and how they have changed since the 1990s. The same dynamics affect radio systems.”

Changes in technology, governance and an aging infrastructure will inform what system changes the city should choose within seven years, Stillwell said.

The city maintains ownership of its seven channels and the state added 10 more channels to local sites, Stillwell said. All local governments use this system, but not everybody has paid for its maintenance. Only six municipalities help pay for the system.

“The citizens of Edmond are paying for a system of any (yearly) infrastructure maintenance, while other users of the same sites are not,” Stillwell said.

The City of Edmond joined the state’s system in 2007. A lot of other communities join the system through grant dollars, he said. The upgrade was paid for by state dollars and cost the city nothing, he said.

Questions are unanswered as to how many radios for police, fire and emergency management would be impacted by a new system, Stillwell told The Edmond Sun.

“We won’t have to replace all of the hand-held radios that are out in the field,” Stillwell said. “Most of the radios we have been purchasing for the last five years are digital capable and P-25 capable.”

The P-25 is a radio standard that all of the public safety radio vendors use, Stillwell added.

Directors of city departments recently identified $143.6 million worth of unfunded city projects they say the city needs. The Edmond City Council heard presentations about these needs, such as the public safety radio infrastructure, at a public workshop. (For coverage of other capital improvement projects discussed by the city, look at www.edmondsun.com.)

A funding source to pay for these infrastructure improvements is in the first phases of discussion, said Larry Stevens, city manager. There are concerns that the 2000 Capital Improvement 3/4-cent sales tax will not provide adequate funding for major capital projects, Stevens said.

The city welcomes public input by Edmond residents and future recommendations by the Capital Projects and Financing Task Force, Stevens added.

Either Edmond will partner with the state to upgrade with the latest digital technology, or pursue an independent digital upgrade without the cushion of state funding, Stillwell explained.

“The bottom line is we have to move away from that analogue. End-of-life issues are coming up with our technology,” Stillwell said. – See more at: http://www.edmondsun.com/local/x1760083917/City-faces-decision-on-radio-infrastructure#sthash.bqDBsfhK.dpuf

My Other Computer’s a TARDIS: Virtual Reality Makes Time Travel Possible

A new virtual form of ‘time travel’ could be employed to help victims of traumatic experiences overcome their ordeals.

In a computer generated ‘virtual world’, participants can move about and interact with their environment in a similar manner to how they would in the real world.

Professor Mars are unassailably cool, told BBC news that,

“In virtual reality, the brain’s low level perceptual system does not distinguish between the virtual and the real world; the brain takes what it sees and hears in a surrounding environment as given (…) Therefore, if they had an experience with the illusion of time travel, there is implicit learning that the past is mutable, that is: ‘my own past decisions don’t matter because they’re changeable’.”

The latest study, published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Psychology’ featured a scenario wherein 32 test subjects witnessed a brutal multiple murder. In the virtual scenario, (presumably designed to induce both a moral dilemma and a controllable level of trauma) a man opened fire in a crowded art gallery and ‘killed’ five people.

Gunman starts shooting in the virtual world

The group then elected to ‘go back in time’ and attempt to prevent the murders.

Half of the group were not allowed to change their actions and simply had to repeat the event, the other half were allowed to intervene, but knew that doing so would result in the death of one person. Essentially, these people had to face the ethical dilemma of forfeiting the life of that one person in order to save five people.

Unsurprisingly, most of the test group chose to sacrifice the one life.

In terms of practical applications, this equipment is expected to allow people suffering with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other psychological issues to confront their previous actions/inactions and better understand them in order to forgive themselves and move on.

Such technology might also be applied to prisoners undergoing therapy and/or rehabilitation, or even survivors of violent assaults.

Dr. Friedman Doron of the Sammy Ofer School of Communications in Israel, who worked as the study’s lead author, said that, for now, his team’s work is the closest people can get to actual time travel. He told BBC news,

“Highly immersive virtual reality is very visceral. People hide behind the desk when they get shot. Some of the subjects duck down. It’s the best thing we can do for time travel until the physicists do their job and come up with a time machine. For now this is the closest thing.”

