Posts with «satellite» label

Making Space Accessible to Students with U of M Satellite

The U of M Satellite project started in 2010 as a student group at the University of Manitoba with the goal of building a nano satellite (10 x 10 x 34 cm) and make space accessible to the public. We got in touch with Ahmed Byagowi, co-founder of the project, who teaches robotics in the same university. Ahmed told us that U of M Satellite became soon very popular, in fact  more than 300 students joined the group. In the first iteration the satellite’s goal was studying a micro animal (about 1 mm) called tardigrades and see its behaviour in space. The second iteration started in 2012, the same year of the launch of the Arduino Due and that’s why they designed everything based on it.

We had a nice talk with Ahmed and asked a bit more about the project.

Why is space so important for research, and why it would be cool if more people could have access to it?

Space research is important because it challenges us to solve problems and find solutions which can translate to everyday life here on Earth. The products of space research and space technology are all around us today. From the ballpoint pen, all the way to GPS, special composite materials, special surgical equipment and satellite communication.

For a while, only government and military had access to space. However, over the past decade there has been a rapid increase in commercial and public access to space. Private companies can take risks that the government and military can not, which leads to even bolder and newer technologies being developed.

For the general public, there are many creative and dynamic thinkers in the world who may not be able to share their ideas through a government agency or company. Public access to space allows more people to innovate on their own terms, and with 7 billion people on this planet, surely there are a great deal of innovation to be found.

With more people involved in researching space technologies, even more ideas can reach fruition, which can hopefully lead to technologies that will benefit life here on Earth even more.

There are other open source projects going to space (i.e. Ardusat), how’s U of M Student Satellite different or similar to others?

Ardusat is using Arduino as its payload (in fact, 16 of them) to run certain experiments in space and its main controller system is based on other processors and software. On the other hand, UMSATS’ satellite is going to be based on the Arduino Due architecture (the main controller) aided by the Arduino Zero and Arduino Uno’s design for payload and other controllers such as attitude determination and control system (ADCS) and power management as well as onboard image processing.

In which way open source is making exploration of space possible?

Open source makes things more accessible and helps a community work together to solve problems. If more open source platforms become available that can aid in space exploration, people can focus their efforts more on the next big problem using tools already developed, instead of resolving the same problems over and over again (reinventing the wheel). Plus, learning from watching other people’s work is a great way to learn things and apparently for some people like me or Massimo, this is best way to learn programming (based on Massimo’s TED talk).

Could you give us a bit more details on how you are using Arduino DUE ?

Our main Command and Data Handling (CDH) controller is based on the SAM3X8E and we are using Arduino Due’s bootloader and IDE for the software development. We added some more software layers as well as a scheduler and we aim to open source the entire software and hardware as soon as possible. In the picture of our motherboard below, you can clearly see the SAM3X8E and on the top right, there is a SMD version of the ATMEGA328P running and Arduino Uno core and acts as the beacon transmitter. This board encompasses the CDH, ADCS, Power and Communication of 2 meter and 70 cm bands (144.390MHz and 435MHz ham radio bands).

A famous quote of Massimo’s Banzi says: “You don’t need anyone’s permission to make something great” and in your TED talk you start saying “You can make big things using small tools”, what’s the relations between the two?

There is no formula for greatness. We live in a time where anything is truly possible, and the way to achieve your goals is numerous. Nobody said we couldn’t do something big with our small satellite, and we didn’t ask if we could either. Instead, we try to do big things with small tools that are accessible to us.

Arduino Blog 03 Apr 18:22

Makers in Space: What Was Old Is New Again

Setting the record straight on the history of Do-It-Yourself satellites.

Read more on MAKE

Space experiments for everyone: the ArduSat project

ArduSat, which stands for “Arduino satellite”, is a recently kickstarted project that aims at developing an open platform usable to emulate space scientists:

Once launched, the ArduSat will be the first open platform allowing the general public to design and run their own space-based applications, games and experiments, steer the onboard cameras to take pictures on-demand, and even broadcast personalized messages back to Earth.

ArduSat will be equipped with several sensors (such as cameras, gyros, accelerometers, GPS and more) packed inside a small cube (the side will be approximately 10 cm long) that can be accessed through a set of Arduinos.

Once in orbit, the ArduSat will be accessible from the ground to flash the required firmware for the experiments and for getting back all the collected information. People interested in performing space experiments will have access to a ground replica of ArduSat explotable to test and debug their code before the actual deployment.

The project is very ambitious, and it is expected that such an open accessible space platform will have a considerable impact on how simple space experiments will be carried out in the forthcoming years, in the case of fundraising success.

You may find the Kickstarter page of the project here.

[Via: Hack A Day and Kickstarter]

ArduSat wants to put Arduino satellite, your experiments into orbit

Short of scoring a spot on the ISS experiment docket, putting your scientific aspirations into orbit can be a bit tricky. Why not try crowdsourcing your way into space? ArduSat's barking up that very tree, asking Kickstarter contributors to help them get a Arduino CubeSat off the ground. Headed by NanoSatisfi, a tech startup operating out of NASA's Ames Research Center, the project hopes to raise enough funds to launch an Arduino bank and a bevy of open-source sensors into orbit. The payoff for backers? Access. Varying levels of contribution are rewarded with personalized space broadcasts, remote access to the space hardware's onboard cameras and even use of the machine's sensors to run experiments of the backer's own design. If all goes well, the team hopes to launch more satellites for the everyman, including a unit dedicated to letting would-be stellar photographers take celestial snapshots. Sure, it's far cry from actually launching yourself into the stars, but would you rather be a tourist, or a scientist? Check out project at the source link below, and mull over that for awhile.

ArduSat wants to put Arduino satellite, your experiments into orbit originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 18 Jun 2012 04:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Arduino geek develops Cold War Angst, starts spying on satellites (video)

Start with some Arduino and Gameduino hardware, add a splash of PLAN-13 satellite tracking software from 1983, and finish with a healthy dose of libertarianism. The result? A neat little hack called Angst, designed and built by Mark VandeWettering (aka Brainwagon). It can store details of up to 750 satellites on 128KB of EEPROM memory and display their predicted orbits in all the glory of SVGA. Don't get lazy though -- the most reliable way to track those pesky snoops in the sky is still to don your anorak, step outdoors and snoop right back.

Continue reading Arduino geek develops Cold War Angst, starts spying on satellites (video)

Arduino geek develops Cold War Angst, starts spying on satellites (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Nov 2011 21:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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