Nokia may be proud of their first Windows Phone device, as the Lumia 800 was chosen to be taken out in space by UK scientists, to help them build trajectory-tracking software, for future projects.
The flight was organised by University of Southampton and its main purpose was to launch a smartphone into the stratosphere, attached to a balloon, without any additional protection. A handset was needed to help them track the flight trajectory and to use this data, in prediction software for future missions.
The launch was sustained by ASTRA, the Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft organisation, which investigates new technologies that can make observations in space and at a low cost.
Stephen Johnston and András Sóbester, two key members of ASTRA, stated that the Lumia 800 is a very robust phone, which doesn’t need an extra battery and a heater to survive cruel weather conditions.
Temperatures can reach even -70C above the earth and the atmospheric pressure can get a thousand times lower, at above 32km.
Moreover, Nokia’s creation was able to beam GPS data back to the ground team, to record measurements by connected instruments, as well as taking some pictures.
During the test, the Lumia 800 maintained data connectivity 8km above the ground and in -61C conditions. The phone’s flight took 2 hours and 22 minutes, a time when the maximum altitude captured was 32,004km – a mark that only a light device could achieve.
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