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..
Follow the launch at @SurreyNanosats
Written and submitted from home (51.425N, 0.331W)