(ECNS) — Software-based satellites will soon establish an open operating system available to the general public via smartphone devices, said Zhao Junsuo, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Software where the satellite Tianzhi-1 was developed.
A software-based satellite, which takes advantage of open source Internet, can work in a way similar to the Android operating system to research and develop software and hardware. Customers can use the platform to develop, test and debug software.
Software-based satellites can also provide services such as high-speed communications, precise navigation and timing services at any place on earth. They can also monitor space, people's movements and environmental change, Zhao said.
He added the satellite can be seen as a computer in space that can collect, store, process, receive and send data.
China plans to send its first software-based satellite, Tianzhi-1, to space in the second half of the year, according to Global Times. "Tianzhi-1 will be sent into orbit to mainly lay a network foundation and test key technologies for a software-defined satellite system," according to Zhao.