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Putting the Raspberry Pi Into Orbit

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the big-slingshot dept.

Hardware Hacking 82

Jack Spine writes "The Raspberry Pi is likely to be blasted into space, according to project founder Eben Upton. The $35/$25 credit-card-sized single-board educational computer could be used in sounding rockets, satellites, and high altitude balloon tests, according to Upton. Raspberry Pi has proved wildly popular since its launch, with one developer planning to build into a model boat to sail it across the Atlantic."

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Why (5, Funny)

x181 (2677887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645047)

Why launch one into space when you can't even keep up with demand here on Earth?

Maybe this is a little late to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645107)

But I think Rasberry Pi is a terrible name. Reminds me of some icky porn title. They should change it.

Re:Maybe this is a little late to say (2)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645495)

I'm going to admit how stupid I am.

I have heard the Raspberry Pi mentioned dozens of times on Slashdot. I looked at their website, checked out their logo competition.

It's only with your comment about porn that I've realise it's a pun for "Raspberry PIE". I think because I only ever read (rather than heard) it, I just took it a face value.

Thanks AC.

Re:Maybe this is a little late to say (3, Insightful)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645671)

I suspect it's also a pun on Apple (Raspberry) and its line of i-Devices (Pi rhymes with i).

Re:Maybe this is a little late to say (4, Funny)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645707)

Oh lordy, here come the trademark lawyers...

Re:Maybe this is a little late to say (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647311)

While I quickly recognized that "Pi" sounds like "Pie", the only association I have with that is something to eat. I still can't see the connection to porn.
However I wonder if Raspberry Pi are squared. :-)

Re:Maybe this is a little late to say (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647333)

The buzz around Raspberry Pi has made me several times think about raspberry pie and grabbing one from the supermarket. I'll try to remember next time, it would be great with coffee.

Re:Maybe this is a little late to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40649221)

It would be great with java.

FTFY.

Re:Maybe this is a little late to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40649577)

Unexpected funny, thx.

This was inevitable (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645777)

Because everyone does it these days. Every other university has a student "space exploration interest club" who launch a helium balloon to "near" space, snap a picture and recover their "satellite". Google launched 7 such balloons with a bunch of Android phones onboard to prove that "Android works in space", and the iPad pouch creators launched one to show how their pouch/case protects your iPad in the event of it accidentally falling from space. A couple of years ago it was "it can run your toaster", now it's "it works in space", everyone does it. Two questions asked of *every* new device out there: Will it blend? Will it work in space?

The really creative folks launch chairs into space (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hSDbAo2WMk&feature=player_embedded -- where's safety?) or a tent with people inside.

Re:Why (1)

novakreo (598689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40648427)

From Raspberry Pi distributor element14:

Registration for the Raspberry Pi has now closed. We are currently ensuring that the large number of customers who registered their interest over the final few days of registration have sufficient opportunity to order their Pi, and will be opening to general Raspberry Pi orders mid July.

If you signed up at the launch, you'd have one by now, and if not, you can get one quite soon.

Thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645061)

I was hurtin' for another pi article.

Re:Thanks. (3, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645167)

I'm actually holding out for the cost-reduced version, the banana e.

Re:Thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645171)

Now imagine a beowulf cluster of pi articles.

Re:Thanks. (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645479)

So, Slashdot?

Re:Thanks. (3, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645199)

Indeed, we must have our weekly pi propaganda!

Re:Thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645227)

3.1416: Big Sister

Re:Thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645261)

3.1416: Big Sister

Rounding error detected.

Re:Thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645351)

3.0.

Re:Thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645839)

Remember: it is 3 if big brother tells you it is 3, it is 3.14 if big brother tells you it is 3.14. Do not forget!

Re:Thanks. (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646683)

The funny thing is that I have seen some of the RPI foundation bitching about Slashdot while the latter for months has been advertising and showing propaganda for the rpi like there is no tommorow.

This is rally a non article as it "could" be used in space there is not even something concrete. The continous rpi articles are really begin to get on my nerves.

Re:Thanks. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40650293)

Are there compatible 3D printers? How about bitcoin mining software? Does it run Ruby?

Re:Thanks. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645579)

I was hurtin' for another pi article.

Yeah, but I was kinda hoping to hear how many bitcoins it's gonna to cost.

Keep it up slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645209)

Keep on slashvertising and you'll end up like dugg in no time.

Re:Keep it up slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645569)

Nobody is paying 500k for slashdot...

who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645279)

why give a shit about something you can't buy? I've given up on the pi. By the time they get around to the second batch, somebody else will have produced a superior version.

So many bitter slashdot readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645283)

Every time a Pi story comes up I just see the page full of bitter comments. The Pi stuff is at least news for nerds and is hopefully fostering a lot of interest on the small scale, instead of regurgitating the same sh*t about what the big IT corps are forcing down our throats.

A little less bitterness, a little more inspiration. Is there no-one left on Slashdot who’s the slightest bit geeky any more?

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (2)

docmordin (2654319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645621)

Part of the issue is the frequency of the posted Raspberry Pi stories that annoys others, let alone myself. The other is that, while it's a nice, little piece of equipment, it's nothing special: anyone that has gone through a decent electrical/computer engineering program should be more than capable of laying out a similar PCB, within the span of a month or two; after that point, ordering the parts and having them mounted is trivial.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40648333)

Really? Well, why don't you go ahead and make one then, and then try hand-soldering those tiny SoC connectors. Go ahead. I can wait.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

docmordin (2654319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40649271)

Well, why don't you go ahead and make one then, and then try hand-soldering those tiny SoC connectors.

Anyone who has spent a modicum of time doing PCB design would know that many, if not most, PCB manufacturers will either install surface mount components or have the board shipped off to a partnering assembly company for an incredibly small fee (anywhere from $15 USD to $0.04 USD per 2-sided board, depending on the run size/number of unique parts). Why you would suggest hand-soldering components is beyond me.

Touching on your other point, nothing in my original post should suggest that I want to spend time designing my own Raspberry Pi knockoff; the fact that you propose doing so is rather nonsensical. Moreover, even when I was just an S.B./M.Eng. EECS student, I designed much more complex systems/PCBs than the Raspberry Pi; I'm sure plenty of other engineering students have too for their undergraduate theses.

Also, as an aside, there are plenty of "better" development boards available than the Raspberry Pi. Take, for example, the ODROID-X (http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G133999328931), which comes with a 1.4 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9, a quad-core ARM Mali-400 GPU, 1 GB of LP-DDR2 RAM, and much more, all for $129 USD.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

caution live frogs (1196367) | more than 2 years ago | (#40653533)

Also, as an aside, there are plenty of "better" development boards available than the Raspberry Pi. Take, for example, the ODROID-X (http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G133999328931), which comes with a 1.4 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9, a quad-core ARM Mali-400 GPU, 1 GB of LP-DDR2 RAM, and much more, all for $129 USD.

Yeah, but I only spent $35. Tell me how to convince my wife it's worth spending another hundred bucks for a tiny computer I can play around with... Not going to happen. But for $35, she doesn't care. My order is actually shipping right now. The point was to create something nearly anyone could afford and toy with. They did it, hence the interest.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40654071)

You get that M.Eng, Dr Mobuto's evening school in Mumbai? Maybe that's why you can't do a hyper-link property.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645627)

The problem is you can't buy it and most of these articles are empty pointless slashvertisements. I swear, if someone stuck one up their ass, you'd have an article on /. In an hour talking about colonoscopy applications for the Rasperry Pi.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645683)

You are right, you cant buy it....well, erm, except for when I bought one and have been using it for weeks. And a few of my colleagues have bought some too.

So yeah, you cant buy them, except for when you...um, can...buy them.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

CockMonster (886033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645711)

You're the lucky one. Most people are on a waiting list for several months now

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647327)

Are you basing that on some actual data, or just the whining of people on Slashdot? I know someone who had his third delivered a couple of weeks ago, and he didn't order it until after his first had arrived, so the delays can't be that huge...

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645747)

Yes, you can buy them if you were incredibly lucky. Myself? I've been stuck on a waiting list for a couple of months now.

This is the problem with F/OSS hardware projects, you can either take the gamble and pre-order way in advance in hopes of avoiding the delay but take the risk that the project will never materialize at all or may completely change its goals, or you wait and it takes 3-4 months before you get your product, and by that time, something else will have come out.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646685)

I don't think they even took preorders. I ordered mine a day or two after it went up on sale and I've had it for a few weeks

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40646019)

They go for a lot on ebay :/

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645693)

The problem with the PI and nearly every other promising F/OSS device that wants to be cheap is that you can't buy it. All of their "official distributors" say they're out of stock and the next shipment will happen "very soon". I wouldn't mind more Raspberry Pi articles if you could actually buy it and use it, but you can't. By the time the next available shipment arrives and those that have pre-ordered it receive their Pi, there will be something better.

Re:So many bitter slashdot readers (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646531)

I wouldn't mind more Raspberry Pi articles if you could actually buy it and use it, but you can't.

You can. It's just backordered to hell and gone now.

By the time the next available shipment arrives and those that have pre-ordered it receive their Pi, there will be something better.

I ordered in March, my preorder arrived in June. So ~3 months, with delays. Of course, the delay might have increased significantly since due to demand.

Raspberry Pi Pros and Cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40648243)

Pros:
  • - Very cheap, $35 for Model B
  • - Good media playback, 1080p

Cons:

  • - Not available ex-stock
  • - Pre-order times exceedingly long (months)
  • - RS and Farnell ordering systems both a shambles
  • - $25 version claimed in promotion but does not exist
  • - No board mounting holes, connectors in all directions
  • - Board power management is poorly engineered
  • - Linear regulators waste power and get hot
  • - Polyfuses deregulate unregulated supply further
  • - Power from micro-USB chargers very inconsistent
  • - No barrel connector for external power supplies
  • - Excessively limited power for USB peripherals
  • - High LAN9512 device temperature is not as designed
  • - ARM1176 CPU is old and rather underpowered
  • - Dumb USB controller consumes 20% CPU power
  • - Broadcom BCM2835 device has restricted documentation
  • - No acceleration available for X11 nor audio
  • - Raspberry Pi hype is oppressive or comical, YMMV
  • - raspberrypi.org censors all critical discussion
  • - Community is "managed" with thread locking and bans
  • - Linux software support still at a rather early stage
  • .

It's fair to say that there are a few "issues" with Raspberry Pi, so it's not surprising to see what you call "bitter comments" both here and on various Raspberry Pi forums (but not on the official forums because open discussion is censored over there).

Only a community of fanbois doesn't have a balance of pro and con views and open discussion about them. If you see both favorable and critical comments, you're looking at a healthy community.

Home security drone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645301)

I have been playing with my Raspberry Pi for a little while now, mostly as a media center and like the way the CEC package works with CEC compatible TV, turns on the TV and you use the TV remote. With all the developing going on, I suspect that before too long I will be able to put together a Raspberry Pi with an ipcam viewer app that can turn on the TV when a proximity switch is activated. I already have an Adroid app for ip cameras that also support TPZ , which could be rewired along with a inexpensive radio controlled, battery powered helicopter with an ip cam mounted and it's possible to have a small personal security drone. A coworker insists it needs a weapon but if worse comes to worse, the helicopter can become the weapon. For home security you do not need much time in the air, just enough to get the license plate numbers ect for the 911 call. Yes you can do it all already with out the Raspberry Pi but not at the same price - that is the key benefit to it all, a system for a few hundred as oppossed to a few thousand dollars.

uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645355)

Are they launching some space-hardened version? What about the radiation in space?

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (3, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645561)

they will use a monster brand hdmi cable, it will be fine

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (2)

neric (106851) | more than 2 years ago | (#40645755)

It is ridiculous to say you could use this for a satellite. Yes, you could throw this up into orbit in a satellite and it would probably work for a little while before radiation issues. If you are buying a multimillion dollar rocket, you can afford to throw down more than $35 for your satellite bus. If you are hitching a free ride on rocket bought by a third-party and just wanted a few day of LEO orbit, then yes Raspberry Pi could be an option. If you have a free ride to space, you might want to spend a few more dollars to guarantee a longer mission life.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645933)

If only there existed something you could wrap things with to protect them from radiation. Using a heavy shield could lead to an expensive launch, though, so it's a good idea to use hardware that can take a punch without flipping half its bits. To some degree all hardware is made to deal with some radiation because it is a problem even down on Earth (that's one of the downsides of things getting smaller).

