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 ")

ADEPT Heat Shield Works For Mars
'...A synthetic which air-friction would erode away...' - EE Doc Smith, 1934.

Nuke Mars To Terraform It, Says Elon Musk
'... Mars could not be made habitable without first being stocked with air and water...' - Olaf Stapledon, 1930.

Texas-Sized Ice Slab Found On Mars
'That's okay, still ice in The Rock and a miner expects to sound for it...'- Robert Heinlein, 1966.

NASA Turns To Museum Space Shuttles For Parts
Tropes true to life.


  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

Harvard's Robobees Now 'Fly' Underwater
'...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

ADEPT Heat Shield Works For Mars
'...A synthetic which air-friction would erode away...'

Ultralight Origami Crane UAV Flexes Its Wings
'They began to flex their wings.'

UM Solar Car Now Also With IBM Research Power
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Robot-Based Trash Collection
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk and load it in there...'

Warrior Web Exoskeleton For Soldiers Undergo Tests
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.'

Computer Predicts Psychosis Better Than Psychiatrists
'The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile...'

Robot Evolution Needs Mass Extinction Events
'It was small, one of the baby ones.'

Lab-Grown Kidneys Implanted Successfully - In Animals
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'

Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend, cloned.

DARPA NeuroTech Hand With Natural Sensation
'Take care, sir.'

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.