Satellites dock with Microsoft’s Kinect
Engineers at the University of Surrey (Guildford, UK) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL; Guildford, UK) are developing an in-orbit docking system for small satellites that is based upon Microsoft’s Kinect system.
They aim to launch two small satellites equipped with the games controller as part of the so-called STRaND (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) program.
After the two Kinect-based satellites have been launched, they will then be separated. Next, following an initial phase of system checks, the satellites will be instructed to perform a docking procedure which will be accomplished by using 3-D spatial data acquired from the Kinect controllers.
Docking systems have never been employed on small, low cost missions and are usually reserved for big-budget space missions. But the STRaND team believes that relatively low-cost “nanosatellites” equipped with inexpensive Kinect-based systems could be used as building blocks that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft. Read More