Smartphones: Satellites at half the price?

A new experiment is testing whether smartphones could be the cheaper alternative to pricey international satellites. Alvaro Guzman talks to the academic behind the research to find out more.

Although not designed to go to space, smartphones contain some components, such as Wi-Fi radios, cameras and GPS systems, that could make the perfect satellite. All of this, Dr Bridges explained, but at only a fraction of the weight and cost of existing conventional satellites.

"Typically we have really expensive components," said Dr Bridges. "If we can prove that a smartphone works in space we could replace those and start reducing the cost, the mass and the power of those components and therefore of the satellite."

He believes this could open up lots of new technologies to a multitude of people and companies who usually couldn't dream of affording.

Given the obvious weight and cost advantages a smartphone offers, the ultimate goal is to be able to control a satellite with the device, which could also be used for taking pictures of the Earth.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The research team is expecting to be able to send more smartphones in space in the near future, to accomplish even more ambitious tasks.

The satellite only weights 4kg and comes equipped with navigation and control systems, which include miniature reaction wheels, a GPS receiver and pulse plasma thrusters, meant to help the satellite move up in the space.

It is expected to be launched by the end of 2011 and we at IT PRO cannot wait to see the results.

Featured Resources

Application security fallacies and realities

Web application attacks are the most common vulnerability, so what is the truth about application security?

Download now

Your first step researching Managed File Transfer

Advice and expertise on researching the right MFT solution for your business

Download now

The KPIs you should be measuring

How MSPs can measure performance and evaluate their relationships with clients

Download now

Life in the digital workspace

A guide to technology and the changing concept of workspace

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/business-strategy/mergers-and-acquisitions/354191/xerox-threatens-hostile-takeover-after-hp-rebuffs
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox threatens hostile takeover after HP rebuffs $30bn takeover

22 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019
Visit/security/bugs/354180/google-to-offer-15m-to-anyone-that-can-break-a-pixel-4
bugs

Google to offer $1.5m to anyone that can break a Pixel 4

22 Nov 2019
Visit/public-cloud/34850/salesforce-takes-aws-relationship-to-the-next-level
News

Salesforce takes AWS relationship to the next level

19 Nov 2019