A British satellite called Strand-1 that starts this month will be fully controlled by a Google Nexus One smartphone.
The box-shaped satellite, or “CubeSat”, will spend six months in orbit are supervised by the team that has developed in the Surrey Space Center (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL).
Speaking to the BBC, the SSC lead engineer Dr. Chris Bridges said the Nexus One is a model off-the-shelf: “We gutted the Nexus We have lots and lots of evidence, we have put our. Own software in it. But we essentially have a regular phone, USB connected to it and put it on the satellite. ”
The Nexus One is placed on one side of the satellite 30 cm long, 4.3 kg, allowing its 5 megapixel camera to get a good look out on Earth and the Moon. For starters, the satellite will use a Linux-based board to test two new powertrains. This is science fiction-sounding “pulsed plasma thrusters” and “Warp Drive” (Alcohol Water-jet propulsion Resisto-orbit reentry Velocity Experiment). After this is done, the control of the satellite will be delivered to the Nexus One
A camera inside the relay telemetry screen Nexus One and an experiment with its magnetometer built also performed.
SSTL’s Head of Science, Doug Liddle, says that while you may not see any U.S. $ 30 satellites controlled smartphones in the near term, the possibilities are exciting: “instead of having a small niche group of spacecraft flight software developers, suddenly could call a global community of application developers help design control systems or handling for spacecraft telemetry. ” Despite Strand-1 has not yet released from the Earth’s gravity, Strand-2 already in the works. Using consumer technology further, two of the boxy CubeSats float in space before using Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect to find each other and dock. While playing Strauss’ The Blue Danube, hopefully.