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Topic: NASA’s Nanostellite Mission

NASA works with Amateur Radio Operators to construct image of Earth using PhoneSat

 

Written by Ruth Dasso Marlaire
NASA Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – For about one week, engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, and amateur radio operators around the world collaborated to reconstruct an image of Earth sent to them from three smartphones in orbit.

The joint effort was part of NASA’s nanosatellite mission, called PhoneSat, which launched on Sunday, April 21st, 2013 aboard the Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.

Although the ultimate goal of the PhoneSat mission was to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite in space, the three miniature satellites (named Alexander, Graham and Bell) also took pictures of Earth and transmitted these “image-data packets” to multiple ground stations on Earth. Above photo was taken by the PhoneSat-1 (Bell) nanosatellite and reconstructed by the Ames Phonesat Team and multiple amateur radio operators around the world. (Image credit: NASA Ames)

Although the ultimate goal of the PhoneSat mission was to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite in space, the three miniature satellites (named Alexander, Graham and Bell) also took pictures of Earth and transmitted these “image-data packets” to multiple ground stations on Earth. Above photo was taken by the PhoneSat-1 (Bell) nanosatellite and reconstructed by the Ames Phonesat Team and multiple amateur radio operators around the world. (Image credit: NASA Ames)

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