In the United Kingdom volunteers from SSTL and SSC are using their own, free time to develop STRaND-1 a CubeSat that will carry a Smart Phone.
However Smart Phone satellites aren’t only being developed in the UK, the United States is developing one as well. Radio amateur Mike Safyan KJ6MVL gave a presentation on the US PhoneSat to the 2011 TAPR Digital Communications Conference and thanks to ARVN a video is now available.
A PhoneSat Really? Use an off the shelf smart phone as the guts of a satellite? Yep, that’s what radio amateur Mike Safyan KJ6MVL is doing over at NASA. He described the project in his talk at the 2011 ARRL/TAPR DCC in Baltimore.
Of course, todays phones have way more computer power than typical satellites, updated phones are released like every 5 minutes, and they’re dirt cheap (relatively). But can they hold up and do the job in the rigors of space? So far, Mike’s sent his phone up on a near space balloon and a small rocket, and yes, it works. A full CubeSat launch is next for Mike and crew.
Watch 2011 DCC – PhoneSat
A six page article on UK PhoneSat STRaND-1 appeared in the Spring issue of the AMSAT-UK publication OSCAR News available for download at http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf
UK Smartphone CubeSat STRaND-1 http://www.uk.amsat.org/2011/09/07/uk-smartphone-cubesat-strand-1/
Amateur Radio Video News (ARVN) http://www.arvn.tv/