University of Southampton: ASTRA Program

Windows Phone 7 at the Edge of Space

A team of researchers from Southampton University's ASTRA Projectrigged up a Windows Phone 7 to a helium filled meteorologicalballoon and sent it skywards. It travelled at 90mph to a height of18,237 meters (that's over 60,000 feet) then fell back to earth tobe successfully recovered in a flight that lasted 1 hour and 16minutes.

A team of researchers from Southampton University's ASTRA Project rigged up a Windows Phone 7 to a helium filled meteorological balloon and sent it skywards. It travelled at 90mph to a height of 18,237 meters (that's over 60,000 feet) then fell back to earth to be successfully recovered in a flight that lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes.

This flight was a test in payload retrieval technology. An application developed by Segoz allowed the phone to transmit data over the GSM network until it went too high to make contact. As the payload started to fall back to earth and came into contact with the GSM network once again, the application off-loaded the computational requirements and data to Windows Azure (Microsoft's cloud computing platform). Researchers on the ground could watch the balloon on its journey via the Segoz application as it logged location and altitude information with Windows Azure finally crunching the data to work out the probable landing site.

 
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In cloud computing, virtual machines run in large data centers and replace physical PCs and servers. By aggregating the computing needs of many users within a single center, economies of scale are achieved that result in significant benefits such as lower power utilization, simpler setup and maintenance, and easier upgrades to capacity and performance. Many applications can run unchanged as you redeploy them from local desktops or servers to the cloud.

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Watch a video about the Microsoft cloud offerings, and then prepare your environment by installing the tools you'll use to build your first Azure application.

Get the Tools

Download and install the software and tools that will help you develop your cloud applications.

Start Coding

Download some sample code, then follow along with the helpful videos to get started coding your applications for the cloud right away.

Get these free resources in the Cloud Development Hub


Develop for Windows Phone

Phone development is similar to desktop development - with caveats. Phones do not have the memory or performance of their desktop counterparts. To simplify development, many developers initially run, debug, and test their applications in a software version of the phone - also known as an emulator. This enables the creation of your application in a standard, familiar environment, and can be deployed onto a phone when ready to use.

Fundamentals

Watch a video about the Windows Phone 7 offerings, and then prepare your environment by installing the tools you'll use to build your first Windows Phone application.

Get the Tools

Download and install the software and tools that will help you develop your Windows Phone 7 applications.

Start Coding

Use the video walkthroughs to learn about how to develop for applications for Windows Phone 7.

Get these free resources in the Windows Phone App Hub