David Kirkpatrick

July 12, 2010

Tiny satellites …

… are changing astrobiology research for the better.

Just check these things out:

Small satellites such as the commonly used 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm CubeSat are easier and cheaper to put into low-Earth orbit. Credit: Weber State University

Also from the link:

The biggest advantage of nano- and pico-satellites is that they are a bargain. Most of the cost saving comes at the launch stage. Unlike conventional satellites, they don’t need a dedicated launch vehicle where they are the primary payload. “They’re so small they can hitch a ride on somebody else’s rocket,” Santos says. NASA’s nanosatellite missions cost two million a piece as opposed to the tens of millions needed for a conventional satellite.

Their affordability also comes from being built with off-the-shelf electronic circuit chips such as microprocessors and radio frequency transmitters and receivers. These are the same components that are inside smart phones, hand-held Global Positioning System units, and digital cameras.

In fact, the miniaturization of electronics has been the driving force behind small satellite technology, making it affordable, says Twiggs. “Electronics today are much more power-efficient than electronics of the past; that helps us,” he says. “Ten or fifteen years ago we couldn’t have found the components for the price that we could’ve afforded.”

1 Comment »

  1. Hello I am so excited I found your webpage, I really found you by
    error, while I was searching on Bing for something else,
    Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a tremendous post and a
    all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

    Comment by gold coast removals — July 6, 2013 @ 7:31 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: