"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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