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Small Satellite Phones Home

PhoneSat 2.4, NASA's next generation smartphone cubesat has phoned home. The tiny spacecraft that uses an off-the-shelf smartphone for a brain has completed checkout and sent back data confirming all systems are "go" for the spry spacefarer.

Three smartphones destined to become low-cost satellites rode to space Sunday aboard the maiden flight of Orbital Science Corp.'s Antares rocket from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. SpaceRef has been provided with new details and images.

Directory of NASA Mobile Apps

"Mobile apps have become a regular part of my daily life. It's safe to say there are enough apps to perform virtually any task you have in mind! I find apps to be a great tool to keep me in touch with friends, daily news, and NASA. The flagship app for NASA is of course the "NASA App", which is available on both iOS and Android platforms, and has been downloaded over 9.9 million times and recently averaged over 2.5 million hits per day. However, NASA has made a wide variety of interactive apps for mobile users, which range from performing a spacewalk to receiving a notification every time the ISS is right above you. These apps give you an opportunity to stay involved and educated on current and future NASA missions. Listed below are all 46 of the NASA-related apps for iOS and Android!" More

"Mars Images lets you browse the latest images from the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover. Scroll through the thumbnails of the latest downlink from Mars and view any image in fullscreen mode. Send interesting images to your family and friends." iPad/iPhone | Android

UK Smartphone CubeSat STRaND-1, AMSAT-UK

"STRaND-1 will carry an Android Smartphone and plans to use data rates of 9k6 or 19k2 bps for the AX.25 packet radio downlink. A software-based speech synthesiser will be included to pay homage to the UOSAT family of satellites. The 3U CubeSat measures 30 by 10 by 10 cm and weighs 4 kg. Unlike previous CubeSats it will feature full 3-axis control with the attitude an orbit control system comprising a nano-magnetorquer, nano-reaction wheels, GPS receiver, 8 pulse plasma thrusters and a butane thruster. STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the programme is intended to be a long-term arrangement between the space company SSTL and academic researchers at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), with STRaND-1 the first of a long line of STRaND nanosatellites. The SSTL employees involved with the STRaND programme are volunteers. It is a condition of the programme that volunteers from SSTL and SSC use their own, free time for STRaND activities (such as lunches and breaks). The project has no budget for staff so is entirely dependant on volunteers."

See Smartphone Satellite, OnOrbit.com

NASA has equipped a trio of SPHERES with a Nexus S by Google smartphone to head to the International Space Station. Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), a leading mobile phone provider and the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S. 1, and Google(TM) today announced Nexus(TM) S is aboard NASA's final space shuttle. As a leader in technology and innovation, Samsung is pleased to be a part of this moment which will most certainly be marked in history. Nexus S from Google is part of research that will equip small, free-flying satellites called Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) used by the astronauts to provide a broader range of capabilities and give better communication between land and sky.

"Rise to the edge of space, freefall for 50,000 feet, fly through clouds, and land gently in bushes"

Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet

"A balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida."

Video From The Edge of Space

If you can, watch this video in HD (select the 720p option). As the payload slowly rotates you will see Discovery's vapor trail at the Earth's limb - twice. The payload (with camera) first swings to the west and then reverses and swings back to the east, past Discovery's vapor trial, around to the west again, and then continues to rotate to the east toward the vapor trail again.

Last week a balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida. More information on this conference can be found at http://nsrc.swri.org

Make sure watch in HD! More Robonaut-1 mission video and imagery will be released in conjunction with a presentation at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference being held in Orlando 28 Februrary to 2 March.

Co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, this mission is one in a series of flights conducted by Quest for Stars, a California-based non-profit educational organization that uses off-the-shelf hardware and a little ingenuity to allow students to place experiments at the edge of space at exceptionally low cost.

Quest for Stars and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education have now joined together to promote the use of these low cost delivery systems. This mission will be the first of what is hoped to be many future collaborations.

- First Photos: Shuttle Discovery's Trail Into Space As Seen from Over 70,000 Feet in a Balloon
- Robonaut-1 Balloon Mission Live Video and Mission Updates
- Challenger Center and Quest For Stars Chase Attempt to Photograph Discovery At The Edge of Space

This photo was taken from an an altitude of over 70,000 feet (still being determined exactly) at 5:20 pm EST on 24 February 2011. The camera used was the lowest resolution camera on board the Robonaut-1 balloon - a Motorola Droid X smartphone. You can see the plume left by Space Shuttle Discovery as it headed into space. We will be releasing more images of greater resolution and HD video very soon. Co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, this mission is one in a series of flights conducted by Quest for Stars, a California-based non-profit educational organization that uses off-the-shelf hardware and a little ingenuity to allow students to place experiments at the edge of space at exceptionally low cost.More information

Space researchers at the University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) have developed 'STRaND-1', a satellite containing a smartphone payload that will be launched into orbit around the Earth later this year. STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) is being developed by the Surrey team to demonstrate the advanced capabilities of a satellite built quickly using advanced commercial off-the-shelf components.

AO Number (Required in subject line of email application): 799. Desired Number of Participants: 1 Background Information: The Deep Space Network tracks over forty spacecraft from three geographically separate sites in Goldstone California, Canberra, Australia and Madrid, Spain.

Think of how this could faciliate collaboration between individuals in areas of the U.S. where English is a second langauge - or between teams scattered across the planet.