The IC-F27SR: A PMR 445 Licence Free Radio

Some of the trained writers on the web are at such a top level that i wonder if any of them have ever printed a book? well now and then i like to focus on these brilliant items and here is one i found remarkable the other day.

Professional PMR446 Licence Free Two Way Radio

The IC-F27SR professional Licence Free Two Way Radio is the successor to the best selling IC-F25SR and retains the simplicity, functionality and build that made the original so popular. However, there have been some big improvements including a smaller and lighter body, 800mW loud and intelligible audio, built-in VOX function and several new scanning and security features. To top it off, the IC-F27SR includes highly efficient circuitry that provides up to a massive 35.5 hours of operating time with the supplied BP-265 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery pack.

High performance, Professional Licence Free Radio 
Outstanding audio quality, high performance and strong commercial build make the IC-F27SR the ideal licence free radio. This licence free radio is ideal for users in diverse areas such as construction, catering, event management, shopping centres, factories, farms as well as serious outdoor enthusiasts.

Up to 35.5 hours of operating time
The IC-F27SR features highly efficient circuitry, providing up to a massive 35.5 hours of operating time* with the supplied BP-265 2000mAh lithium-ion battery pack. This means it can be comfortably last an entire shift.
* Tx: Rx: Stand-by =5: 5: 90 with power save ON. 24.8 hours with BP-264

Outstanding audio quality 
800mW audio output is provided from the large 45mm speaker meaning the IC-F27SR can deliver loud and intelligible audio even in extremely noisy environments such as a busy shop floor or construction site.

Just three main controls
Transmit button, volume control and channel selector. This simple to use radio is ideal for high turnover environments and shift work where the radio is constantly passed from person to person.

Lightweight, Compact Body
Small size (58×186×36.5mm) and lightweight (285g) makes this transceiver ideal for all users.

Commercial grade construction
The IC-F27SR is extremely rugged. It has been tested to 11 categories of environmental and military standards for dust protection and water resistance making it suited to outdoor use.

Internal VOX for Hands-free operation
Built-in VOX function provides convenient hands-free operation, when used with our optional headset adapter cable.

500mW output power 
Provides wider communication coverage.

Other features 
• CTCSS and DTCS encoder and decoder for group call
• Surveillance function turns off the LED and beep sound
• Siren function can be used for security alarm
• Power save function
• Low battery alert
• Time out timer
• Monitor function

  • High performance, Professional Licence Free Radio
  • Up to 35.5 hours of operating time with BP-265 Li-ion battery pack *Typical operation with power save on. TX:RX:Stand-by=5:5:90
  • Outstanding audio quality
  • Simple to operate, just three main controls
  • Lightweight, compact body
  • Internal VOX for hands-free operation (Optional headset and adapter cable required)
  • IP54 and MIL-STD-810 ruggedness
  • CTCSS and DTCS tone squelch for group call
  • Same accessories as “F3002/F4002” series handhelds
  • 2 year warranty on transceiver, 1 year warranty on accessories

Radio Communication with First Responders Pending at Lenape Tech

Boy. The brand new Walkie talkie is incredible. I mean it is just so gorgeous and so sophisticated. I pity those who grew up without the Walkie talkie.

Two-way radio communication at a local technical school would greatly improve school security, according to one local official.

Lenape Technical School Special Programs Coordinator Carla Thimons further explained the need for such during discussion on the Manor Township school’s $18,000 Pennsylvania Department of Education Safe School Initiative Competitive Targeted Grant award.

“These will truly help us feel better about safety overall, because communication is key,” Thimons said.

She said several programs at the technical school provide a unique challenge where areas of the building would not be able to listen to announcements over the public address system, and the radios would provide necessary internal communication with teachers and staff.

