HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Guest Blogs
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)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Smartphones as Control System
Mydesign   6/18/2013 8:07:53 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
"NASA launched a novel project in April, putting into orbit three satellites that employ an off-the-shelf commercial smartphone as the control system"

Dylan, amazing. Smartphone as the control system!! Am curious to know about the communication between these Smartphones and remote tracking centre.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Game Systems
tekochip   6/18/2013 1:37:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Every time a new game system comes out we read the specifications out loud and compare the computational power to the original Super Computer.  "All this to play games"?  At least the off the shelf consumer electronics in this example will be doing something worthwhile.


Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Smartphones as Control System
Elizabeth M   6/19/2013 4:48:41 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree, it's quite amazing to see NASA using COTS products in such an expensive and complex piece of machinery...especially for the crucial control aspect of the satellite. But I have done some coverage of NASA and know they are trying to do more with less, so necessity could be the mother of invention here. It also shows what great minds can do when they don't want to reinvent the wheel.

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Vacuum condition
AnandY   6/19/2013 5:13:42 AM
NO RATINGS
Wow!!! commercial smartphones into the orbit. I am eager to know how NASA has successfully put the smartphones in to orbit? How was the smartphones behavior in the vacuum condition?

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Radiation exposure
AnandY   6/19/2013 5:28:43 AM
NO RATINGS
Phonesat is an inexpensive sat which takes the advantage of latest technology, but the smartphone's hardware is not built to take long-term radiation exposure and they will eventually start to breakdown. 

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Launching cost
AnandY   6/19/2013 5:33:08 AM
NO RATINGS
Inexpensive, usuage of commercial smartphones seems like a great idea, but still the launching cost  will be expensive. How will this factor effect the Phonesat future?

Zippy
User Rank
Platinum
There's an app for that
Zippy   6/19/2013 8:27:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Wonder if they left the "Find my phone" app on it?   :)

sdoyle
User Rank
Silver
Re: Launching cost
sdoyle   6/19/2013 11:39:54 AM
NO RATINGS
I had that thought as well.  I think the way this becomes very inexpensive (in comparison to a previously typical satellite launch) is that you can launch a whole network of satellites with a single shuttle launche versus one, maybe two, satellites per launch.  Whether that work that way or not, the cost of the satellite is a major part of the overall cost and a reduction in cost in "orders of magnitude" is some serious savings!

Add in the consumer advances in rocket launches (Elon Musk, etc.) and that part will also experience an economy of scale in the near future as well.

Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
Re: There's an app for that
Jim_E   6/19/2013 12:09:19 PM
NO RATINGS
I hate to see the "roaming" fees charged by the phone's network provider.  ;)

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Game Systems
Charles Murray   6/19/2013 6:59:36 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, tekochip. It's not well known by many non-engineers, but games have always been at or near the state of the art in computational power. As you say, it's nice to know the technology is being put to a worthwhile use.

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Guest Blogs
Watch BMW's newest electric car, the i3, being charged with an everyday Home Depot-rented, gas-powered generator.
Asking yourself the simple question, “Is this a strength problem or a stiffness problem?” can prevent many design mistakes.
In November, a European space probe will try to land on the surface of a comet moving at about 84,000 mph and rotating with a period of 12.7 hours. Many factors make positioning the probe for the landing an engineering challenge.
Mistakes in power distributions are not all that common, but they do exist. We look at some of these mistakes and disaster scenarios with the intention being to inform readers to be wary of repeating such mistakes when designing their power distribution system.
What do gears, bearings, and shafts have in common? For one thing, they're often made out of steel. For another, they're subject to a failure mode known as rolling contact fatigue.
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development – A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service