First Smartphone with Android will reach space later this year

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Engineers satellite company, Surrey Satellite Technology , based in the UK, plan to launch later this year the first “smartphone” with Android into outer space , to be inserted into a nanosatellite to see if you can perform studies in space with cheap components .

Google and NASA and launched in 2010 several Nexus S in balloons that went up to the limit of the atmosphere. The new project manager, Chris Bridges , claims to have worked to equip the mobile device with all the technology needed to collect all data types. “With the help of all equipment, smart phones we’ve worked with have been several changes in software to transform the device from a standard telephone to an integrated autonomous system optimized for satellite applications,” says Bridges on its website .

After several attempts in recent months to launch the “smarpthone” engineers of this project, called ” Strand-1 ‘, think later this year may send the Strand-1 nanosatellite into space. For now, the company has not revealed what model of “smartphone” is going to launch into orbit.

Many months of effort were used to determine what features should have this device, among which are a compass, a radio and a WiFi access system that will connect to a WiFi signal repeater inside the satellite.

Furthermore, when asked what it would take a space, the team of “Strand-1 “published last year a contest to determine the 4 essential applications that should be the first” smartphone “launched into orbit.The first one is called “ITESA” and measure the magnetic fields of space, mainly. The other set a camera to take pictures of space and a service position and a set of speakers and microphones. This is a program for research, but with an essentially commercial purpose , such as finding cheap materials with which research in space , and also impose a litmus test against the resistance of the device components. According to them, the characteristics of mobile devices today might also be useful in space, like radio, camera and other applications that could be developed for this market.

Spatial competition

While the British project would be the first to cross the orbit with a “smartphone”, there is also another project in the hands of NASA and Google, the two major Internet and space raised to send the “smartphone” Nexus S in early 2013 to outer space , for academic purposes. The project is not exactly new, but an extension of a journey begun in 2010. Two years ago, Google has already sent several Nexus S limit of the atmosphere sphere with the help of weather balloons On each computer, set up a Nexus S, batteries, transmitter ready for such altitudes and in some video cameras or photo. In addition, each Nexus S running Google Maps 5.0, Sky Map and Google Earth to indicate their position and see if there was data connection.

In addition, NASA pursues broader goals and greater financial support, with the one proposed building small robots in the form of spheres, to collect technical data from space, thanks to the technological gear of a “smartphone”. In any case, it seems that some companies have already realized that the smart technology of mobile devices can be opened to space research , with significantly lower costs compared to other specific technology.

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