LONDON (TIP): India has successfully launched the world’s first smartphone — loaded with a number of experimental ‘Apps’ , some serious and some just for fun — into the orbit. The University of Surrey’s Surrey Space Centre (SSC) said on Tuesday that the STRaND-1 , a nano-satellite carrying a smartphone, has successfully been launched into space from India. STRaND-1 is a training and demonstration mission, designed to test commercial offthe-shelf technologies in space. The Apps on board STRaND-1 were developed by winners of a facebook competition held last year. iTesa for example will record the magnitude of the magnetic field around the phone during orbit. Used as a precursor to further scientific studies, such as detecting Alfven waves (magnetic oscillations in our upper atmosphere ), the iTEsa app could provide proof of principle.
The Scream in Space app was developed by Cambridge University Space Flight and will make full use of the smartphone’s speakers. Testing the theory ‘in space no-one can hear you scream, made popular in the 1979 film ‘Alien’ , the app will play videos of the best screams while in orbit and screams will be recorded using the smartphone’s own microphone . The STRAND Data app will show satellite telemetry on the smartphone’s display which can be imaged by an additional camera on-board . This will enable new graphical telemetry to interpret trends.
The 360 app will take images using the smartphone’s camera and use the technology onboard the spacecraft to establish STRaND-1 ‘s position. The public will be able to request their own unique satellite image of Earth through the website, where images can be seen on a map showing where they have been acquired. Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, SSC director said, “STRaND-1 mission is a fantastic achievement.” STRaND-1 is a training and demonstration mission weighing 4.3 kg launched into a 785km Sunsynchronous orbit on ISRO’s PSLV launcher. Sir Martin added, “This launch is SSC’s first with Isro, and I am looking forward to exploring opportunities for further launches and a wider collaboration on space projects in the future.”