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Arduino Enables a Low-Cost Space Revolution

Soulskill posted 1 year,13 days | from the ever-smaller-ever-cheaper dept.

NASA 70

RocketAcademy writes "Arduino, the popular open-source microcontroller board, is powering a revolution in low-cost space-mission design. San Francisco-based Planet Labs, a spinoff of NASA's PhoneSat project, has raised $13 million to launch a flock of 28 Arduino-based nanosatellites for remote sensing. Planet Labs launched two test satellites this spring; Flock-1 is scheduled to launch on an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket in 2014. NanoSatisifi, also based in San Francisco-based company, is developing the Arduino-based ArduSat, which carries a variety of sensors. NanoSatisifi plans to rent time on ArduSats to citizen scientists and experimenters, who will be able upload their own programs to the satellites. The first ArduSat is scheduled for launch August 4 on a Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle carrying supplies to the International Space Station. The cost of orbital launches remains a limiting factor, however. As a result, Infinity Aerospace has developed the Arduino-based ArduLab experiment platform, which is compatible with new low-cost suborbital spacecraft as well as higher-end systems such as the International Space Station. The non-profit Citizens in Space has purchased 10 flights on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft, which will be made available to the citizen-science community. Citizens in Space is looking for 100 citizen-science experiments and 10 citizen astronauts to fly as payload operators. To help spread the word, it is holding a Space Hacker Workshop in Dallas, Texas on July 20-21. Infinity Aerospace will be on hand to teach Arduino hardware and software."

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70 comments

Here's my idea so far... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44233941)

Which color LED, red, blue, or yellow, can be programmed to blink most rapidly in outer space?

Re:Here's my idea so far... (1)

davester666 (731373) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234677)

Obviously, you need separate satellites for each color generated.

This is just batches of more space junk.

Re:Here's my idea so far... (2)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,12 days | (#44236839)

Lightweight stuff, particularly stuff with large cross sections, only last a few months before the orbit decays and it burns up in the atmosphere.

troll (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44233949)

if you can afford to put something into orbit, maybe you can afford to pay a real C programmer

Better yet! (1)

EzInKy (115248) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234013)

You could afford a real programmer, one that understands machine language. Every lair of abstraction ads complexity.

Re:Better yet! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234033)

There's all kinds of abstract dragons guarding undefined treasure in lairs of abstraction.

Re:Better yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44242905)

Hey Joe, there's all kinds of abstract dragons guarding undefined treasure in lairs of abstraction!
It's fabulous Dave!

FTFY

Re:Better yet! (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234037)

And you can probably afford a spell checker. Every lair contains a villain. Every layer adds complexity.

Re:Better yet! (1)

EzInKy (115248) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234199)

My spell checker was written as an abstraction! Details such as synonmyms and antomyns are too complex too complex for it to compute.

Re:Better yet! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234293)

My spell checker was written as an abstraction! Details such as synonmyms and antomyns are too complex too complex for it to compute.

Yeah, but what about homophones?

Re:Better yet! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234503)

Now why is this devolving into a gay thread about homo phones?

Re:Better yet! (1)

foniksonik (573572) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234907)

Dragons typically live in lairs, why not lairs of abstraction?

"Quest to find the Lair of Abstraction! Undefined treasures await you in this thrilling new module set in the World of Greyhawk."
- a Gary Gygax production

Re:Better yet! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,12 days | (#44238777)

Follow the path to the Dragon's Lair [youtube.com] !

Re:Better yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44239265)

And you can probably afford a spell checker. Every lair contains a villain. Every layer adds complexity.

The spell checker is the problem, not the lack of one. Lair is a word in the spell checker's dictionary, so if won't be flagged even when it's retarded. Kind of like some aliterate slashdotters say "loose" when they mean "lose" and wind up saying exactly the opposite of what they meant to say. What the GP is is stupid; IMO anyone who doesn't avail themselves of books is an idiot. And when you see "They're friends are their and there not pretty" that's the same kind of retarded aliterate error the GP made.

As to my opinion of aliterates, I'll paraphrase Twain and say that an aliterate has no advantage over an illiterate. If you know how to read, not reading is stupid.

Re:Better yet! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234569)

That is why all the old guys at NASA always impressed the hell out of me, the amount of work they could get out of such weak hardware was frankly AMAZING, can you even imagine what a Phenom X6 or i7 could do running nothing but machine code? Hell everyone should try that little OS made in machine code "Kolibri OS" IIRC as you can take a 1GHz P3 and it'll just smoke many modern systems thanks to how close to bare metal that thing runs, its just nuts how bloated all the OSes and programs are now compared to what they could do back then.

Re:Better yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44254761)

Take a look at this operating system 100% 32/64 bit x86 assembly

http://www.menuetos.net/

When all the good science has been done... (1, Insightful)

hamster_nz (656572) | 1 year,13 days | (#44233997)

... I guess you can always use weedkiller for artistic purposes [metro.co.uk] , and photograph it from space.

No kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234021)

I've seen some rather hilariously expensive PC hardware being used for satellite construction when an Arduino would do exactly what they need.

Too bad this is Silicon Valley Echo Chamber cranked up to 11. They should be giving demos in places they actually build satellites on a regular basis, like, you know, where Ball Aerospace lives.

Re: No kidding (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234085)

I have seen ridiculous expensive retail SBCs used where a $3 embedded controller, a few square inches of perfboard and a bit of assembly language was all that was needed.

Re: No kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234255)

Yes but that 3$ controller would have then needed a 3000$ certification that it won't electrocute the user or a 700$/hr specialist coder to tweak a setting. That 500$ pre-certified retail SBC looks like a bargain when anyone can modify the web page it is serving up. If something looks ridiculous to you, ask yourself "Am I the smartest person in the universe, or am I missing some information?"

Re: No kidding (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234873)

Yes but that 3$ controller would have then needed a 3000$ certification that it won't electrocute the user or a 700$/hr specialist coder to tweak a setting. That 500$ pre-certified retail SBC looks like a bargain when anyone can modify the web page it is serving up. If something looks ridiculous to you, ask yourself "Am I the smartest person in the universe, or am I missing some information?"

are you saying that single board computers that consist of a single computer on a chip are getting certified for those reasons?

look, for these it's sat it's totally unnecessary for it to be an "arduino" and not atmel on it's own, except for the easier press value gathered from using the buzzword arduino.

Re: No kidding (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | 1 year,12 days | (#44236577)

That's exactly what I was thinking. Arduinos are development boards. They're supposed to allow you to easily prototype things on them. If you're going to build more than a couple, why would you ever spend $30 on an Arduino board, when you could have your own custom units made in bulk for $10?

Re:No kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234203)

It would be even cheaper if they ditched the Arduino hype and just used an AVR.

Re:No kidding (1)

bondiblueos9 (1599575) | 1 year,12 days | (#44236233)

Yeah I never understood that. Arduino is a good platform for testing or prototyping, since you have a lot of things you are going to use already provided on a board, and you can share your design with others that have the same hardware, but once your idea is solid and ready to be reproduced over and over, it just makes sense to build your own circuits around the controller.

Real Science? (4, Insightful)

thesupraman (179040) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234031)

Waiting for the real science to begin in 3...2... oh wait, never?

Really, what exactly do they think these are actually useful for except for adding 'In Space' to a bunch of
college programming projects? As these dont even use radiation hardened electronics of any ECC, I
suspect investigating failure modes will be their main use.

Come on, the world is full of useful and interesting things to do, this just aint one of them people!

Re:Real Science? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234259)

Not all of these things actually go to space. Balloons are pretty good about fault tolerance.

Re:Real Science? (1)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,12 days | (#44236921)

Balloons don't provide much radiation protection to the electronics in the payloads they carry. It's somewhere on the order of none at all.

OMG: WAKE UP THE LAWYERS, like NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234261)

... except for adding 'In Space' to a bunch of college programming projects?

1. Iterate every patent out there.

2. Add "On A Computer" to the ones that don't already have it and re-patent.

3. Add "...In Space" to all of the ones on a computer and create a new patent.

4. Create one final a patent that patents "adding 'In Space'" to patents.

5. PROFIT!

...

6. Patent a Arduino BSOD screen. (Or, patent lost packets ... on a computer ... in SPACE.)

7. Profit even MORE!

Re:Real Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234419)

For many people, it is essential to believe that space has something to do with science, or that science happens more powerfully in space. It's a mythos.

You will find that questioning the value of things that happen in space is tantamount to treason on /., it's a lese-majeste.

Re:Real Science? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234561)

You will find that questioning the value of things that happen in space is tantamount to treason on /., it's a lese-majeste.

Only if you do it in a really stupid way, or lie and troll-bait people, or bring it up when completely off-topic. Otherwise, at worst it becomes like any other random argument on the internet. It is not any more treasonous than claiming saying something bad about EMACS or Chrome is treasonous because every one only talks about those and none of the alternatives.

Re:Real Science? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234459)

If they want a professional space product using AVR, then there are many many boards that can do this, or they can design their own. Arduino is specifically designed for learning projects. Sure you can buy Arduino and then dump the dumbed down programming environment, but then why not pick a better or cheaper board? It seems "Arduino" is used by a lot of people as a synonym for "8-bit processor on a board that has ADC and GPIO".

Re:Real Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234719)

Any boards you'd recommend off the top of your head?

Re:Real Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44235051)

but then why not pick a better or cheaper board?

Like what? Pointers? URLs?

Re:Real Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44235505)

https://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103804 [radioshack.com]
Seriously, the number one great thing about AVRs (as opposed to many other 8-bit micrcontrollers) is that they've got oscillators etc. inside -- you can literally hook up VCC and ground (this can be a 2- or 3-cell NiMH/NiCd/alkaline pack or single-cell Li-ion with no voltage regulator, subject to certain clock constraints) and the I/O lines to whatever sensors and actuators you're controlling. For desktop fiddling (either as its own toy, ala home computers back in the day, or during the prototype stage of a "real" project), extra stuff the arduino has like pluggable headers and a built-in RS-232 level converter (or USB-serial adapter) are certainly nice, but you won't need those on orbit or in 90% of finished installations on Earth.

Personally, for prototyping stuff, I'm ok with the old STK-500 -- and if I need more portability to test the prototype, I either use a socket on the perfboard, or just throw it up on a tiny protoboard for early testing, and move it to perfboard later. But my brother has a veritable stack of Arduinos, and I've really only one small hardware complaint with the Uno, specifically the goofball pin-spacing between port D and port B -- why they couldn't just put their 2.54mm headers at a multiple of 2.54mm apart is beyond me. It just bugs me when morons want to stick the whole board in their finished project instead of wiring it up on a perfboard. (The arduino software library and java-based development environment are each an entirely different issue, and both are massive crocks heaping full of steaming shit. Fortunately, you can use the hardware without any of that.)

Re:Real Science? (4, Insightful)

Techman83 (949264) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234589)

I'd suggest watching the talk from LCA 2013. Video here [linux.org.au] . I went along and found it quite interesting. Puts Orbital science experimentation into the hands of people that would have never been able to afford it previously.

But I'm seaminly responding to another trollish post with a +4 Insightful. Imagine a class room full of students excited about science because their teacher organised for a bunch of their projects to go up into space, and that drives them to further that knowledge and go on to become successful scientists. No, there is no useful purpose for this project at all

Re:Real Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44235681)

Being exited isn't a goal in itself.

That's like all these "x awareness" campaigns / fundraisers. Why spend time & money on "awareness" that could go towards addressing the actual problem?

Seems like we have built ourselves a society of hangers-on and wannabees - all wanting to be part of something bigger, but having nothing to offer towards the effort than some intangible "excitement" and "awareness"..

Re:Real Science? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234951)

They'll be operating in LEO [wikipedia.org] , at 400KM where the ISS (International Space Station) is. Radiation hardening isn't as much of an issue in LEO. Companies and education institutions are using COTS (Commercial Of The Shelf) parts more and more for LEO satellites with great success.

Re:Real Science? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,13 days | (#44235137)

it's even less of an issue on altitudes xcor lynx goes to.. if any. it hasn't flown yet has it?

Re:Real Science? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | 1 year,12 days | (#44235383)

In low orbit you don't need proper radiation hardening.

Since you're still within the earth's magnetic field (and technically the atmosphere), a little bit of shielding goes a long way.

I also didn't see anything about Planet Lab's Flock-1 being Arduino based.
Not in TFA and not on their website or press kit.

Re:Real Science? (1)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | 1 year,12 days | (#44239557)

Well, some people think that global monitoring of crop patterns, rainfall, land usage, climactic shifts, etc. is useful science.

If you don't, that's okay.

Not quite sure about the revolution (2)

aphelion_rock (575206) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234113)

A cheap computer not necessarily maketh a cheap satellite.

There is lots more than that; solar panels, batteries, regulators, rotation / positioning thrusters, antennas. Then there is temperature management and the housing of the whole thing.

I guess the low power consumption leads to low weight which in turn leads to a cheaper launch cost.

Re:Not quite sure about the revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234605)

Is it actually low power consumption compared to other off the shelf industrial options? Or would it be possible to use some other controller that might cost a few dollars more, a tiny fraction of the price of the whole project, but either do more, allow more resources to be dedicated to the sensors, or allow for a smaller, cheaper build?

More space junk... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234487)

In the end, mother naure will get her revenge. These things won't last long in space.

Space is rough (2)

drwho (4190) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234623)

Nowhere do I see mention of these arduinos being special, radiation-hardened versions. Nowhere, is there mention about extended temperature range, vibration, etc. These are all important if the mission is expected to succeed. Sure, it might be reasonable to expect a certain fatality rate among a flock of launched devices, and do cost accounting to figure out what tradeoffs can be made. I find it difficult, however, to believe that the current cost of launch, by weight, is lower than the cost of providing reliable hardware.

This is not meant to slight Arduino. I think it's great, but it's made to be a low-cost solution for instances where there is not much demand for reliability, and certainly not for such places where there is a demand for reliability under difficult circumstances. This project is a mistake, a waste of money, and courting disaster. I wish that all of those who had senior authority to approve this project to get fired, and to spend some time in hell (Hell is pretty bad. So, on the scale of things, about twenty minutes should do).

