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University Scientists Reach Beyond the Clouds With a Mobile Phone App to Explore the Outer Atmosphere


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ASTRA Phone

ASTRA phone at 18,233 meter above South Wales.

University of Southamption

A mobile phone served as the on-board data logger, payload tracker, and communications relay during a test flight of the Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft (ASTRA) project.

The phone ran a Windows Phone 7 application developed by scientists at the University of Southampton and Microsoft for on-board data logging and payload tracking. Using a GSM mobile phone network, the phone streamed data to a cloud computer during the one-hour flight. The ASTRA team was able to track the payload during a flight that reached an altitude of more than 70,000 feet, using the app running on ground-based phones. The equipment was protected from extreme environmental conditions by a high-grade foam enclosure.

"Our software solution couples together Windows Phone 7 mobile computing with powerful cloud computing resources to analyze the data we are collecting in real time," says Southampton's Steven Johnston.

From University of Southampton (United Kingdom)
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