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40646081)

The absurdity being that you could use ANYTHING for a satellite, ranging from a wooden spoon to a lead brick. Engineering isn't a question of what you can duct tape on to a system or a system on to. Engineering is a process of identifying, selecting, integrating, and testing appropriate tools to accomplish stated goals detailed in a design specification.

The only relevant design specification that the raspberry pi is exceptional on is hype. In every other aspect, it is a non-ideal component from a total cost of ownership standpoint. The performance you get for the difficulty of execution to achieve it offers a poor value on every criterion except up-front purchase cost. For an application as expensive as a satellite, it's processing power/weight ratio or processing power/energy consumption are totally unremarkable and as a result of the fixed cost per gram of delivery, the raspberry pi's up-front purchase cost savings over alternatives is below the noise floor of expenses.

Pretending for a second that radiation hardening is not a consideration and COTS consumer grade products are satellite worthy, there are much more powerful SoCs available already being integrated in to smart phones which are already integrated with a rich & diverse set of peripherals.

Specifically, more application-appropriate peripherals than an Ethernet port, RCA Jack, & HDMI Port such as a 9 DoF IMU & CCD camera. I expect that future versions of Android OS are going to have a software defined radio API in the SDK, and that this will be an increasingly in-demand feature with some stupid trademark like "Bluetooth" slapped on to it.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647365)

Wrong.

The exceptional point about the Raspberry Pi is that you can get undergraduates to program it well within the timescale of a degree. That team from Leicester University that is mentioned in the article? I'm part of it:

http://edgepenguin.com/content/raspberry.html

One of the issues we had in a previous (abandoned) cubesat project was the difficulty in programming a microcontroller.

Having been part of an attempt to construct a cubesat, I can confidently assert that you are talking BS. Costs for cubesats are in equipment - because most of them are assembled by students who volunteer, and you don't have any labour costs with them. The difference between the cost of a Pi and the previous board we used is not small change. It was about 10% of the launch cost, and the single largest item we purchased before the project was cancelled.

Radiation hardening is an issue - but not one that will kill a mission. This appears to be a mount stupid effect; some people know there is radiation in space, and that it can effect electronics - and therefore jump to "omg any non-hardened chip will day within days! Don't you know anything!?" - despite not knowing the details of how COTS interacts with the LEO radiation environment.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40649035)

No it isn't. There are 100s of SoCs available which run Linux. That's kind of the point.

Based on the decision to use the Raspberry Pi this year, and your comment about 10% of launch cost, I'm guessing you chose the beagle-board last year. I don't know why you think the Raspberry Pi is going to save your project this year.

Here are a couple logistics reasons why a smartphone is a better choice:

Availability/lead time:
-I can buy a cheap Android for $50 on ebay, or $100 at Walmart.
-When one of your green undergrad students reverses polarity on the board and blows it up, you can pre-order one 1-6 months in advance.

Language/SDK:
-Android SDK is low hanging fruit recruiting talent because everyone wants to write the next "Angry Birds"
-Thanks to Microsoft, when your freshman programming team show up, you will have to stake 100% of your project's success on the 1% of the population that has ever programmed for a Linux environment. If you smart, they'll develop inside a virtual appliance or machine loaded with deep freeze, if not you'll spend disproportionate team resources fucking with your development environment.

Touchdown/Failed Launch:
-GPS localization with GPRS/CDMA/GSM communications. "Find My iPhone" level shit.
-HELP! I'm Lost in Space and my HDMI/Ethernet/RCA jack are all totally 100% useless!

Attitude control system:
-9DoF IMU, Sensor API:Gravity, Linear Acceleration, Rotation Vector, Rotation Matrix, Quarternion etc.
--HELP! I'm Lost in Space and my HDMI/Ethernet/RCA jack are all totally 100% useless!

Precedent:
-Android has left the atmosphere several times in High Altitude Balloons, and John Hunter shot one out of a light-gas gun at near orbital velocity.
http://android.hibal.org/ http://quicklaunchinc.com/
-Raspberry Pi is an unproven component which has never been to space, and is manufactured by a dodgy Chinese supplier that has a history of swapping out components for inferior substitutes when nobody is looking.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9131728/Raspberry-Pi-delayed-by-Chinese-manufacturing-hiccup.html

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40649531)

Wrong guess about the board, and wrong about everything else too. No wonder you are posting as AC. We have investigated the use of phones for this application before (because we are not stupid) but found several problems.

I'm not going to get into this because you seem like a troll, and it probably isn't worth my time engaging with someone using anonymity to snarl at someone across the Internet. Bye.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40650671)

I'll be wrong when you have a working cube satellite. Right now you have dreams and pressumptions about RTOS, Computer Vision, and the benefits of cutting your BoM at the expense of integration labor. You have no PWM outputs so your actuators will require an additional MCU, and in exchange for hype you have comitted your projects success to a foundation with a poor track record of making delivery on their commitments.

While your graduate students are fucking with filters trying to reinvent the wheel, the Raspberry Pi will be losing its novel glow with every day that passes. Your rationale can be boiled down to "marketing buzz", "I'm too cheap to value my time" and unspecified learning curve benefits. I've already destroyed your learning curve claims which leaves a shitty BoM cost cutting decision and a cynical exploitation of media hype. I'm done with this conversation as well. I've justified my claims with specific rationale supported by the facts and reality, and all you have to offer are vague appeals to authority based on unimpressive credos backing and confidence that you made the right decision. "Nah ah" isn't a legitimate engineering argument and makes me suspect you are a business major. You've got a lot to learn and when your website goes dark from inactivity I'll know its time to pipe in "should have used a smartphone". Go back to playing with arduinos. ARM is out of your league.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646905)

You probably can't use directly a Raspberry-Pi board in space application (radiation is not the only problem, you also have thermal issues, ...), but using not specificaly space-hardened processors could be possible in a majority/median voter system. But you need to remplace one space hardened processor with a bunch of normal processors, and have a specific electronic for the voter system. And put a shield to lower the radiations.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40649619)

Why can't you use Raspberry Pi (or other COTS electronics) in space? Just because radiation and heat are issues, does not mean they are automatically terminal issues.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40650063)

I see several potential problems.
  • You will probably need to add a thermal regulation system on the board
  • Memory (and OS) is on a mobile SD card. Lauch may be a problem
  • A lot of other stuff on this board could have troubles during launch (connectors like usb, ethernet, and power plug, audio, hdmi, RCA) You don't really want a connector orbiting alone in your box
  • there is not a lot of mounting points

Of course you could buy the card, remove some connectors, drill holes yourself, sold the SD card, add some thermal conductor but is it still the "Raspberry Pi" ?

I really think that we could use COTS electronics in space (procs, soc, ...), but not all cots electronics. A design close to this board could be used, with almost the same components, but I really think the board itself has to be adapted. List all unneeded stuff (network, audio, video, rca), keep other stuffs (usb, if you want tu plug something using usb), and design your pcb, based on the original design.

Get everything sold by the pcb manufacturer or an assembler. Of course this makes the board 10-20 times the price of the original (if you include some test boards). When you get a good project, contact Raspberry Pi Fundation and says Hey we have a good marketing for you, are you interested in this ? Could you sponsor us ? and get some money to compensate for the difference. Put a powered by Raspberry Pi on the launcher. (ok as a additional payload you probably don't have access to the fun advertisement on the launcher)

The "raw" Raspberry Pi board could be ok. But I think it worth the cost to made this changes.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40650649)

It isn't that hard to design a system that is passively thermal managed, for a realistic range of spin rates.

The mounting points is a serious stumbling block; certainly moreso than radiation or temperature. Launch vehicles that don't have squishy human payloads aren't shy about peaking at 15Gs (SD cards can and should be glued in place. We already investigated this.) I never did mechanical design - but unless I hear otherwise I wouldn't consider it a fatal problem. If thermal and mounting do become really problematic - then yes, it might be worth creating a flight board. The only advantage then is the familiarity of the platform - but having tried to get undergraduates to program a microcontroller for the last project, that is likely a big advantage.

