PhoneSat 2.4, 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.
According to a release, PhoneSat 2.4, a cube approximately four inches square, weighs only about 2.2 pounds, and was developed at
"It's great to hear from
The spacecraft was among 11 agency-sponsored cubesats deployed
PhoneSat 2.4 also will test a system to control the orientation of the cubesat in space. Like the earlier PhoneSat 1, PhoneSat 2.4 uses a Nexus S smartphone made by
The smartphone provides many of the functions the satellite needs to operate, such as computation, memory, ready-made interfaces for communications, navigation and power, all assembled in a rugged package before launch. Data from the satellite's subsystems, including the smartphone, the power system and orientation control system are being downlinked over amateur radio at a frequency of 437.425MHz.
The next PhoneSat, version 2.5, is scheduled to launch in February, hitching a ride aboard a commercial SpaceX rocket. That spacecraft also is expected to perform in Earth orbit for several months and continue testing the two-way radio and orientation systems.
The PhoneSat series of missions are pathfinders for
The EDSN mission will demonstrate the concept of using many small spacecraft in a coordinated cluster to study the space environment and space-to-space communications techniques. The eight EDSN satellites each will have a Nexus S smartphone for satellite command and data handling, with a scientific instrument added as a payload on each spacecraft.
During EDSN, each cubesat will make science measurements and transmit the data to the others while any one of them can then transmit all of the collected data to a ground station. This versatility in command and control could make possible large swarms of satellites to affordably monitor the Earth's climate, space weather and other global-scale phenomena.
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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.