Kinect to help UK satellites dock in space

Technology taken from Microsoft’s Kinect is being used to help two future UK satellites dock whilst in orbit.

Eurogamer reports that scientists at the University of Surrey and Surry Satellite Technology are planning to implement the tech into a planned mission called STRaND.

Both satellites – which are each the size of a shoebox – are being constructed from low-cost found in consumer devices, with a Google Nexus phone being used as the on-board computer.

Once the pair are in orbit, Kinect will be used to scan the surrounding space and tell the satellites how to align themselves for docking.

The idea is that, if successful, the method could be used to allow future space stations to autonomously construct themselves.

"It may seem far-fetched, but our low cost nano-satellites could dock to build large and sophisticated modular structures such as space telescopes," Dr Chris Bridges.

"Unlike today’s big space missions, these could be reconfigured as mission objectives change, and upgraded in-orbit with the latest available technologies."

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