NASA Democratizing Space Research With Android Powered Satellites

NASA Democratizing Space Research With Android Powered Satellites

August 28, 2012 9:43 am 0 comments

NASA's Android powered PhoneSat

I wrote about NASA’s PhoneSat project for Wired:

The first version of NASA’s satellite — PhoneSat 1.0 — costs about $3,500 to build. It’s a coffee-cup-sized cube designed to withstand cosmic radiation, containing an HTC Nexus One phone running the Android operating system, an external radio beacon, external bateries, and a circuit that will reboot the phone if it stops transmitting data — all off-the-shelf commercial parts.

It has been tested under various adverse conditions, such as “thermal-vacuum chambers, vibration and shock tables, sub-orbital rocket flights and high-altitude balloons.” The plan is to launch this month with the modest goal of staying alive long enough to send a few photos back to earth.

The next version, PhoneSats 2.0, will use newer Samsung Nexus S phones and include a two way radio system that will enable researchers to control the satellite from earth. Other enhancements include solar panels and magnetorquer coils.

Last April, NASA sponsored a development contest giving programmers the chance to write Android apps that will run on the PhoneSat. Examples of potential applications include star tracking and radiation monitoring apps.

Wired Enterprise: NASA Builds Your Own Private Satellite — With Google Android

Previously: Want to Do Your Own Space Research Project? ArduSat Wants to Help

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