Smartphone and Kinect Satellite Presentations at Guildford

Dr Christopher Bridges (2nd from left) discussing why space is cool on Sky News

Dr Chris Bridges recently appeared on the nationwide TV channel Sky News discussing why space is cool. On September 15-16 he will be giving two presentations to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ.

Chris will cover the Nexus Android Smartphone amateur radio satellite STRaND-1 which will carry both a Resistojet and a Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) module and STRaND-2 which comprises two 3U CubeSats that will use Microsoft Xbox Kinect controller technology for docking.

UPDATE: For videos of the two STRaND presentations see

Dr Chris Bridges, is Lecturer in On-Board Data Handling at Surrey Space Centre (SSC), University of Surrey. Chris is the SSC Lead Scientist for the STRaND programme together with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and works on the on-board computing, data bus, and computing payloads including the Android powered smart-phone and Microsoft Kinect hardware. He teaches in Spacecraft Bus Subsystems and Microprocessors, and researches low-power embedded computing for real-time applications. He also works with schools and media for outreach using social media, radio, and television.

STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the programme is intended to be a long-term arrangement between the space company SSTL and academic researchers at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), with STRaND-1 the first of a long line of STRaND nanosatellites.

The SSTL employees involved with the STRaND programme are volunteers. It is a condition of the programme that volunteers from SSTL and SSC use their own, free time for STRaND activities (such as lunches and breaks). The project has no budget for staff so is entirely dependent on volunteers.

The Colloquium is a truly international event and will include:

Exclusive access to inspect the new SSTL clean room and integration facilities at the recently opened Kepler Building. If you have visited their previous facilities at the university campus, during previous Colloquia, you will be amazed by what is happening now.

Presentations by experts from AMSAT-SA, AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-CT and AMSAT-DL on their current spacecraft projects.

CubeSat presentations on UKube-1, STRaND-1, STRaND-2 and, of course the FUNcube-1 project.

We will be including an exclusive roundup of a number of new live and potential spacecraft projects that are under investigation and/or development.

Additionally a number of presentations are planned covering new communications techniques and similar futuristic topics, along with the launch of the new FUNcube Dongle PRO-Plus Software Defined Radio (SDR) on the Saturday.

Plus all the usual networking opportunities, the gala dinner and auction/raffle, plus the opportunity to operate the sophisticated ground station in the GB4FUN mobile demonstration module.

The weekend event is open to all. It attracts an international audience that ranges from those involved in building and operating Amateur Radio satellites to beginners who wish to find out more about this fascinating branch of the hobby.

All accommodation will be at the Holiday Inn hotel. Rooms and Saturday’s Gala Dinner must be booked in advance in the AMSAT-UK shop here. See the information sheet here. Travel information here. Presentation schedule here.

Access to the Colloquium is via the hotel side entrance by the GB4FUN communications module.

UK CubeSat Plasma Propulsion Thruster

Thinking outside the box in space by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos

STRaND on Facebook

Dr Chris Bridges working on STRaND