Source Newsroom: IEEE Spectrum Magazine
Newswise — Like an overclocker boosting the performance of a CPU, aeronautical engineers have devised a way to coax satellites in space to outperform their advertised specs. Without tweaking any onboard hardware or software, they can command these spacecraft to do things they weren't originally designed to do--save fuel or rotate faster, allowing them to more quickly and efficiently perform duties such as as imaging time-sensitive events. By pushing satellites beyond their purported limits, engineers can extend their life and usefulness without installing new technology and driving up cost. The trick is made possible by advances in computing power and the development of complex mathematical algorithms, which have taken the world's leading mathematicians centuries to create.