poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:18 pm

If the RasPi lives up to expectations it's only a matter of time before one will be used in space, probably in (something like) a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CubeSat, a typical 'student thing' . The present pi-craze will die down but marketing will have to go on in the future. Therefore I want to propose the creation of a Pi In Space! challenge.

In my view the Foundation opens a paypal account where enthusiasts and old geezers like me can donate a small amount of money. The total amount will be the prize money, payable when a Pi board makes one revolution of the earth in space.

The prize money could be payed to the winners directly or maybe used to donate Pi boards to schools chosen by the winners.

Please share if you like the idea in this thread and if so how the challenge should take shape.

takaya
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Re: Pi In Space!

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:37 pm

open the pod bay doors, pi

im sorry dave, im afraid i cant do that

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Montekuri
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Re: Pi In Space!

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:41 pm

When I saw the topic title I thought about it:


poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:48 pm

Montekuri said:


When I saw the topic title I thought about it:




Well, that's my 'great marketing vision' People already know the slogan...

Phil Spiegel
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Re: Pi In Space!

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:51 pm

Unfortunately, wonderful as the components used are, I thinkyou'll find their spec excludes medical and life-related uses...as do RS/Element 14s conditions of sale in general.

However, that shouldn't stop a high altitude baloon -at least 2 TV programmes (James May was one) have sent up a small HD camera and transponder etc.

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:54 pm

Phil Spiegel said:


Unfortunately, wonderful as the components used are, I thinkyou'll find their spec excludes medical and life-related uses...as do RS/Element 14s conditions of sale in general.


How many human beings do you want to put inside a CubeSat (1 liter cubic space)?

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TheTap
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Re: Pi In Space!

Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:29 am

poing said:

How many human beings do you want to put inside a CubeSat (1 liter cubic space)? 

I can think of at least 5, would you like me to name them?

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deepthought
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Re: Pi In Space!

Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:39 am

Eight amateur radio microsatellites launched on 17 February:

http://www.uk.amsat.org/tag/mi.....osatellite

How about Pi and Ham for tea in space?

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Burngate
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Re: Pi In Space!

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:40 pm

Your proposed challenge makes no mention if the Pi actually doing something in space.

So I propose we ask some budding astronaut to take one in his hand-luggage to the ISS!

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Jongoleur
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Re: Pi In Space!

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:43 pm

When I saw the topic title, I immediately thought that the launch vehicle would be called...

The Phantom Flan Flinger!



But then, I'm warped. 
I'm just a bouncer, splatterers do it with more force.....

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:24 pm

Burngate said:


Your proposed challenge makes no mention if the Pi actually doing something in space.

So I propose we ask some budding astronaut to take one in his hand-luggage to the ISS!


Nobody launching a CubeSat packs dead weight in it, much too expensive. So if it's inside it will do something, what it does is of course at the discretion of the builders.

I can see an astronaut showing the Pi from the ISS would be a great advertisment, although taking it up in his hand luggage would hardly deserve the title 'challenge'. But hey, can't be too picky I guess. Maybe he could shout:

Piiii in Space!

zardoz99
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Re: Pi In Space!

Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:55 pm

I think one of the biggest obstacles to the Pi in space is cosmic radiation. It's amazing how destructive this can be, especially to high density circuitry.

If the SoC/PoP combination can be radiation hardened/shielded, it might stand a chance but as it is now, the board probably wouldn't survive for long.

Lynbarn
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Re: Pi In Space!

Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:43 pm

How is this for a possible precursor to a Raspberry Pi "X-Prize"?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2.....ris_video/

Of course once the 'Pi-load reached apogee, it would have to be capable of carrying out some live research, and delivering the results back to earth...

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riffraff
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:24 am

takaya said:


open the pod bay doors, pi

im sorry dave, im afraid i cant do that



Bad idea. Pi can't be disabled by removing memory modules... PoP, remember.

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Morgaine
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:58 am

Reaching the "official" boundary of space at 100Km has major difficulties for amateur efforts, and attaining orbital tangential velocity even more so.  AMSAT and related programmes get a lot of amateur gear into space and into orbit all the time, but their launch vehicles aren't amateur ones but commercial.  Amateur satellites mostly just piggyback on expensive commercial launches and fill spare volume in the payload platform.

As rocket launching is so hard, I expect the Raspberry Pi to be better represented among the "high up but not officially space" efforts that push the limits of high-altitude ballooning to around 30Km or higher, officially "near space".  This can be very inexpensive, and yet immensely rewarding — absolutely fantastic pictures can be obtained, and the sense of accomplishment, wow!

Lots of groups have done this in the past decade, here are a few nicely illustrated links of successful projects that hit the news:

- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....Earth.html

- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sci.....space.html (video)

- http://www.joshingtalk.com/201.....found.html (full details of above)

- http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab.....ey-budget/

Improving technical education in schools was the primary motivation for Raspberry Pi, and ventures like the above fit this goal like hand in glove.  It's hard to imagine school science projects more enthralling than reaching near space.

