Smartphones and Space!
A team of people at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, based in Guilford have come up with a plan to see whether they can actually put a mobile phone into space. The real test will be whether the new and amazing functions will actually work in the most challenging environment known to man.
Although the exact model of phone that they are going to launch has not been revealed it has been stated that the model chose will operate on Google’s Android operating system.
Mobile phones have indeed been launched into space before, but this will be the first time that such a device has ever gone into orbit at more than several hundred kilometres above our planet earth. Ultimately the belief that now our smartphones are pretty amazing, with their fast processers and loads of memory and the team would like to see if the phone works up there and if so can it actually be used to control a 30cm long satellite. Also it will be used to see if it can take pictures of the earth.
Why would someone want to launch a mobile phone into space?
The reality of it is that they are constantly trying to find more inexpensive ways to lower the cost of spaceship designs. This particular mission will take place later on this year and is known as STRaND-1 (Surrey Training Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration.
They are going to use as much of the phones capabilities as possible and the phone itself will be a standard model costing around £300, it will be one available in high street stores. The team at Surrey further state that they will not be taking it apart, gutting it or even modifying it they are simply flying it as it is.
The satellite will incorporate advanced guidance, navigation and control systems. These will include miniature reaction wheels, a GPS receiver as well as pulse plasma thrusters to propel it through space. The phone will be given the chance to oversee all these subsystems. The end result would be that if the phone works, then in the future we could see people developing apps for it. If the smartphone can prove itself in space then it opens up new technologies to a range of people.
Apps, Brick technology Web Design and future plans
With Brick technology now producing some fantastic apps for iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices only time will tell, maybe someday we will produce an app that can be used on board a mission – watch this space!