A Nexus powered satellite to be launched today – fingers crossed, welcome to the age of the Maker Sat ?
STRaND-1 (the Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator), is a shoe box sized satellite weighing just 4.3kg.
It will launch into a 785km sun-synchronous orbit on ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota, India.
STRaND-1 will also be the first UK CubeSat to be launched and has been developed by University of Surrey’s Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). Amazingly the build and test phase of the project was completed in just three months.
The brains of the satellite is a Google Nexus One smartphone running Android. The Nexus One contains manages several key functions of the satellite providing cameras, radio links, accelerometers and high performance computer processing.
This in my mind is a great demonstration of what is possible by taking a different approach to engineering in the age of sophisticated consumer electronics, that said the guys at Surrey are Rocket Scientists who really know their stuff and launching even 4kg into orbit still needs access to powerful and expensive machines, but tinkering with my Raspberry PI and Arduino projects I can still dream..
Congratulations to the successful recipients of the Google Winter Research Awards from the GI Science community. In this round six awards were made for proposals including Remote Sensing of volcanoes using UV imaging, Spatial Cognition, and VGI.
Andrew McGonigle, University of Sheffield
Johannes Schoening, UCL/Hasselt University
Evdokia Nikolova, Texas A&M
Long Quan, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Cyrus Shahabi, University of Southern California
Tae Hong Park, New York University
If you are interested in applying the next round of funding is detailed here, the deadline is April 15 2013.
The future of the consumer business of Ordnance Survey (OS) that is..
Just in time the OS has launched an app for iOS, with Android in the pipeline, that demonstrates there is a future role of the agency in the post paper map age.
For a number of years the OS has relied on apps produced by it’s partners to distribute its mapping products on PC”s and the increasing important market of mobile devices.
The distribution of OS maps digitally is strategically important to the agency as it represents the future where paper maps are increasingly a niche specialised product, expensive and difficult to buy outside of specialist stores.. The only surprise therefore is how long it has taken the OS to enter this market, and the app in my opinion is a really good first effort.
The OS has wisely integrated the purchase of mapping data into the Apple Appstore add-on process which although it means paying a margin to Apple on every sale, it makes the app from the users perspective very easy to use, almost too easy to pay £2.49 for a tile of 1:25:000 mapping.
The mapping is on the expected high quality scanned produced at a high enough resolution to replicate the paper product, and of course you get all the benefits you would expect in terms of GPS and track creation functionality.
A less obvious highlight is the OS Gazetteer powered search function which allow you to search for place name text from the maps themselves, a simple function in an app, but a great advantage over paper maps.
Welcome to your future OS, I just hope you fully embrace it !
If you are going along to the AGU in San Francisco this year, I would recommend registering for this event which is being run by the Google Earth Outreach team. It’s free, but there are only 100 places.
If there is enough interest we could arrange a similar event in Europe, let me know..
Last week I had the pleasure of delivering a Keynote at the 4th Digital Earth Summit in Wellington, New Zealand. This was a wonderful experience in a number of ways, firstly Wellington really is the coolest little capital on the planet, secondly as always I meet a great bunch of people including some budding entrepreneurs and opengov competition winners in the form of Friendsafe.
What was really special however was that each keynote presentation was visualised by Pamela from Drawing on Ideas , this is the visualisation of my presentation on the annotated world.
As a presenter is really valuable to see your ideas played back in this way..