Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

'Smartphone Satellite' Developed By Surrey Space Researchers
by Staff Writers
Surrey, UK (SPX) Jan 25, 2011

"If a smartphone can be proved to work in space, it opens up lots of new technologies to a multitude of people and companies for space who usually can't afford it. It's a real game-changer for the industry," Dr Bridges added.

Space researchers at the University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) have developed 'STRaND-1', a satellite containing a smartphone payload that will be launched into orbit around the Earth later this year.

STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) is being developed by the Surrey team to demonstrate the advanced capabilities of a satellite built quickly using advanced commercial off-the-shelf components.

STRaND-1's lead researcher Dr Chris Bridges explained why a smartphone made an ideal satellite payload "Smartphones pack lots of components - such as sensors, video cameras, GPS systems and Wi-Fi radios - that are technologically advanced but a fraction of the size, weight and cost of components used in existing satellite systems. And because many smartphones also run on free operating systems that lend themselves to online software developers, the creators of applications ('apps') for smartphones could feasibly develop apps for satellites," he said.

Smartphones aren't designed to go into space, so in addition to extensive ground testing prior to launch there will be an in-orbit test campaign to put the phone through its paces. A powerful computer built at the SSC will test the vital statistics of the phone once in space.

The computer will check which components of the phone are operating normally and when components malfunction in orbit for recovery. Images and messages from the phone will be sent back to Earth via a radio system. Once all the tests are complete, the micro computer will be switched off and the smartphone will be used to operate parts of the satellite.

"If a smartphone can be proved to work in space, it opens up lots of new technologies to a multitude of people and companies for space who usually can't afford it. It's a real game-changer for the industry," Dr Bridges added.

A smartphone avionics suite is one of many technological advances packed into this 4 kg nano-satellite. To precisely point and manoeuvre, the satellite also incorporates advanced guidance, navigation and control systems including miniature reaction wheels, and a GPS receiver, as well as innovative pulse plasma thrusters to propel it through space.

The long-established collaboration between Surrey Space Centre and SSTL means that the company benefits from the University of Surrey's advanced space engineering research, while the University's researchers and students get the chance to design, build and fly real space hardware alongside engineers from a world-leading small satellite provider.

"The STRaND-1 programme is part of a proud history of close collaboration between the University and SSTL; from the UoSAT missions of the 1990's, through SNAP-1 in 2000," explained Dr Craig Underwood, Deputy Director of Surrey Space Centre and Principal Investigator of STRaND.

SSTL's Shaun Kenyon, Project Manager for STRaND-1, said he was delighted with how the programme was going: "When we came to the Surrey Space Centre with the idea of flying a smartphone they had the expertise and innovative satellite subsystems to complete our design. The operation of the smartphone is really just the icing on the cake to what is already an incredibly advanced satellite."

SSTL's Head of Science Doug Liddle added: "It's planned that STRaND-1 will be the first of many collaborative STRaND satellites between the University and SSTL. This provides a tangible means for the two groups to share capabilities, develop key skills and work with advanced commercial technology in space. With the smartphone payload costing less than Pounds 300 and the whole satellite costing less than a family car it's exciting to see how the team have managed to create a satellite with such incredible performance."


Related Links
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL)
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

LockMart To Enhance Space Systems Development With Opening Of New Virtual Laboratory
Denver CO (SPX) Jan 25, 2011
Lockheed Martin plans to increase the affordability and efficiency of space system development with the opening of a new advanced technology and virtual simulation facility, known as the Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory (CHIL). The CHIL, located at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company headquarters in Littleton, Colo., integrates several virtual reality technologies enabling engine ... read more

Draper Commits One Million Dollars To Next Giant Leap's Moon Lander

Lunar water may have come from comets - scientists

Moon Has Earth-Like Core

The Hunt For The Lunar Core

New images of martian moon released

DLR Researchers Simulate The Martian Atmosphere

The Southern Hemisphere Of Phobos, Up Close

Chinese Astronaut Performs Well In Mars-500 Project

Solar Sail Stunner

Looking Back At Uranus

Google looks to its next decade

Astronaut Steve Bowen Joins STS-133 Crew

Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts

China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport

Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing

China-Made Satellite Keeps Remote Areas In Venezuela Connected

Russia's Spaceship Debris Slump Into Pacific Ocean

Russian cosmonauts complete space walk

Cosmonauts Perform 27th Russian ISS Spacewalk

ISS Resupply From Four Corners Of Globe

First Delta IV Heavy Launches From Vandenberg

Beaming Rockets Into Space

Arianespace Announces Eutelsat Contract

ATM Is Readied For Its February Launch On Ariane 5

Inclined Orbits Prevail

Inclined Orbits Prevail In Exoplanetary Systems

Planet Affects A Star's Spin

Kepler Mission Discovers Its First Rocky Planet

Virtual lab for space systems planned

'Smartphone Satellite' Developed By Surrey Space Researchers

Canada to upgrade military radars

Researchers Discover How To Tame Hammering Droplets

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement