Webalistic
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:01 pm

Well.. orbit is a different matter (160 - 35000km), but a balloon to send a raspi 30km up seems doable:

http://www.ProjectAether.org

But only if you can give it something sensible to do... no point sending anything up as dead weight.
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poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Great video.

If a Pi can bring the payload back to a predefined location with a glider that would be a big improvement over the parachute concept. It could record measurements with sensors and make the use of a lighter/cheaper webcam possible.

Plus the great ideas the community will now provide

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rurwin
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:47 pm

"Glider" is a relative term.

If the glider loses a foot per second, it is a fairly average glider. But if you release it at 90,000 feet, it would take over 24 hours to reach the ground.

If you wanted it down in a reasonable time, it would need to drop at ten feet per second or more, which to the glider community may look more like a brick... and may be unfortunate over those last ten feet.

Losing height quickly and under control, might be the prime purpose of an embedded Pi.

mole125
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:52 pm

You seem to be forgetting that air density goes down pretty rapidly, at height there will be little or no lift generated so it really will plummet like a brick for the first thousands of feet, while at ground level it should glide - assuming the initial speeds haven't damaged it.

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:54 pm

Or we could sell air-time to the Pirate Bay

Seriously, I had not thought about it, but it would give more time for research. As in taking more measurements.

As I see it, the Pi could make the payload lighter, so the balloon needs lees hydrogen, so it will pop later and can travel higher. Then it gives more airtime through the use of the glider.

Doesn't sound too bad so far.

But high up the air is thin, so I guess the glider would fall quicker than closer to the surface?

(edit: mole125 was quicker than me with the last remark)

Skiesare
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Re: Pi In Space!

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:32 pm

I like the balloon idea as a way of getting half way there and testing the duration of the Pi over a few hours in near space conditions. Project Horus have done some flights that could be helpful in designing a mission, but they are in Australia and don't have to worry so much about the payload coming down in the sea. A mission that should interest people here is;

http://projecthorus.org/?page_id=1773

Closer to home is Cambridge University Spaceflight, who have got a balloon over 40km up as well as dropping an Android smart phone from 20km.

If you can come up with a worthwhile task for the Pi while it's up there (out there) there are a lot of people who can help make it happen.

The idea of using the Pi to control a glider seems great because a balloon would be bound to drift out to sea and a glider could bring the Pi home. I recall seeing an altitude attempt with a hang glider released from a helium balloon and it dropped like a stone at first but found some lift after a few seconds. This was at 11km so our Pi glider could well fall further than it would fly.

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:03 pm

Cool post! I like the project Horus idea where they auctioned the Tux plush figure for $23,239!

Additionally the world record for a glider seems to be (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....ude_record):


The highest altitude obtained in an unpowered aircraft is 50,671 ft (15,445 m) on 30 August 2006 by Steve Fossett (pilot) and Einar Enevoldson (co-pilot) in their high performance research glider, a modified DG-500


A pretty good 'goal' for the Pi would be flying the glider to a predefined landing site, preferably back to the launch site but not necessarily.

At this moment I'm thinking:

Launch a balloon with a glider underneath, release the glider as high as possible, let the Pi fly the glider as long as possible and make it land in a predefined spot. Then auction the 'First Pi In Space', buy Pies for the amount of money raised to be given to a school selected by the contest winners.

Phil Spiegel
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Re: Pi In Space!

Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:12 pm

On James May's Man LAb TV programme they sent up an HD camera and parachuted it back when the balloon had reached its limit.

The camera, which is about the size of a 35mm compact, is proving popular with a wide range of 'action' shows since I first saw it at IBC last September.

BBC Two - James May's Man Lab, Series 2, Episode 3, James May ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme.....p00ll139 

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SN
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Re: Pi In Space!

Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:25 pm

Go Pro and Go Pro HD - great cameras - I wonder if there is any way to interface one of these to the raspi
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

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Re: Pi In Space!

Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:40 pm

Once the Raspi camera module is done (1080p30 encode, 5 or 8MP I think), I think GoPro may have a decent competitor! Although a case may be a problem. Look up Nokia 808 and Nokia N8 for examples what the Raspi could do...
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Charles25
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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:58 am

Sending a Raspberry Pi computer to the edge of space would
be quite the exciting event. Imagine how you would feel if your software was running
on the Pi that went to the edge of space and if you could prove it.

I think that would be a goal worth working for even if you
are just a kid. Let me refer you to my other posting about getting the target
audience motivated to work with the Pi rather than play video games and all
their other distractions.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....nch-energy

This would be most feasible using a balloon. But it would
also be cool to actually get one into orbit. That would take a lot longer
though. I used to work at Orbital Sciences Corporation (http://www.orbital.com) and they do have extra space and lifting capacity in their launch vehicles for small payloads. But based on my experience there, even if money were no problem, it would still take close
to five years at the shortest to get one launched. It might take as long as close
to ten years depending on a lot of factors including the changes in launch
schedule of the real payload it will be piggybacked on to for launch.

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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:47 am

Sending a probe into deep space

Amateurs can of course do it. Read this about manufactureing inexpencive rockets first: http://www.dunnspace.com/leo_o....._cheap.htm

The KISS principle can make it possible.

Peter Madsen from Copenhagen Suborbitals, had a couple of months ago asked us: What if we become successful in launching a human into space?

I proposed [1] the idea of launching a deep space probe (a probe into the solar system), and Peter liked that idea [2].

With several cm's of lead around a Pi for protection, it will be a nice computer for deep space navigation, communication, and doing scientific instrumentation.

Navigation? I found an article, which says it is possible to achieve 1 meter navigation navigation on all 3 axis in the entire solar system and beyond using known positions of pulsars 1000's of light years away.

If you want to read about Copenhagen Suborbitals (Kristian von Bengtson is writeing here) have an English blog (Rocket Shop) on Wired Science: http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....rocketshop

The danish blog can be read at: http://ing.dk/blogs/rumfartpaa.....andenmaade

(Use Google Translate: From Danish to English)

[1]: http://ing.dk/artikel/125416-h.....es#p402051

[2]: http://ing.dk/artikel/125416-h.....es#p402121

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tzj
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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:14 am

I would love to have a go at getting a pi into space
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Skygod
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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:44 am

Some interesting ideas. It would appear that there are a few records (firsts) that could be attained.

I think just getting a board up to around 31.4159 km and having it record data such as Latitude, Longitude, Altitude and Temperature overlayed on the video recording would be ambitious enough.

Maybe the case should just be a big Rasperry Pi buckyball shape made of styrofoam which would help manage the issue of the extreme cold.

larsth
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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:51 am

Skygod said:


Some interesting ideas. It would appear that there are a few records (firsts) that could be attained.

I think just getting a board up to around 31.4159 km and having it record data such as Latitude, Longitude, Altitude and Temperature overlayed on the video recording would be ambitious enough.

Maybe the case should just be a big Rasperry Pi buckyball shape made of styrofoam which would help manage the issue of the extreme cold.



Pressure is also interesting to measure. The pressure will be low at that altitude.

Note that the volume of the styrofoam will expand as the pressure drops.

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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:58 am

How much heavier would the Met ballon be if it was overprinted with the Raspberry Pi logo?

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:11 pm

Some great additions, thanks.

I want to add this idea from another thread (mentioned above), which I like very much, because I'm afraid the connection might get lost with the upcoming forum overhaul:

Charles25 wrote:


I read the postings under Pi in Space (http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....i-in-space) and the idea flashed in my mind that it would really be quite a motivator for me to have “something” of mine in space, even if it was software.

I imagine if the Rasberry Pi Foundation created a platform that could be hoisted to the edge of space under a balloon, then they could have a Raspberry Pi Space Olympics contest for school-age programmers.

The platform would have a Raspberry Pi (obviously), a camera and GPS tracker. It would be housed in a floating container. I think it would be good to have screen that the camera could photograph, perhaps like a Kindle screen, that would not get washed out in sunlight. It might also be useful to interface some sensors for temperature, air pressure, GPS coordinates and etc.  Then every person who enters the contest and has software that meets minimum requirements, could have their software loaded onto the Pi, and it would be launched. When each person’s software ran, it would put up a screen of their design, execute their code, and move on to the next person's code. At the end of the flight, each participant would get a copy of the video file that showed their software running on the Raspberry Pi that went to space (the screen showing the software running in the forground and the curvature of the earth in the background)

I imagine that this would be a big day for both the students who’s software was on the Pi and for the folks that launched and recovered it. The foundation could even make the event a regular fund raiser, year after year.

As the programmers become more sophisticated, there could be several levels of software, for beginning, intermediate and advanced programmers.  Each launched on its own Pi in space.

And this is a contest that everyone can win.  Everyone that is, that completed their project and their project met the minimum requirements.  And that is the goal, to get the kids to learn programming skills.


poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:36 pm

The 'deep space' additions make me lick my chops, but that is something for the future I guess.

I've been googling a bit around sailplanes (gliders) and came up with the following:

Two ways you can launch a sailplane:





My guess is sailplanes can stand a bit of abuse.

I found some references to the properties and speed of a (sophisticated) model plane (I think), although in Dutch:

http://www.modelbouwforum.nl/f.....uigen.html

Assuming you get a sailplane up to 30 km height and a 'normal' sailplane looses 1 foot per second at sea level to maintain 'normal' flying speed and I reduce that to 3 foot per second on average over the full 30 km (air is less dense way up), the plane will still be in the air for more than 8 hours.

Assuming further that a good plane will travel @ something like 100 km/hour (see Dutch link) I can assume (note I wrote *ASSUME* :-) ) the sailplane could possibly travel somewhere between 500 and 1000 km from balloon pop.

A lot of assuming, but a nice thought.

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Re: Pi In Space!

Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:05 pm

poing said:

Assuming further that a good plane will travel @ something like 100 km/hour (see Dutch link) I can assume (note I wrote *ASSUME* :-) ) the sailplane could possibly travel somewhere between 500 and 1000 km from balloon pop.
A lot of assuming, but a nice thought.



Yes, but it doesn't have to fly in a STRAIGHT LINE!

If, for example, it was controlled by the 'Pi to aim for a specific GPS location, it could even end up right where it started from!

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Re: Pi In Space!

Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:28 pm

I think at 30km (only 1/3ish way in to space which is 100km) height a glider(sailplane) would drop like a stone. Just not enough air density for the wing to work very well.

Once in decent air, a glider can stay airborne indefinitely in the right conditions. A friend of mine flies big ones, and he can fly from East Anglia to Wales and back - takes all day.
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Skygod
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Re: Pi In Space!

Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:23 am

I have yet to find a video that is actually recording much in the way of data to the video. It would seem that there is little problem with just making a payload container from foam.

Flights seem to be around 3 hours in duration (2 hours up, 1 hour down). Some of the videos I've seen have very turbulent stages during ascent / descent, so something with wings would probably be no good. Keeping things 'warm' is often accomplished with gel 'hand warmers'

A parafoil parachute may be a better idea as these can effectively be 'controlled' by steering lines (Just think of a regular 'square' sport parachute).

Total payload should not exceed 1kg.

Cost of the ballon should be less than $100.

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:01 pm

Lynbarn said:


Yes, but it doesn't have to fly in a STRAIGHT LINE!

If, for example, it was controlled by the 'Pi to aim for a specific GPS location, it could even end up right where it started from!


Yeah, that would be cool, a 'space boomerang'

I even got a vision of the sailplane using smoke to write 'PI' in the sky over the landing ground, just like they wrote 'ROXY' (cigarette brand) in the sky over the beach when I was a kid.

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Re: Pi In Space!

Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:01 pm

double post, deleted

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:09 pm

JamesH said:


I think at 30km (only 1/3ish way in to space which is 100km) height a glider(sailplane) would drop like a stone. Just not enough air density for the wing to work very well.

Once in decent air, a glider can stay airborne indefinitely in the right conditions. A friend of mine flies big ones, and he can fly from East Anglia to Wales and back - takes all day.


I found this table: http://www.engineeringtoolbox......d_462.html

At sea level the pressure is about 1 kg/cm2, at 15 km only 0.1. But the height record for a sailplane is 15 KM so somewhere around there a half decent plane should start flying.

My idea so far was to have the gliding angle constant, without control by the Pi, just like the simplest toy planes and to control only the direction by the Pi. To stay in the air for a long time you need a skilled pilot that can find the rising air bubbles. Not something I see a schoolkid program into the Pi just yet, but who knows.

poing
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Re: Pi In Space!

Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:19 pm

Skygod said:


Flights seem to be around 3 hours in duration (2 hours up, 1 hour down). Some of the videos I've seen have very turbulent stages during ascent / descent, so something with wings would probably be no good. Keeping things 'warm' is often accomplished with gel 'hand warmers'

A parafoil parachute may be a better idea as these can effectively be 'controlled' by steering lines (Just think of a regular 'square' sport parachute).


I'm not sure if a parachute copes better with wind than a plane, especially a paraglider or something like that. Could be. But the paper plane linked to earlier survived.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paragliding a paraglider has a glide ratio up to 10:1 while a sailplane goes up to 72:1. Plus that a chute seems more complicated to control than a sailplane. But it's a good suggestion.

Another point is regulation. You may only fly such a balloon if the payload is attached to a parachute, while I can see that Air Traffic Control would not be pleased when an automatically controlled craft cruises their airspace with 100 km/h. Would not want my kid to be the first youngster ever taking a jumbo down So that would suggest a parafoil.

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