Iridium Satellite add-on - Pi in the Sky!


14 posts
by rock7 » Wed May 30, 2012 6:18 am
Hi,

We're a UK company, and an Iridium Satellite partner. We're really keen to make some of our know-how available to the Raspberry Pi community in the form of an add-on board.

The board would allow a Raspberry Pi to reliably send and receive short (up to 360 byte) messages from anywhere on Earth (with a reasonably good view of the sky). We'll call it 'Pi in the Sky' :idea:

We anticipate that this add-on would be of interest to academic/science/environmental research projects, and we can also think of some nice humanitarian projects to aid areas of disaster or poverty. I'm sure there are plenty of others.

Pricing would be in the region of $250/£160 for the add-on board (we'll keep it as affordable as possible, but there are some required parts that we can't avoid).

Monthly rental would be around $13/£8 - only required when actually using it (no minimum contract). Messages cost about $0.07/£0.04 per 50 bytes.

I'm really keen to hear what the community think. This isn't supposed to be a hugely profitable project for us, so I'd like to gauge interest before going too much further with development. I'm happy to answer questions etc here.

So, what do you think?

Ric Searle
--
Rock 7
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by allyjweir » Wed May 30, 2012 11:24 am
This sounds absolutely incredible. Worldwide communication at such a low price. I would be interested in building a device which could send morse code to a homebase. Perhaps as an emergency system for while hillwalking. If its even possible. I'm not sure but it is an exciting thing!
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by paravion » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:21 am
I came here researching as to whether any other folks were working on Iridium/PI - I'd be very interested to discuss more. Is it possible for you to private message me with your contact email? Cheers!
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by markp1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:57 pm
sounds like a pretty interesting idea!

Im curious what sort of messages these would be, if there is one of these add ons running on the Pi, what sort of things could I send messages to or receive from?

Would you need 2 of these, one for the Pi and one to receive any messages?


I saw a post on here a while ago about putting a raspberry pi on a weather balloon and some how sending GPS/Altitude information down to a computer for monitoring would "Pi in the sky" be suitable for that sort of project?
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by rock7 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:02 pm
Hi Paravion,

Apparently, this system won't allow me to send private messages until I've contributed more. Feel free to contact me by visiting http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com and following the 'contact' link.

Thanks,

Ric Searle

paravion wrote:I came here researching as to whether any other folks were working on Iridium/PI - I'd be very interested to discuss more. Is it possible for you to private message me with your contact email? Cheers!
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by rock7 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:07 pm
The messages sent from the device would typically be delivered to your application either via an HTTP post, or an email from our service. Alternatively it would be possible to communicate directly between two of these devices.

The weather balloon idea is exactly the sort of application that we have in mind.

Regards,

Ric Searle


markp1989 wrote:sounds like a pretty interesting idea!

Im curious what sort of messages these would be, if there is one of these add ons running on the Pi, what sort of things could I send messages to or receive from?

Would you need 2 of these, one for the Pi and one to receive any messages?


I saw a post on here a while ago about putting a raspberry pi on a weather balloon and some how sending GPS/Altitude information down to a computer for monitoring would "Pi in the sky" be suitable for that sort of project?
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by rew » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:10 am
markp1989 wrote:Im curious what sort of messages these would be, if there is one of these add ons running on the Pi, what sort of things could I send messages to or receive from?

If I remember correctly there are devices using this that allow paraglider pilots to "radio" in their location should they have a problem in the middle of nowhere. Remember the search for the plane-with-14-people that crashed in south america recently? How about a black box that sends a "cry for help" with coordinates the moment a trigger happens. That could be "G-force more than 10G". Or distance to ground less than 100m and distance to airport > 2km.
Check out our raspberry pi addons: http://www.bitwizard.nl/catalog/
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by felix123 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:39 am
rew wrote:
markp1989 wrote:Im curious what sort of messages these would be, if there is one of these add ons running on the Pi, what sort of things could I send messages to or receive from?

If I remember correctly there are devices using this that allow paraglider pilots to "radio" in their location should they have a problem in the middle of nowhere. Remember the search for the plane-with-14-people that crashed in south america recently? How about a black box that sends a "cry for help" with coordinates the moment a trigger happens. That could be "G-force more than 10G". Or distance to ground less than 100m and distance to airport > 2km.

Might a real epirb be better?
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by codyc1515 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:32 am
10/10. I would certainly buy this add-on. We are doing a lot of work with WiFi and Meshing and this seems like quite an interesting add-on.
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by cavu » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:42 am
Is there any update. I'm interested.
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by rock7 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:51 pm
Sure - quick update:

The board is in production, and it's called 'RockBLOCK'. it comes in two flavours - a 'naked' pcb assembly for integration into your own projects, or a 'rugged' encapsulated version that runs from a USB port.

Lots of info here: http://rockblock.rock7mobile.com

Ric
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by cavu » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:30 am
This is excellent. I'm very interested in using it my application.
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by plugwash » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:46 am
One question that immediately springs to mind is what is the singaling voltage on the direct header?
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by rock7 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:18 pm
Signalling voltage on the direct header is 3.3V.
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