An Android-based phone is about to be blasted into orbit as part of research conducted by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. Their “STRaND-1” satellite will contain a “smartphone payload” which will be launched later this year. Dr Chris Bridges, lead researcher for the STRaND-1 project, stated..
“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.”
The payload will cost less than £300 and will weigh less than 4kg we could soon find Android developers writing apps for controlling satellites.
Their press guys tell us..
“We’re not in a position to identify the phone which is being flown on the STRaND nanosat. I can however confirm that it is running the Android operating system.