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NASA's 'PhoneSat' Program Points to Satellites of the Future

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JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Launching cost
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   6/19/2013 10:29:46 PM
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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.  Other concerns raised regarding radiation, performance in a vacuum are all very real issues to overcome, but the point is:   common 21st century electronics – available to everyone – are sufficient to power devices we all previously thought required GOLIATH sized budgets.

Remember, making ONE of something is about as expensive as making one-million of something, when you consider economy of scale.  Simple economics of mass production.

Mydesign
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Re: Vacuum condition
Mydesign   6/20/2013 5:31:26 AM
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"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, even I have the same question about communicate mode and channel, from Smartphone to the remote station in earth. If am not wrong, smartphones won't have such high capability RF signal handling capacity.

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.



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.

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

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.

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.  

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".

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.

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!

 

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