PongSats - Tiny 'Satellites' At Space's Edge

JP Aeronautics runs a pretty cool program for amateur experimenters. When the company sends up one of its balloons to near space (as high as 100,000 feet), it allows anyone to send up a tiny satellite all their own. The only restriction? it must be no bigger than a ping-pong ball.


(Away 24 High Rack ready for flight)

Here's a typical PongSat experiment by David Scott. The PongSat is based on a BASIC Stamp 2 module to measure temperature as it ascended. David's PongSat used a BS2, a Dallas Semiconductor DS1620 digital thermometer, and a 93C66 512 byte serial EEPROM. It used 16-bit words and was capable of making up to 256 measurements, each 90 seconds apart. On its "mission" it succeeded in making 98 temperature measurements before its battery froze.


(PongSat ready to go)

Sounds like a great opportunity for everyone.

These things really remind me of the recording eyes from Robert Silverberg's excellent 1969 novel The Man in the Maze. How can you best take a look at the surface of a planet that is always shrouded in clouds?

"...We parked a drone ship fifty thousand kilometers up and dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV. At least half went straight to the bottom of the ocean... This was the only one that actually showed us a clear view of the aliens."
(Read more about recording eyes)

Read more at the PongSat page.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/19/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

HAVOC Over Venus ala Bespin
'Cloud City is an installation on the planet Bespin...'- George Lucas, 1980.

Should SETI Talk To Molecular Cloud Barnard 68?
'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'- Fred Hoyle, 1957.

Stellar Navigation Based On Network Analysis
'We are a traveling people. We need a travel station here.'- Clifford Simak, 1963.

Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1979

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

BMW's Remote Valet Parking Assistant
'Mary... claimed her car from the robopark...'

HAVOC Over Venus ala Bespin
'Cloud City is an installation on the planet Bespin...'

Neuroscientist Works Toward Virtual Immortality ala Clarke
'Nothing will be left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

A Basic Income TED Talk
'They de-emphasized what lack of work would do to Mr. Everyman'

Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'

What Can Magic Leap Expect From New 'Chief Futurist' Neal Stephenson?
'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'

Should SETI Talk To Molecular Cloud Barnard 68?
'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'

EXACTO Bullets Change Course In Mid-Air
'This little weapon ejects a rather ingenious missile...'

LikeAGlove Smart Garment Knows Your Size
'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'

Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'

Puls 'Smart Watch' Replaces Your Cell Phone
Even before Dick Tracy, there were Ideas about this.

Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'

US Navy Laser Ready For Use
Fifty years from cartoon to reality.

Fast Lightweight Autonomy Indoor Drones For DARPA
'the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom... and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

Ninebot One Self-Balancing Wheel
'It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles...'

FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator And Psychohistory
'The reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.