In space no one can hear you scream?

Scream in Space won a competition run by Surrey Satellite Techonology Ltd (SSTL) in 2011 to propose an idea for an app to run on their STRaND-1 smartphone nanosatellite.

With the help of the public, we’re testing the hypothesis that in space no one can hear you scream. It’s a statement that has been well known in popular culture since appearing as the tagline to the 1979 sci-fi film ‘Alien’ – but how many people have really tested this claim? Whilst the conclusion of this experiment may seem clear to many, it is our hope that through this investigation thousands of people worldwide can learn more about several aspects of physics (including orbits, acoustics and much more) and get excited about the field of satellite technology!

In coming up with this idea, we thought about what features the Android phone has which are not usually present on conventional satellites – and naturally the speaker and microphone are two such components. It would seem a shame not to leverage the power of these additions, and so the idea was born…

Read more about the project on the SSTL blog and New Scientist, or listen to the Cambridge University Spaceflight team discussing Scream in Space on the Space Boffins podcast earlier in 2012:

Enter your scream! Here

Vote the best scream here

Hurry only Ten days left to Scream

2012 Cambridge University Spaceflight

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 http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=10297

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VE3NML works on STRaND solar panels

The UK STRaND nanosat team have released this picture in which a volunteer from SSTL, Nimal Navarathinam VE3NML, finishes laying down the cells for the Earth-facing and Space-facing solar panels.

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CubeSat docking planned with Kinect technology

It’s an informal conclusion, of course. But the story of Surrey’s plan to dock CubeSats using Microsoft’s Kinect technology is certainly making the rounds, appearing in traditional places like Satnews and Flightglobal, as well as consumer electronic sources such as Gizmagodo and general news sites like the BBC.

The Kinect-enabled STRaND-2 is the sister craft to the previously announced STRaND-1, which uses smartphone tech.

Developing technology that could be used to separately launch the parts of a much larger craft that would be configured on orbit might bring those larger craft, and more ambitious goals, within reach of the CubeSat community.

It’s been a while since any news was forthcoming, but Cornell has also proposed using CubeSats to test reconfigurable technology that uses “flux-pinning” (video) to achieve similar goals.

Here’s to their success.

 

Wayne

 

STRaND-2 ‘Kinect’ Satellites Video

STRaND-2 NanosatsSTRaND-2, a twin nanosatellite mission from SSTL and the University of Surrey to test a novel in-orbit docking system using a gridded Lidar system based on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect games-controller technology.

Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the Xbox Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes – thus allowing them to dock.

The STRaND team sees the relatively low cost nanosatellites as intelligent “space building blocks” that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft.

Watch STRaND-2 Docking Nanosatellite.wmv

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.

Further information at http://www.sstl.co.uk/divisions/earth-observation—science/science—exploration/strand-2-building-blocks-nanosatellite

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/7771

The Register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/28/sstl_strand_2_nanosat_xbox_kinect/

Thinking outside the box in space by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18250755

STRaND on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats

STRaND-2 ‘Kinect’ Satellites Video

STRaND-2, a twin nanosatellite mission from SSTL and the University of Surrey to test a novel in-orbit docking system using a gridded Lidar system based on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect games-controller technology.

Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the Xbox Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes – thus allowing them to dock.

The STRaND team sees the relatively low cost nanosatellites as intelligent “space building blocks” that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft.

Watch STRaND-2 Docking Nanosatellite.wmv

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.

Further information at http://www.sstl.co.uk/divisions/earth-observation—science/science—exploration/strand-2-building-blocks-nanosatellite

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/7771

The Register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/28/sstl_strand_2_nanosat_xbox_kinect/

Thinking outside the box in space by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18250755

STRaND on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats