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Space Blog

Android App contest for smartphone satellite

Are you sitting on an Android App that would work in space? Working in their lunch breaks and spare time, a team of SSTL engineers and researchers from the University of Surrey has built STRaND-1, the first satellite being powered by a smartphone. Mobile phones are getting more and more advanced and are today incredibly powerful. With components such as sensors, video cameras, GPS systems and Wi-Fi radios, smartphones have many similarities to Earth observation satellites and potentially a lot to offer as a payload. The STRaND-1 team is now offering the opportunity for the UK public to take part in the mission through a contest, which will allow the winner to develop an Android App to be used on the mobile phone in space. The contest is now open on Facebook and the STRaND-1 team will choose the four most innovative, inspirational and fun App ideas. The winner will also be able to see their App run in space from the mission control centre at SSTL’s headquarters in Guildford. Project Manager at SSTL, Shaun Kenyon said: "The STRaND project could lead the way to a new era of hardware and software testing for Surrey. We're almost ready to integrate all of the subsystems - a very exciting time to be involved in such influential work. Tell us what you'd like to do via our Facebook page, and what you need to achieve it, so that we can ensure the best apps are supported on STRaND" STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Development) is built as a "˜CubeSat’ measuring 34cm x 10cm x 10cm, and weighs about 4kg. The Space App contestants will be able to make use of new technologies such as a new type of radio receiver, as well as GPS positioning, a 5MP camera, 3-axis accelerometers, 1GHz processor and a microphone. App ideas and entrants are lining up, giving the team a challenging time ahead in choosing the winners. To find out more and to enter the competition, visit For the latest updates and discussions around the competition, follow @SurreyNanosats on Twitter.





12 August 20110 Comments1 Comment

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