Tuesday, January 25, 2011

STRaNDed in space

As a rule, it appears that smartphones are a whole lot smarter than the people using them. No offense intended, but really, how much of a smartphone's capacity does the average Joe use? There's enough technology in one of those things to fly a spaceship. Well, a satellite, anyway.

STRaND-1 stack and equipment
That's the opinion of the team at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), who are developing a satellite containing a smartphone payload, that they plan to launch later this year. Called STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator), the 'nano-satellite' weighs less than nine pounds, and could revolutionize satellite technology.

It really is a touch of genius: an extremely cheap, lightweight device that can be improved by anyone that knows how to develop apps. Suddenly, the sort of technology that only governments and large corporations could afford and program, is within reach of the average Joe who wanted to be able to do more with his smartphone! If the range of creative developments that have come through the internet are any indication, the possibilities for smartphone satellites are literally endless.

So it's unsurprising that SSTL should be the ones bringing us this technology. They're already into everything else:

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