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NASA's 'PhoneSat' Program Points to Satellites of the Future
6/18/2013

A swarm of advanced and affordable nanosatellites for a coordinated science mission demonstration.   (Source: NASA)
A swarm of advanced and affordable nanosatellites for a coordinated science mission demonstration.
(Source: NASA)

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Stephen
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Re: Launching cost
Stephen   8/29/2013 11:17:01 AM
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The key is sharing cost and payload space with others on the launch vehicle, and using relatively inexpensive commercial, non-man rated vehicles. Not to say the transport cost is trivial, but is can be manageable.

Stephen
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Re: Vacuum condition
Stephen   8/29/2013 11:14:29 AM
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The Smart Phone is not chosen for its cell phone capacity but for its computer, firmware, sensors, and camera. Seperate inexpensive VHF & UHF FM radios are used for the digital communications and control.

Stephen
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Re: Smartphones as Control System
Stephen   8/29/2013 11:08:51 AM
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Concider this is a $4000, 5" cubic, rotationally & axially unstabilized device (though with internal sensors that allow monitoring its motion/orientation) w/ only a 1 week lifetime before falling out of orbit, so COTS parts make sense. control is via a 2m VHF uplink (a simple yagi antenna aimed at the sat is sufficient) and data downlink is via 70 cm UHF, again a simple yagi aimed at the sat is sufficient.

It's really a proof of concept experiment, long term devices might used space hardened components instead, but the basic system architecture and firmware already exists in mass production -- no need to start from scratch.

It's no longer the 1980's!

 

Mydesign
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Re: Vacuum condition
Mydesign   8/27/2013 1:02:38 AM
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"NASA did put the PhoneSats in orbit, MyDesign. Three went up on April 21, 2013 and worked very well for a week. We'll have a couple of photos from the smartphones early next week"

Charles, that's great news. Would you able to share more details or link with respect to this news.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Launching cost
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   8/26/2013 12:14:11 AM
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Charles, glad you commented on this older post (you commented 8/23 on my 6/19 post) – it gave me a chance to see your recent NASA slideshow you published on 8/21.  I had missed that entire presentation due to a busy week, and it's already been washed into the wake of "older posts".

Charles Murray
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Re: Launching cost
Charles Murray   8/23/2013 5:31:45 PM
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You're right, JimT. NASA wanted to show that satellites needn't cost tens of millions of dollars. When I visited NASA last week, they said that an average smartphone has a faster processor and more memory than any satellite now orbiting the Earth. Plaus it has gyroscopes and accelerometers. So it just make sense to build on the research done by private industry, rather than spend taxpayer money trying to duplicate those efforts.  

Charles Murray
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Re: Vacuum condition
Charles Murray   8/23/2013 5:27:46 PM
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NASA did put the PhoneSats in orbit, MyDesign. Three went up on April 21, 2013 and worked very well for a week. We'll have a couple of photos from the smartphones early next week.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: SMART PHONES
Cabe Atwell   6/27/2013 11:04:19 PM
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The PhoneSat project also gave rise to DARPA's SeeMe project of 'on-demand' micro-satellites for immediate surveillance by military personnel deployed on battlefields if I'm not mistaken.

C

bobjengr
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SMART PHONES
bobjengr   6/27/2013 6:16:06 PM
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Dalyn--absolutely amazing.  The best quote of the year--- "We've driven consumer electronics to the point where they are just amazingly capable little devices and ridiculously affordable for what they can do," he said.  I think this is great.  I worked in the aerospace industry for about 5 years. Working on the Titan II during my Air Force days.  This is the missile that launched the Gemini astronaugts.    A "typical" Smartphone today has more computing power than the entire capsule of the Gemini.  It's just amazing--amazing.  Great post.

Mydesign
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Re: Launching cost
Mydesign   6/20/2013 5:42:05 AM
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"The point of the story is that common electronics can be used to effectively do what only government run projects have done in the past. "

Jim, true. Simpler electronic devices can do complex works in similar manner. I think next time they may use Smartphone camera as gyroscope and earth surveillance.



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