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Satellites dock with Microsoft’s Kinect

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

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Posted on May 31, 2012, in #technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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