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Monday, January 24, 2011

Will It Send?

A very small, 30cm-long, satellite is going to be sent into orbit by a team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited of Guildford U.K. The satellite is going to be powered by a smartphone using the Google Android operating system, though the precise make and model have not been disclosed.

SSTL project manager Shaun Kenyon says "They come now with processors that can go up to 1GHz, and they have loads of flash memory. First of all, we want to see if the phone works up there, and if it does, we want to see if the phone can control a satellite." The company's goal is to find an inexpensive, off-the-shelf solution that can aid in lowering it's cost of design and development.
"We're not taking it apart; we're not gutting it; we're not taking out the printed circuit boards and re-soldering them into our satellite - we're flying it as is," Mr Kenyon explained.
"And, in fact, we're going to have another camera on the satellite so we can take a picture of the phone because we want to operate the screen and have some good images of that as well."
You see Apple? This is why an open platform is far superior to your closed model... just sayin.