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Wed, 05 Oct 2011

Winners of Space App Competition announced

Space technology experts from Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) and the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) at the University of Surrey today announced the four lucky winners of the ‘Space App Competition’ who will see their Android Applications run on smartphone-powered satellite STRaND-1, due for launch into space next year.

Applying through a competition held on Facebook, the four winners were chosen for their app’s scientific benefits, their creativity, or the app’s ability to get young people enthusiastic about science and technology. The winning apps make use of the technology of the Android smartphone, including the microphone, speakers, camera, and display, in conjunction with the satellite’s conventional features - enabling STRaND-1 to do things in space that no one has done before.

Testing the theory ‘in space no one can hear you scream’ - made popular in the 1979 film ‘Alien’ – the ‘Scream in Space!’ application will make full use of the smartphone’s speakers. Developed by student-run society Cambridge University Spaceflight, ‘Scream in Space!’ will allow the public to upload videos of themselves screaming in a creative way to an allocated website. The most popular videos will be played on the phone when the satellite is in orbit, and the scream recorded using the smartphone’s microphone.

‘Postcards from space’ & ‘360’ are joint winners, using an app that will take images using the smartphone’s camera and use the technology available on the satellite to establish the satellite’s position. The public will be able to request their own unique satellite image of Earth through a website, where images also can be seen on a map showing where they have been acquired.

Using the phone and satellite magnetometers, the truly scientific ‘iTesa’ app will be able to record the magnitude of the magnetic field about the phone during orbit. Used as a precursor to further scientific studies, such as detecting Alfvén waves (magnetic oscillations in our upper atmosphere), the iTesa app could provide proof of principle, and explores the possibility of using a mobile phone for scientific use in space. ‘The STRaND Data’ app will show satellite telemetry on the smartphone’s display which can be imaged by an additional camera on-board. This app is developed by the team behind FUNcube (UK Amateur Radio Educational Satellite) and will not only enable new graphical telemetry to interpret trends but also provide a lasting way of communicating with the smart-phone.

STRaND-1 System Engineer Shaun Kenyon commented: “After some tough judging, we’ve chosen the four winning Apps and are really excited about what they will do in space. The Apps make full use of the phone, meaning that we’ll see some pretty cool stuff that hasn’t been done before”.

Dr Chris Bridges, based at Surrey Space Centre (SSC) at the University of Surrey, added: “We’d like to congratulate the winners and thank all contestants for sending through such amazing ideas. We were very impressed by the response to the competition and wish that we could include them all”.

To find out more about the progress of the STRaND-1 mission, follow @SurreyNanosats on Twitter. Or visit the STRaND Facebook page, www.facebook.com/nanosats.

About SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with over 400 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981 SSTL has built and launched 36 satellites, as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, through an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by EADS Astrium NV.

www.sstl.co.uk

About Surrey Space Centre

The Surrey Space Centre (SSC), a Research Centre of the Faculty of Electronics and Physical Sciences (FEPS) at the University of Surrey, is a world leading Centre of Excellence in Space Engineering, whose aim is to underpin the technical development of the space industry through its advanced research programmes. SSC, comprising over 90 researchers and, faculty develops new innovative technologies which are exploited by the space industry.

Surrey's pioneering small satellite activities started in 1979 as an academic activity at the University, leading in 1985 to the formation of a highly successful spin-out company – Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL).

SSC provides well-focused space engineering education, postgraduate and industrial short courses, training the next generation space scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and business leaders. It has a large body of PhD, academic and industrial research, with a direct route through SSTL for rapid commercialization. SSC's Academic Research Laboratories cover advanced multidisciplinary small satellite and space system engineering techniques for Earth orbit and interplanetary space; innovative communications, remote sensing, robotics and space science payloads for small satellites; and enabling technologies for low cost space exploitation and planetary exploration, working in close collaboration with SSTL.

www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/SSC

Notes to editor:

This press release can be downloaded as a Word or Pdf document at the following url: http://www.sstl.co.uk/news-and-events

High resolution images are available for media use, please contact Robin Wolstenholme below.

This week SSTL exhibiting at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Cape Town. To discuss SSTL’s new technologies with an expert visit stand 66. For more information on the IAC 2011 congress and exhibition visit www.iac2011.com

University of Surrey

Howard Wheeler, Media relations Officer

Tel: 01483 686141 Email: h.wheeler@surrey.ac.uk

Press Contact:

Robin Wolstenholme, bcm public relations

Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288 Email: r.wolstenholme@bcmpublicrelations.com