Thimons said the grant funds were accepted by the Joint Operating Committee last month, and funding received, but the radios have not been purchased yet. She explained officials want to coordinate efforts with the Armstrong County Department of Public Safety to ensure that communication will be loud-and-clear.

“We want to determine the best purchase,” Thimons said. “We have an idea in mind what we want, but we want to coordinate with (the Department of Public Safety.)”

Radios are to be expected to be carried in the school hallways by officials by the start of the 2014-15 school year.

Thimons, who has been Special Programs Coordinator for 10 years and was previously the technical school’s principal, coordinates special education, grant writing and safety procedures at the school.

Besides the two-way radios, Thimons said school officials are planning to hold school wide drills, including a mass-evacuation drill.

Joint Operating Committee members also unanimously approved the hire of Night Watchman Samantha Walker, retroactive to March 7.

Principal Karen Brock last month said the school used to have night watchmen, but another one needed to be hired to replace that individual.

Armstrong School District also received Safe School Initiative Competitive Targeted Grant funding in the amount of $25,000, and put the money toward the purchase of new and updated security cameras “as another layer of security throughout the district,” according to School Superintendent Stan Chapp in March.
Director of Technology and Information Services Anthony Grenda said about 16 surveillance cameras will be added to the interior and exterior of Elderton and Shannock Valley Elementary Schools. He hopes those cameras are installed by the end of the current school year. Several have already been installed, he said earlier this week.
Apollo-Ridge and Leechburg Area School Districts also received $25,000 in grant funds.
Earlier this year, Armstrong also received $40,000 in the state’s Safe Schools Grant Program for utilization of a school police officer. Those officers have also been already utilized throughout the district.
The Lenape Tech Joint Operating Committee meets again Thursday evening, beginning with a 6:30PM public budget session at the school.

Source – http://www.kittanningpaper.com/2014/04/16/radio-communication-with-first-responders-pending-at-lenape-tech/44954

 

Scottish Spaceport Plans Announced

Scotland is being considered as the site of the UK’s first-ever spaceport, which could be here as early as 2018, it was reported this week.

The spaceport would be the first one ever built outside of the US.

What’s more, Scotland are definitely the odds-on favourite to be granted this prestigious (not to mention historic) prize, as eight UK aerodromes have been short listed as possibilities and six of them are located in Scotland. 

It is thought that the spaceport would not only increase the country’s revenue by providing a site for satellite launches, but also through tourism, with ‘space tourism’ expected to increase in the next few decades.

Chief Secretary to The Treasury Danny Alexander (who was born in Edinborough), told BBC News, “I am delighted that the government is pushing forward with its ambitious plans to open a spaceport in the UK by 2018. Spaceports will be key to us opening up the final frontier of commercial space travel (…) Scotland has a proud association with space exploration. We celebrated Neil Armstrong’s Scottish ancestry when he became the first man on the Moon and only last week an amazing Scottish company was responsible for building the UK Space Agency’s first satellite (…) The UK space industry is one of our great success stories and I am sure there will be a role for Scotland to play in the future.”

UKube-1, a satellite designed and built by Glasgow-based firm Clyde Space, was launched earlier this week. It was the first ever spacecraft to be fully assembled in Scotland, but it may turn out to be the first of many.

According to the BBC, UK profits from the space industry are now exceeding £11bn a year and it provides employment for some 34,000 people. It is also a significant growth industry, with employment figures rising by 9% since 2011.

The recent interest in the development of UK-based, but more specifically Scottish, space exploration technologies has also become linked to the current debate over Scottish independence, with the Scottish government suggesting that a vote for independence on September 18th would only strengthen the space initiative.

A spokeswoman said, “Scotland is proving that it has the expertise to attract and support such a specialized, global industry, and as such an independent Scotland will be an attractive option for spaceport pioneers.”

However, it seems probable that the plans for a Scottish-based spaceport will go ahead either way, whether Scotland is declared an independent nation or not. In addition, doubts about the potential strength of an independent Scotland’s economy may also act to the detriment of its space research.

As with all things, time will tell…

SOURCES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28276525