"Conversation Mode in Google Translate for Android: Google Translate's app for Android added a feature that has previously announced by Google: conversation mode. The new option is experimental and it only works for English and Spanish, so it's more like an early preview. Conversation mode is a fancy name for making it easy to have a conversation in two different languages." More

"The team behind Project HiJack envisions users building low-cost sensing and data acquisition systems for student and laboratory use. So far, it has built an EKG interface, soil moisture sensor, an integrated prototype with temperature/humidity sensors, PIR motion sensor, and potentiometer, and a version with a breadboard for prototyping new sensor applications.

Schematics for the HiJack board, as well as source code to enable communication via the audio port, are available on Google Code so that anyone with some soldering skills and the wherewithal can build a HiJack for his or her own use. Currently, software exists to work on iOS, but the hardware design should work with nearly any mobile device that has a combination headphone/microphone jack. The team plans to build APIs to enable the HiJack to work on Android and Windows Phone 7 in the future." More info and video at ars technica

NASA Spinoff App for Android

For decades, NASA innovations have made a direct impact on the everyday lives of citizens. Commercialization of NASA technology has contributed to products and services in the fields of health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, environmental resources and computer technology. Since 1976, NASA has featured these technologies in its Spinoff publication.

The NASA Spinoff App for Android contains a feed of NASA's latest technology news, a searchable database of NASA-derived innovations, a map of spinoff locations, a historical timeline and a database of NASA's available licensing opportunities to inspire the spinoffs of the future.

Get the App From AppBrain

"Seven styrofoam beer coolers sit lined up behind the open hatchback of an SUV, parked next to a soccer field in California's rural Central valley. Each box contains a black Google Nexus S phone, mounted with their cameras facing out through a clear plastic cut-out in the side. Some of the boxes/phones have consumer-grade wide-angle sport video cameras mounted on the outside, odd bits of custom-soldered circuitry poke out of others." More at New Scientist

You've seen these things in SciFI films for years - "Aliens", "Avatar", "Star Trek" and so on. Headsets that let you communicate and record everything around you - hands free. Now you can buy one that works with your iPhone/iPad or Android device. Imagine equipping NASA Away Teams in the field or astronauts in space with these devices and allowing all of us back home to literally peer over their shoulders as they work and live in space and exotic research locations on our own planet.

Image: ECG signals wirelessly transmitted to an Android mobile phone via a low-power interface. Click on the picture to download the high-res version.

Imec and Holst Centre, together with TASS software professionals have developed a mobile heart monitoring system that allows to view your electrocardiogram on an Android mobile phone. The innovation is a low-power interface that transmits signals from a wireless ECG (electrocardiogram or heart monitoring)-sensor system to an android mobile phone. With this interface, imec, Holst Centre and TASS are the first to demonstrate a complete Body Area Network (BAN) connected to a mobile phone enabling reliable long-term ambulatory monitoring of various health parameters such as cardiac performance (ECG), brain activity (EEG), muscle activity (EMG), etc. The system will be demonstrated at the Wireless Health Conference in San Diego (US, October 5-7).

More (video) below

University of Illinois chemistry professor Alexander Scheeline wants to see high school students using their cell phones in class. Not for texting or surfing the Web, but as an analytical chemistry instrument. A few basic, inexpensive components and a cellular pone are all high school students need to build a spectrometer, a widely used analytical chemistry instrument. Scheeline developed a method using a few basic, inexpensive supplies and a digital camera to build a spectrometer, an important basic chemistry instrument. Spectrophotometry is one of the most widely used means for identifying and quantifying materials in both physical and biological sciences. "If we want to measure the amount of protein in meat, or water in grain, or iron in blood, it's done by spectrophotometry," Scheeline said.

Here we are demonstrating the very first prototype of a hacked Sensetta rover platform, controlled instead by an Arduino 'breakout' board controlled over Bluetooth by a custom scripted Google Android app. The use of the Android-Arduino combination on-board the vehicle reduces the weight, energy consumption, and maneuverability by removing the Max Kernel computer and router.

Video from a Google NexusOne smartphone with specially programmed Android apps, installed aboard James Dougherty's Intimidator-5 on a CTI N4100 load. Launch from Black Rock Playa on 24-July-2010 thanks to Maverick Civilian Space Foundation.

Android OS in Space

Developer's dream: Androids...in space!, Crave

"Why? Well, because. Also, he is concerned that U.S. space exploration might not be progressing apace. His parents and grandparents got to witness an astronaut land on the moon, while Pier, 25, worries that he will have to wait until 2035 to see a man step on an extraterrestrial surface (Mars, according to plans laid out by President Obama). So while Piers waits for middle age, he wants to try shipping the first smartphone into the stratosphere as a symbol of his belief in the importance of the space race. Preferably, that phone will be his HTC Evo 4. "Great phone," he says. "I think it's meant for something greater."

This Rubik's Cube solver was designed and programmed using an ARM Powered Android Motorola Droid mobile phone, a LEGO Mindstorms NXT and lots of yellow LEGO technic pieces! Come and see the Speedcuber at ESCsv2010 http://esc-sv09.techinsightsevents.com/. The Android App running on the DROID uses the phones camera to take pictures of each face of the cube and sends the solution to the LEGO NXT controller via Bluetooth.

Android Open Data Kit

Getting developing world data with Android and Open Data Kit, Ars Technica

"In the developed world, getting real-time data can be a simple matter: simply carry whatever sensor is required, get the data, and then plug into the local network--you're set. Things aren't so simple in the developing world, where there may not even be a power source available, much less specialized hardware or a network. To help field workers obtain the information they need and integrate it into a data collection system, computer science researchers at the University of Washington have developed the Open Data Kit, which includes server software for aggregation and management, developer tools to create forms, and client software that runs on the Android platform."