Is this the first Windows Phone 7 handset in the stratosphere?
On Friday morning, Southampton university launched a Windows Phone 7 handset in to the upper atmosphere using a helium balloon and logged scientific data using a Windows Phone 7 app and Windows Azure. Here is the full breakdown from Dr Andras Sobester:
“Part of the ASTRA (Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft) initiative (http://www.soton.ac.uk/~astra/), the goal of this flight was to demonstrate the feasibility of using a low-powered, lightweight commodity device (a Windows Phone 7) as a data logger, communications link and a portal to high performance computing resources in the cloud (through Windows Azure).
ASTRA 7 reached a maximum altitude of 18,237 meters during its 1h 16' flight. The Segoz Logger app running on the WP7 operated, as designed, throughout the flight, providing location notifications to Windows Azure when in GSM range (with the Azure worker re-computing the forecast landing site each time). The maximum speed reached by ASTRA 7 was around 90mph, logged at an altitude of 10.1km, as the balloon-borne flight train was traversing the jet stream. ASTRA 7 landed 46.6 miles downrange (very close to the pre-flight prediction based on the ASTRA balloon flight simulation model of 47.7 miles). ASTRA 7 also took over 1200 photos during its flight (a small selection of which are attached).
As a test of the WP7/Azure system, the mission was a success, with further missions planned to include science instruments linked to the WP7 via its Bluetooth stack. It also provided a validation of the ASTRA balloon trajectory modelling capability, which will form the basis of future missions.”
Computer Weekly and The Guardian were briefed last week and given a Windows Phone 7 handset with the Segoz Logger app loaded so the journalists could track the flight. The first article on Computer Weekly can be found here.