One of the fastest and most compact satellite computers in the world has been developed by students at the University of Stuttgart in Germany and will be sent into space next year on a commercial rocket.
Beginning in the fall of 2014, the satellite is to record shipping movements and measure vegetation with its three camera systems. It will also test new technologies under space conditions.
The university noted that the instrument’s manoeuvrability would enable it to photograph vegetation from various angles, thereby allowing conclusions about the condition of plant life in the earth’s regions.
While proven computers — and thus older models — are generally used in commercial aerospace projects, the Stuttgart satellite computer is state of the art, the university said.
It is suitable for small technology satellites, for example from the European Space Agency.
The project was launched in 2004 and has received more than 1 million euros in finding in that time. A Government agency has granted 800,000 euros ($ 1.07 million) to pay a rocket company to get the Flying Laptop into orbit.