Space phones send back images

NASA IMAGE 2.jpg

Three smartphones or ‘PhoneSats’ sent into orbit on April 21 aboard the Antares rocket brought back clear images of Earth after successfully completing the mission on April 27.
Nasa’s goal was to determine whether or not a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite in space.
While in orbit, the PhoneSats, called Alexander, Graham and Bell, used their cameras to take pictures of earth and transmitted these ‘image-data packets’ to different stations on the ground. Every packet he-ld a small piece of the big picture.
The PhoneSat Team and multiple amateur radio operators around the world then pieced together the photographs from these data packets.
Bruce Yost, the program manager for Nasa’s Small Satellite Technology Program, said, “During the short time the pacecrafts were in orbit, we were able to demonstrate the smartphones’ ability to act as satellites in the space environment.” The PhoneSat project also provided an opportunity for Nasa to collaborate with its space enthusiasts.“Amateur radio operators from every inhabited continent except Antartica contributed in capturing the data packets we needed to piece together the smartphones’ image of Earth.”   

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