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Wireless Dealer Magazine CITA 2013 Issue

W D M NASA’s off-the-shelf PhoneSats already have many of the systems needed for a satellite, including fast processors, versatile operating systems, multiple miniature sensors, high-resolution cameras, GPS receivers and several radios. NASA engineers kept the total cost of the components for the three prototype satellites in the PhoneSat project between $3,500 and $7,000 by using primarily commercial hardware and keeping the design and mission objectives to a minimum. The hardware for this mission is the Google-HTC Nexus One smartphone running the Android operating system. NASA added items a satellite needs that the smartphones do not have -- a larger, external lithium-ion battery bank and a more powerful radio for messages it sends f rom space. The smartphone’s ability to send and receive calls and text messages has been disabled. Each smartphone is housed in a standard cubesat structure, measuring about 4 inches square. The smartphone acts as the satellite’s onboard computer. Its sensors are used for attitude determination and its camera for Earth observation. The PhoneSat project is a technology demonstration mission conceived of at Ames and funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. The PhoneSat family of systems is part of an overall NASA Ames effort to assess commercial grade technologies for use in small- and nano-spacecraft systems to save development costs and leverage industry investments in high-quality, massproduced components. Ames has successfully completed and delivered 8 nanosatellites for launch since 2006. 53


Wireless Dealer Magazine CITA 2013 Issue
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