LONDON (GN): The UK’s first industrial contribution to the International Space Station (ISS) was delivered on Tuesday. The communications antenna is part of a consignment of supplies that arrived on a Cygnus freighter.

Made by MDA UK, the Columbus Ka-band (COLKa) Terminal will enable astronauts to connect with scientists and family on Earth at home broadband speeds. The equipment will be fixed to the exterior of Europe’s ISS science module in a few weeks’ time. This should improve substantially on current arrangements for radio links. “At the moment, the communications from Columbus go through the American data relay satellites, but those satellites are prioritised for US use.

Temperature screening robots to assist epidemic control in China

XI’AN (Xinhua): A Chinese university has developed a temperature screening robot for detecting abnormal body temperature in crowds, which has been put into production. Mei Xuesong, a professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University in west China’s Shaanxi Province, said manual temperature measurement can only measure one person at a time, while the body temperature screening robot developed by his team can take thermal images of body temperatures in a crowd, and trace and recognize facial images of those with high temperatures.

Mei said after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the team has made efforts to combine the robot technology with thermal imaging and screening to develop the robot and another robot that can conduct unmanned disinfection with an ultraviolet disinfection device.

He said both robots are suitable to serve at stations, airports, hospitals and other public places to improve epidemic control and disinfection efficiency while reducing the exposure risks of people.

Mei said the body temperature screening robot has been produced by the Xi’an Youibot Technology Co., Ltd. on a small scale, and proved to have high measurement accuracy.