Power is an issue. A 1U cubesat can expect about 2W continuous, about half of which you lose straight away charging the batteries that keep you alive during eclipse. At a push you can put it into a lower power mode for eclipse, so long as that doesn't compromise your science goals. Most likely the Pi is going to fly in a 3U satellite.

It is a big technical challenge, but the nice thing is that you get a technical continuum between first learning to code at school, through to simpler projects such as robots and balloons - and then to a space project. All under the same architecture. Whilst it not ultimately be the best space hardware, its a pretty good teaching tool.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647323)

Got any evidence to back that up? Have you actually modeled COTS components in the radiation environment of LEO? I have.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647453)

Do you have result of tests or calculations somewhere ? I'm interrested in such stuff even if it's not close to my job anymore. I've seen a lot of stuff about space designed components but no test or calculations "regular" COTS. (just for reference, for spacecraft on a ~50 inclined orbit arround 1000km altitude, we got (in prediction and in real life) around 70 EDAC a day (with maybe 90% in the SAA, I may be able to find a plot of this) in a 4Mo memory. (the calculated double error rate, taking in account that we were scrubbing the full RAM in less than 10 seconds was negligeable) I don't remember of the expected error rate on the proc (erc32) but it was negligible too.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647759)

Don't have them to hand, but we were modelling a much lower orbit (few hundred kms) which makes a big difference for radiation. We look at COTS survivability for a year, at 45 degree inclination, and found it good enough for student work :)

Not to mention temperature extremes, overheating (2)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646203)

... of components due to lack of air (and gravity!) for convection cooling. I think that these are not the same things (although they are related) the sunlit side of the satellite could be a toasty 100 degrees C, while the dark side could be -100. If the satellite is spinning but not fast enough perhaps some traces could expand and contract enough to break. Meanwhile without air to conduct heat, a single small component on the board could overheat and fail.

I think the Russians (at least in the early days), put their electronics in pressured boxes with fans to stir the air. The Americans developed space (vacuum) ready components and designs from the get go.

Re:Not to mention temperature extremes, overheatin (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40649603)

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Yes, thermal control is a problem. No, it is not a showstopper that stops you using COTS electronics in space.

Re:uh, won't it have lots of errors in space? (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647319)

Radiation in LEO isn't that bad. COTS components don't just die the moment they leave the atmosphere. If every single event upset translated into an actual fault, they wouldn't be very reliable down here on earth either.

Cubesats have flown with COTS hardware - and they have done it through orbits that pass through the south atlantic anomaly. Yes, there are reliability issues - but certainly not showstoppers.

They should have loaded it up with BitCoins too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645763)

They could have got at least a dozen Slashdot posts that way!

I mean... BitCoins in space! How important is that?

Ebon Upton is an Idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645851)

If you read his blabbering about an RTOS you realize he's an idiot. Yeah you can't do multimedia on an RTOS...cuz they can't like you know, set priorities for different tasks.

This whole rasberry pi thing is ridiculous. No one can get one (yes I'm bitter) and there are other better hardware platforms that come with an RTOS (e.g. NetBurner - www.netburner.com)

Orbit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40645957)

Putting something into orbit using sounding rockets and high altitude balloons? That sounds challenging...

Try this (2)

kaarigar (663458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646695)

Put this Raspebrry Pi in my hands.

I'm sure people will do lots of interesting things (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646739)

WHEN THEY ACTUALLY SELL THE FUCKING THINGS TO PEOPLE

Maybe when I can order one and have it at my house in less than 6 months, then I'll give a fuck about what you can do with them. This may as well be one of the million other vaporware products that were always impossible to get.

LK

Re:I'm sure people will do lots of interesting thi (0)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646931)

Maybe if you cared enough to actually order one on February 29 or on March 1st, you'd had one. It's been 2 months since i received both my RPis.

Whoever really wanted an Raspberry Pi already has one - the rest are the typical /. trolls.

Re:I'm sure people will do lots of interesting thi (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40652595)

I don't do pre-orders. If someone doesn't have the item that I want in stock, I won't order.
If I can't have it in 3 days, I don't order.

I'm just getting really sick of these slashvertisements. If it's not in stock anywhere, it's vapor.

