Post Tagged with: "citizen science"

NASA Democratizing Space Research With Android Powered Satellites

NASA Democratizing Space Research With Android Powered Satellites

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

August 28, 2012 0 comments
Want to Do Your Own Space Research Project? ArduSat Wants to Help

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

ArduSat is a (funded) Kickstarter project that aims to launch an Arduino based satellite into space that will run experiments designed by people like you. The idea is that, since it will use open source hardware, you’ll be able to design your own research experiments and submit them to the ArduSat team. They’ll test your experiment and, if everything seems legit, upload your experiment to the satellite, collect data and send it back to you to do whatever you’d like.

Here are some possible applications of ArduSat from the Kickstarter page:

SCIENCE: Meteor Hunter – Small meteors that strike the atmosphere every day created trails of ionized gas in the atmosphere in the upper atmosphere. Write an experiment to try and detect meteor impacts, by listening for radio stations beyond the horizon, reflected by the meteor trails!

ENGINEERING: Your Eye in the Sky – Try writing an app that would synchronize the output of a head mounted-gyro to the steering system on the satellite. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try downlinking the attitude vector in real-time to watch the satellite follow your head – you could even tie-in your head-steering to our program that takes pictures! (Talk to Joel if you’re interested in this experiment!)

ENGINEERING: Point-and-shoot – The following settings can be set on the camera: “exposure, gamma, gain, white balance, color matrix, windowing”. Try designing an algorithm that fine-tunes the settings to take even better pictures or more artistic pictures!

ENTERTAINMENT: Geiger Counter Bingo – Write an app that transmits a message with a random number and letter every time a particle hits the satellite with enough energy. Have a ‘bingo from space’ game between HAM radio amateurs.

ENTERTAINMENT: Photography Competition – See who among your friends can snap the coolest/most interesting picture from space. The eye of a hurricane, sunrise over the Indian ocean, even aurora from space – see what marvels you can capture!

Take Pictures from Space

The satellite is not just for scientific purposes; ambitious photographers and artists will be able to steer the satellite cameras take pictures on-demand of the Earth, the Moon, or the stars. Especially from the Artist community we expect to see some spectacular private space pictures so we all can marvel at the beauty of Earth from above.

July 3, 2012 0 comments