FLC News

Lab Spotlight: NASA Ames - PhoneSat

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  A team of engineers working on NASA’s PhoneSat at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., are rapidly evolving satellite architecture and incorporating the Silicon Valley approach of “release early, release often” to small spacecraft. This image was taken of the PhoneSat during a high-altitude balloon test. NASA’s PhoneSat design makes extensive use of commercial off-the-shelf components, including a consumer-grade smartphone. Out-of-the-box smartphones already offer a wealth of capabilities needed for satellite systems, including fast processors, versatile operating systems, miniature sensors, high-resolution cameras, GPS receivers, and several radios. NASA PhoneSat results encourage further research into applying low-cost terrestrial technologies to space applications—and also may open space to a whole new generation of commercial, academic, and citizen-space users.
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