PS. It's *very* important for education never to mention "orbit" in the context of this kind of high altitude ballooning, as it's totally incorrect, and would badly mis-educate youngsters.  Journalists seem to be totally beyond hope of education regarding the difference between near space, space and orbit.  We can't do anything about that, but we shouldn't echo their mistakes here.

Morgaine.
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:30 am

PI in orbit would require a PCB and components that are specially made to eliminate the chance of there being trapped gas that would explode if in a non-pressurised environment. Also withstand extreme heating and cooling in its setting. There is, on the ISS an amateur packet radio beacon which is extremely easy to pick up when the ISS over flies. A Pi could do that job if hooked up to 2m transmitter.

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Morgaine
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:55 am

Since reception of amateur bands does not require an amateur license, and wideband scanners with a data port are quite common, there's a nice niche for Raspberry Pi as a monitor of satellites passing overhead.  Run a webserver on the Pi showing live position on orbital graphics and it would make for a very interesting personal website too.

This might make quite a nice schools science project as well, assisting in the Rpi's primary objective of increasing technical literacy among school children.

[For the more ambitious, add a cheap external FPGA board like the Papilio One -- http://papilio.cc/ , http://www.skpang.co.uk/catalo.....p-894.html -- and run software radio on it in lieu of the commercial scanner. ]
Intolerance is a failure of education. Education is predicated on tolerance of the uneducated.

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:58 am

I do agree that reaching near space with a balloon would be more of a school project as a CubeSat launch is estimated at around U$ 85,000.

But how do you check the validity of a claim near space was reached with a Pi as board computer?

Lynbarn
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:34 pm

poing said:


I do agree that reaching near space with a balloon would be more of a school project as a CubeSat launch is estimated at around U$ 85,000.

But how do you check the validity of a claim near space was reached with a Pi as board computer?


There are various GPS-based loggers available (such as many smartphones  - could also be used for photography?). A tracker device to assist recovery of the vehicle on the ground would be useful too, if you want to recover your 'Pi! (again - a smartphone?)

Ideally, these should both be closed devices to avoid any - err - cleansing of the data. At the moment, that would leave the 'Pi as a passenger, so some appropriate task - data logging of air pressure, perhaps? needs to be allocated to it

Webalistic
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:28 pm

zardoz99 said:


I think one of the biggest obstacles to the Pi in space is cosmic radiation. It's amazing how destructive this can be, especially to high density circuitry.

If the SoC/PoP combination can be radiation hardened/shielded, it might stand a chance but as it is now, the board probably wouldn't survive for long.


Indeed. a solar storm can take out expensive heavily shielded satellites. You'd need some serious engineering to keep it working.

And there's some proper insulation needed. ISS for example has to deal with temperatures varying from -150 to +150 deg. C depending on whether it's in the sun or shade.

On the other hand... all that would kill a $25 raspi not a multimillion dollar communications or gps satellite.
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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:06 pm

If everything from the temperature to the pressure to cosmic radiation is so dangerous to the Pi, how did that chap film the lego space shuttle. As far as I could see, the camera was just being protected by some polystyrene foam so it didn't get bashed about on re-entry. I would have thought that the workings of a camera would be just as delicate as the Pi.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:12 pm

Just flicked through the previous posts and I don't think anyone has mentioned the Lego space shuttle so you might not know what I was talking about. Here it is.


poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:20 pm

I think it would be cool if you had a glider plane hanging under the balloon from its tail with a camera in it's belly. Then when the balloon pops the glider flies back to the closest pre-programmed landing 'facility' (e.a. grass field) and phones home.

Should make for some nice footage. There is also an 'autoplane' project on the site.

Lynbarn
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:32 pm

poing said:


I think it would be cool if you had a glider plane hanging under the balloon from its tail with a camera in it's belly. Then when the balloon pops the glider flies back to the closest pre-programmed landing 'facility' (e.a. grass field) and phones home.

Should make for some nice footage. There is also an 'autoplane' project on the site.


That is more or less what The Register's PARIS (Paper Aircraft Released Into Space) mission did, although IIRC it wasn't exactly a controlled glide - it just landed where it landed - with a tracker for the ground crew to retrieve it.

Using the 'Pi to control the flight back would be an interesting challenge.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2.....ris_video/

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rurwin
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:36 pm

poing said:


I think it would be cool if you had a glider plane hanging under the balloon from its tail with a camera in it's belly. Then when the balloon pops the glider flies back to the closest pre-programmed landing 'facility' (e.a. grass field) and phones home.

Should make for some nice footage. There is also an 'autoplane' project on the site.


Something like this. For added points the glider was composed 100% of paper. Unfortunately the onboard video camera failed, probably due to the cold IIRC, but the baloon payload camera does have footage of the release, and then some seconds later a brief glimpse of the glider flying straight and level.

ETA: Ha! beaten to it!

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