LK

Re:I'm sure people will do lots of interesting thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40647087)

You must have been very deeply hurt in the past. It's important to remember to stay calm, try not to shout and take deep breaths when you feel anxious.

Mechanical issues (1)

Catmeat (20653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646839)

I wonder how they plan to hold it down, given that the Pi board's lack of mounting holes is something of an annoying fail. There's not even much space on the edge of the board to clamp it, which seems to have created an interesting challenge to those now making Pi-cases. Although in this application, I assume most of the connectors would be removed, giving a bit more spare board-area.

Re:Mechanical issues (1)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40646911)

Sugru. Lots of it :)

Re:Mechanical issues (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40647513)

I bought a logic analyser (open source hw+sw) for $50 and while it was very cheap, the developers also forgot to include mounting holes!

what is it with very smart people who forget obvious stuff like this? uh, did you even think that anyone would care to have standoffs and screws and a case? no? really?? duct tape for the lot of us? that how it goes?

sigh. pcb design has a lot of details (I do it, part time, myself) but please folks, don't forget obvious things like HOW TO MOUNT the damned board. also, include test points and actual contacts, not just pads. vertical points where you could plug in a connector and do testing. no one likes it when their probe slips during testing! please designers, include some test points with clip points or posts that mate with test jig connectors. put leds on the board for test. put some option jumpers there, too.

design for use! duh. (sorry for the rant but today's pcb makers seem to forget really obvious things and I am at a loss to understand why)

Re:Mechanical issues (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40648063)

I'm sure they'll build a case with a method of mounting.

The Gentleman's Guide To Forum Spies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40647223)

The Gentleman's Guide To Forum Spies
http://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm [cryptome.org]

Yes - I had a chat with him about that boat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40647505)

His boat was going to be driven by a solar powered propeller. Turns out that he hadn't thought much about barnacles and seaweed....

Again a post that is before its time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40648229)

Please see my post about this all. http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2942427&cid=40468271 [slashdot.org]

I hope someone will do an article about me when i actually get going past the initial thought process. I am planning to send my hamster into space. I will be using a Raspberry Pi so we are calling the project Space Pi. I haven't actually started yet since I wanted to do the full planning on a raspberry pi. Everything from writing up the design specifications using FOSS software on the PI its self using a FOSS monitor/keyboard/mouse and using Foss drawing packages, and hooking up a PI webserver to spread the word of my ambition.

Just to note I had the same plans when I got my first palm pilot IIIc, first win ce device, andriod phone, and and yes I forgot it's been so long my, commodore 64 which almost had more power than the space shuttle. Please post when they are though the design and are at the full testing part, not a few days in. If you really want I could post some paper drawing of my asperations if everyone thinks it will help me make a kickstarter page to get a few million dollars, or a few million in bit coins that I can convert to some real cash. Oh yea did I mention I was going to use the Raspberry Pi to be a bitcon hub, I plan on colouring it blue so I can call it a "Bit of blueberry pi".

Not again (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40649239)

Another Raspberry Pi article! Where are the Arduino news?

Raspberry Pi is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40650105)

Who else thinks the Raspberry Pi is dumb? It's not a microcontroller, and it teaches you nothing about embedded programming. It's just a slimmed down PC wanna-be; a shitty SoC. BUT IT'S $25! I could easily buy an old PC without a HDD at a garage sell for $25, that out powers the Raspberry Pi, is open to more distributions, can easily program on in many languages, and can be ABI compatible with my computers. THIS would help kids learn about programming. It would also re-purpose old machines.

Raspberry Pi propaganda spread by lintards and freetards is cancer.

Re:Raspberry Pi is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40655151)

Tell me more about those old PCs playing 1080p videos with a power consumption of under 5W and the size of a credit card.
Stopp hating - start thinking

Re:Raspberry Pi is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40658903)

Tell me more about those old PCs playing 1080p videos with a power consumption of under 5W and the size of a credit card.
Stopp hating - start thinking

Right, because 1080p video playback, a small size, and low power consumption will surely teach kids how to program. The first model didn't even have a network port. Stop hating - start thinking.

Just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40650175)

It's not CMOS, so the potential for single-event upsets (SEUs) in low earth orbit (LEO) is significant. Especially after a significant X-class flare pointed directly at the earth...

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