10 months ago

Astro Pi boards on ISS upgraded with wireless and NoIR

The two Astro Pi Raspberry Pi boards hurtling around the Earth at 17 500 mph aboard the International Space Station have been upgraded.

The ‘payload’ of upgrades was launched into space on 21 March on a Russian Soyuz MS-08 (54S) rocket crewed by Oleg Artemyev, Andrew Feustel, and Ricky Arnold.

Two USB dongles add wireless connectivity to the two Astro Pi units, which are based on the Raspberry Pi 1 B+ and have therefore relied on Ethernet networking. Now the Astro Pi units can participate in experiments in every area of the ISS, not just the Columbus Module.


Astro Pi boards on ISS upgraded

Alongside the two wireless dongles are four 32GB SD cards “so that future Astro Pi code will need to command fewer windows to download earth observatory imagery to the code”, Dave Honess, Raspberry Pi Foundation education resource engineer (now with the European Space Agency), explains.

Lastly, the upgrade package contained five NoIR filters to allow the Astro Pi cameras to see into the infrared portion of the light spectrum.