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STRaND-1 Cubesat video: "WARP drive" and plasma thrusters

Here's a nice video of the exposed chassis and boards inside STRaND-1.

While it is the Android smartphone payload that gets the majority of the attention, the craft will also use plasma thrusters, pointed out early in the video, and "Water Alcohol Resistojet Propulsion," or what the designers have cleverly dubbed WARP drive.

According to this web site, the three-unit Cubesat has four mission goals:

1) Rapid autonomous commissioning – It is planned to demonstrate advanced autonomous commissioning techniques, including new attitude determination and control and detumble technologies.

(2) In-orbit approach and inspection – It is planned to demonstrate miniature propulsion systems to approach the rocket body from which the station was deployed, and take images of the rocket body using an onboard camera.

(3) High performance computing and IEEE 802.11b/g networking – It is planned to demonstrate the operation of high performance, lower power consumption processors onboard for complex tasks.

(4) Outreach - It is planned to take images of the Earth from space, and downlink a compressed digital version of the image. Additionally, users may upload their own digital content (for example JPEG imagery, short videos etc.) to be downlinked by other users.

More information about this spacecraft is available from its maker, Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd. The cube is slated for a 2013 launch.

Wayne