Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

PhoneSat - NASA tests Smartphones as satellite technology: NASA launched three consumer smartphones into space this year to test how existing consumer technology can be incorporated into low-cost satellites (video).  Pictures from the devices were retrieved by amateur radio 'hams'.  The three smartphones were aptly named, 'Alexander', 'Graham', and 'Bell', and were housed in a CubeSat chassis about 4 inches per side.  The cost of the satellites varied between $3,500USD and $7,000USD and used Nexus S (Samsung) phones - with the phone interface removed and replaced with the ham radio interface.  Each system included a GPS receiver, radios, multiple acceleration and rotation sensors, a compass, 1-2 cameras, memory - as well as Lithium-Ion batteries, and magnetorquer coils and reaction wheels to control satellite orientation.  All three were launched aboard the Antares 110 rocket. A similar British built satellite called STRaND-1 was put into orbit earlier this year, and was powered by a Google Nexus One phone.