NASA Sent Phones Into Space, and Now They’ve Called Home

Article of the Day………ok so i don’t have a piece of writing seven days a week, but if i get a chance I will post posts that I find fascinating. Fortunate enough here is one of these articles that I read and needed to share. Should you enjoy it as much as me, please add one of those special social media likes, you know the one that tells everyone that you enjoyed something, rather than you sat on your arse and watched Television!

Ever since NASA launched a new group of tiny, phone-powered satellites into space a few weeks ago, we’ve been waiting for one of the little PhoneSats to phone home. Now, one of the nano-satellites has successfully communicated with Earth, an important test of a much-needed capability.

Engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center are currently in the middle of testing two-way communications technology on one of the PhoneSat experimental satellites they shot into space a couple weeks ago. On Wednesday, the tiny satellite—weighing only about 2.2 pounds, or the size of 20 CDs stacked into a cube—used its S-band radio to make a call the ground monitoring station at Santa Clara University, in California, signaling to the engineers that it was ready to receive commands.

The satellite is called a PhoneSat because the satellite’s brain is basically built around a heavily modified Samsung Nexus S, running off the shelf Android software.

Two way communications are really important to NASA’s long term objective of building satellites on the cheap, because they’ll enable teams on the ground to control PhoneSat—eventually including things like navigation and instrument readings.

During the two-way radio tests, the most critical system the engineers on the ground will send commands to is the attitude control. That system uses a smartphone’s magnetometer to sense the earth’s field, creating an aligning force with magnetorquers, or printed-circuit electromagnetic coils commanded by the phone. With its attitude control functioning, the PhoneSat can align itself with Earth’s horizon, something that’s pretty useful for satellites, according to NASA engineer Jim Cockrell.

But the attitude control system uses a lot of power, so the teams on the ground want to be able to shut it on and off—hence the importance of the new two-way S-band radio.

This new version of the PhoneSat—the first version went to space earlier this year—uses more heavily modified Nexus phones than previously. NASA has stripped away or disable many of the components they don’t need—for example, the engineers removed the screen and enclosure, as neither are necessary to operate a satellite. Basically, the only thing left over is whatever’s attached to the circuit board, said Cockrell.

The engineering team also replaced the standard Nexus battery with a much more powerful Lithium Ion battery pack that’s charged via solar cells—also bought off-the-shelf—custom fitted to the PhoneSat’s outer hull. Interestingly enough, the engineers chose to use factory second solar cells, or remnants from older solar arrays in order to, you guessed it, build panels on the cheap. The engineering team then had to construct custom mounts and boards, Cockrell said.

The whole point of the PhoneSat program is twofold: to first determine if it’s even possible to operate space faring vehicles with off-the-shelf consumer technology. And so far, it looks like it is. The second reason NASA is interested in building satellites out of smartphones is discover the cheapest possible way to build a useful spacefaring satellite. Versus traditional satellites, smartphones—and so too the PhoneSats—have thousands of times faster computational speeds, and many times more memory, said Cockrell.

Phonesat 2.5, the next generation of mini satellite.

With such advanced technology available off-the-shelf for a few hundred dollars, NASA didn’t see the value of reinventing the wheel. “Manufacturers have invested gazillions of dollars into research and development of smartphones,” Cockrell said, “Countless research dollars make them fast, with a large memory and a lot of sensors.” And if NASA invested in similar technology it would likely require millions and millions of dollars, Cockrell said.

Cheap satellites have a number of advantages—if they can survive space’s rigors, Cockrell said. If the program proves successful, they would allow NASA to take a different approach while exploring the universe. “With multiple copies of your satellite, even if one fails, you can afford to have another one at the system level still functioning,” the engineer said.

The materials in each PhoneSat 2.4—as this iteration is called—cost approximately $7,500, off the shelf. The PhoneSat’s design and fabrication took about a year by a team of fewer than 10 engineers—who are all entry level, Cockrell said. Usually only senior NASA engineers work on satellite projects, but since the cost is lower, it’s feasible to give junior engineers a shot.

The next version, 2.5, is set to launch in February aboard a commercial SpaceX rocket and will continue to test the two-way radio and orientation systems, according to NASA officials. Further launches are expected in 2014 as the space agency aims to demonstrate how networking eight small satellites can be used—eventually—to monitor things like the Earth’s climate, space weather, and other global-scale phenomena.

If you liked this article so you would like to receive more info with regards to earpiece (stevegasilsz.livejournal.com) please visit our webpage.

Advertisements

For a long time people have been telling me that family, love and happiness are the important things in life…Nowadays I realise that I’m able to take or leave all that as long as I have this earphone in the world.

Don’t check your calendar, it’s not 1 April. No More Woof is a new doggie headset that claims to translate your pooch’s inner thoughts into English, and you can order one for about 40 today.

I can understand your scepticism — it’s something directly out of a Pixar movie — but however barking mad the idea, it’s a genuine prototype product, developed by reputable scientists in Scandinavia, who are asking for your money on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

They stress it’s a work in progress — and I’m not going to recommend you do pay your own money for it — but from their demo video it looks genuine.

No More Woof straps an electro-encephalograph (EEG) reader to your canine buddy’s noggin, and a tiny Raspberry Pi computer translates the electric activity in its little squirrel-obsessed brain into English, with Mandarin, French and Spanish coming soon.

“The technology used in No More Woof is the result of combining the latest technologies in three different tech-areas, EEG-sensoring, micro computing and special brain-computer interface software,” the project’s website says.

It can recognise states of thought, such as hunger, and then play a phrase such as, “I’m hungry!” Its developers are working on different ‘characters’ with different phrases, such as posh Holly (“This is splendid!”) and Pudge, who seems to be wracked with existential angst (“I’m so very weary”).

It’s developed by the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery, a group of hipsterish Scandie boffins who’ve tested the device on their own pets. They stress you’ll be buying a prototype, not a finished product, and your money will be used to develop it further.

“Right now we are only scraping the surface of possibilities; the project is only in its cradle,” they say. “And to be completely honest, the first version will be quite rudimentary. But hey, the first computer was pretty crappy too.”

They’re certainly ambitious. “A similar device can be hooked up on humans translating our thoughts into dog,” they reckon, “or other animal tongue like, oh sweet thought, a dolphin!”

$65 (40) buys the most basic NMW Micro unit with one sensor, which will be able to “distinguish 2-3 thought patterns, most likely Tiredness, Hunger and Curiosity”.

$300 (185) buys another sensor, and more thought patterns, while $1,200 (735) buys a fully customised unit in whatever colour you want, and an experimental learning mode that should be able to produce more complex phrases over time. All are very limited edition, with only 50 Micros on offer, and a modest funding goal of $10,000.

Would you buy this for your furry friend if it became a proper retail product? Will you back the project? Or is this the most elaborate prank ever staged?

Iron-Man earpiece and smartwatch unveiled

The basis of the post is to make you think about what in life is important and what does getting the new earpiece really mean to us

This week we get closer to the Iron Man dream with Intels Jarvis technology, enjoy extended music streaming from Spotify, learn of Samsungs 2014 plans and report the announcement of two new exciting gadgets.

CUTTING EDGE: Intel Releases Their Smart Earpiece Jarvis

Well you Iron Man fans will be happy as Intel has just introduced Jarvis, their smart earpiece designed to rival Apples Siri and Google Now.

Jarvis performs commands that can be carried out by your phone, it can even make suggestions and interrupt you with relevant information you might want to know.

What might be slightly disheartening to you die-hard Iron Man fans though is that Jarvis actually speaks with a female voice not that of Paul BettanyStill, Intel provided a live demonstration of the product at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

On request, it recommended a restaurant, arranged a call to make a reservation and even re-scheduled calendar events. Of course, digital assistants are nothing new; Siri in particular has been with us for some time now.

However, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich believes the competition cannot yet match the conversational and hands-free elements of Jarvis. It is always-listening and can seamlessly integrate with your calendar, interrupting politely with the information you need.

APPLE: Spotify Introduces Free Shuffle-play Feature for iOS

The music streaming service Spotify has recently unveiled an update for its iOS app that allows users to play an artists whole music catalogue without a paid subscription.

The limitation is that this can only be done through shuffle mode but now all user and Spotify created playlists can be listened to as well.

Advertisements will still play every now and then, which is to be expected but on iPad, users can listen to any song at any time, without the shuffle-play limitation.

It had previously been the case that Spotify users must pay a subscription to stream music on their mobile devices as per the companys licensing agreements with music labels.

However, recent pressure from the ever-growing US service Pandora and Apples iTunes Radio has caused the Swedish company to make changes as it struggles to maintain market share.

It would be a shame to see Spotify fall behind its rivals; it offers a fairly comprehensive music catalogue and its iOS apps for both iPhone and iPad are slick and intuitive. This recent change is a definitely a step in the right direction.

ANDROID: Samsung Unveils its Plans for 2014

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Samsung has outlined its plans for various Android devices to be released this year.

The biggest revelation is that the Galaxy S5 may come out as soon as April, potentially with new iris-scanning technology in response to Apples fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5S.

Samsungs Galaxy S range has long been considered their flagship so its good to see they might be pushing some technological boundaries here.

Samsungs mobile executive Vice President Lee Young-Hee also revealed that the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is set for a makeover, improving on the somewhat bulky design of the original and increasing its functionality.

Finally, the Note 4 might emerge in the second half of 2014 with a three-sided display to allow for multiple viewing angles.

That could really be something to see, excuse the pun Lee went on to say that significant improvements will be made to their flagship Galaxy S5 after a somewhat lacklustre consumer response to its predecessor.

As a result, Samsung will be going back to basics focusing on hardware, screen and the overall feel of the phone. It has been rumoured that we may see an overhaul of Samsungs user interface as well.

Previous iterations of its Android based Touchwiz UI have not always been well-received so it would be good to see some improvement. This hasnt been confirmed yet so fingers crossed for now.

GADGETS: Pebble Steel High-end Smartwatch Announced

If you cast your minds back you might remember us writing about the Pebble smartwatch, arguably one of the better wearable tech pieces of last year.

Well now they have stepped into the high-end market with the introduction of the Pebble Steel. It will be available in both a brushed stainless steel and matte black finish with the choice of a matching or leather strap.

The Steel also uses Corning gorilla glass to protect its face, which should make it quite durable. If this wasnt enough, it even gets a brand new Pebble app-store with six main categories: daily, fitness, remotes, tools and utilities, notifications and games.

The addition of a dedicated app-store means developers no longer need to rely on the iOS notification centre to relay information so can create a smoother user experience.

If you have the original Pebble, dont worry you wont be missing out as a firmware update is due to allow you use of the new app store as well.

However, if you dont yet have a smartwatch, the Steel retails for $249 over at getpebble.com with pre-orders shipping globally from January 28th.

GAMING: SteelSeries Unveil the Stratus Bluetooth Gaming Controller

Gaming peripheral creator SteelSeries has recently unveiled its new Bluetooth gaming controller the Stratus.

The new product is MFI-certified, which means it has been signed off to work with all Apple devices.

It differs from the competition by acting as a standalone controller and uses Apples extended control layout featuring: a directional pad, four action buttons, four shoulder buttons and dual analog sticks.

The Stratus has a built-in battery providing around ten hours of game time from a full charge and can be topped-up by USB charging in just two hours.

Up to four Stratus controllers can be connected to a single iOS device at once, with LED lights showing which controller is which.

This rather exciting new device can be purchased in a not quite so thrilling choice of black or white colours and is available for pre-order from the companys website.

It costs just under 85 and is set to ship on March 2nd.

If you loved this article and you also would like to obtain more info about 2 way radio Headset i implore you to visit our webpage.