Android™ App for Deep Space Networks

NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Apollo Mission, Man on Moon, space shuttle, Discovery are all synonymous with awe, inspiration, something that takes you out of yourself and forces you to be wanting to be part of a space mission. This is one topic, that each of us is inspired by and one of the most interesting aspects that we look up to. NASA besides their space missions, are also known for their active search for talent in all walks of life and that too in all age brackets. It is so common, to hear NASA arranges a drawing program or a Math program or many such innovative skill development and improvement involvements in the field of education, research and infrastructure building.

                                                        

Recently NASA administrators met with entrepreneurs and discussed innovations in space exploration and technology development, critical to America’s future in space. Almost a year ago, we saw the NASA App for the iPhone, iPadTouch and the iPad announced free of charge on the Apps Store. Mid January 2011, saw a NASAJPL internship opportunity for the development of the Android version of the App earlier developed for the Apple product with an aim to provide users with a global view, about the Deep Space Network or the DSN.

The DSN is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions, and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The present three DSN Deep Space Communication facilities are located at California, Madrid (Spain) and Canberra (Australia). The network facility is managed for the NASA by the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).

As per the DSN site, the antennas and data delivery systems make it possible to :

  • Acquire telemetry data from spacecraft.
  • Transmit commands to spacecraft.
  • Track spacecraft position and velocity.
  • Perform very-long-baseline interferometery observations.
  • Measure variations in radio waves for radio science experiments
  • Gather science data
  • Monitor and control the performance of the network

NASA JPL is looking for personnel, with skills and requirements of software engineering, development experience in Java, XML processing and graphics and interest in Android platform mobile Applications development. The personnel selected will get involved in the development of the App allowing users to visually navigate to one of the 3 sites namely, California, Madrid and Canberra and provide a graphical dashboard for the selected Deep Space Communication complex.

The other Apps on the Apps Store include :

  • Space Weather Media Viewer
  • 3D Sun
  • Lunar Electric Rover Simulator
  • NASA App
  • NASA App HD
  • NASA Images
  • Space Images etc.

Besides, this informative App facility, NASA also develops various App for their own use by staff on various smartphones available in the market and in their use in various facilities. In one of the earlier blogs, in mid 2007, we also saw, reports from NASA’s Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA commenting that the iPhone is not enterprise ready but the Blackberry, at least the Blackberry 8800, is enterprise ready.

Which of the Android phones coming up is going to match and surpass this enterprise ready requirement is something to watch for. NASA’s search for exclusive talent is always there and if you feel that, you could be the one, go for it.

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