Re:Space is rough (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234699)

this kind of use is stupid for "arduino".

what the fuck does the satellite need the usb comms still attached to them? and without them the boards are just atmel avr boards with a bunch of kilobytes of the flash totally fucking wasted in this application.

Re:Space is rough (1)

planetlabs (2979529) | 1 year,11 days | (#44252077)

We don't use Arduino, but we do use USB.

Re:Space is rough (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44234937)

They'll be operating in LEO [wikipedia.org] , at 400KM where the ISS (International Space Station) is. Ratiation hardening isn't as much of an issue in LEO. Companies and education institutions are using COTS (Commercial Of The Shelf) parts more and more for LEO satellites with great success.

Re: Space is rough (1)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | 1 year,13 days | (#44235089)

"Nowhere do I see mention of these arduinos being special, radiation-hardened versions. Nowhere, is there mention about extended temperature range, vibration, etc. These are all important if the mission is expected to succeed." Most small satellites do not use radiation-hardened components. Rad-hard chips provide 1/10 the power at 10 times the price, and thet aren't available when you need them. Generally, they're made to order with long lead times. It's generally easier to add a watchdog circuit to reboot the computer when it crashes due to a radiation event. Even the laptops aboard ISS are not rad-hard. In higher orbits and interplanetary space, radiation levels are higher and rad hardening becomes a bigger concern. Even there, techniques like spot shielding can reduce the number of components that need to be hardened. You might want to consider the possibility that maybe, perhaps, people who have built and operated satellites professionally for organizations such as NASA are not idiots and have some idea what they are doing.

Re: Space is rough (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | 1 year,12 days | (#44235749)

You are strangely ignorant of the problems. Radiation hardening isn't the only problem, and radiation hardening does NOT mean long lead times or ultra expensive components. In the grand scheme of things and off the shelf 486 chip these days can almost be considered "radiation hardened" due to the low count and large size of transistors, and type of technology used back them. A stock standard ATMEL microcontroller on the other hand designed to be as small and cheap as possible with the lowest size die and the cheapest manufacturing process (read small, large die yield) is your worst possible choice.

But lets ignore radiation hardening for a moment. You have no air, thus no convection to take away heat. Your low power arduino will get very hot. Not to mention that filling an over sized board with components that are not needed (useless header pins, USB port, etc) is not in any way desirable when sending something into orbit.

NASA are not idiots you're right, they also don't build microsatellites with off the shelf arduinos.

Re: Space is rough (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44236111)

2 problems with both of your comments:

1- There is not much of a radiation issue at the altitudes that the ISS flies at (which a previous poster already mentioned) and most likely even less at the altitude that these CubeSats will fly at;
2- The experiment payload will be flown in the pressurized cabin so thermal/vacuum issues can be ignored (details here: http://www.citizensinspace.org/next-frontier/).

Re: Space is rough (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#44237119)

You are strangely ignorant [...] and off the shelf 486 chip these days can almost be considered "radiation hardened" due to the low count and large size of transistors,

You are strangely ignorant if you don't know that Intel has long been producing genuinely radiation hardened x86 processors for the space program. It wasn't long ago they introduced the hardened Pentium, which AFAIK is about the most powerful hardened processor available so far. They were radiation hardening processors before the 486 was even a thing, before they even could make such fine features, because that most certainly is not sufficient radiation hardening.

Re: Space is rough (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44238867)

NASA (and others) *would* build spacecraft with off-the-shelf arduino boards (or Rasberry PIs) when it makes sense for a particular mission. You don't necessarily need (or want) rad-hard components for a short-duration LEO mission where quick development on a readily available platform & cheap hardware are key requirements. Or you might select rad-hard for KEY components (say, the memory holding the processor boot code) and accept commercial-grade elsewhere.

These folks shoulf select hardware (and software) consistent with mission requirements, not because "it'd be cool to fly an Arduino in space!" (although it's still cool if it makes sense and works). Commercial-grade hardware has been used for several decades on numerous amateur radio satellites and Cubesats. There is a great deal of design, fabircation, and ops experience in those communities. Hopefully their experience and mentoring will be used. Requires some careful testing and cherry-picking of components, consideration of how to deal in hw and sw with single event upsets and cumulative radiation damage in CPUs and RAM, and paying plenty of attention to and testing of the mechanical design & assembly and thermal design as vibration and shock during launch and thermal effects (hot-cold-hot every orbit and dealing with sun-side hot, earth side cold) remain as critical issues. Assuming these spacecraft fly on short-term missions, at least battery failure after years of charge-discharge cycles every orbit should not be a big problem.

However, when re-purposing commercial boards (rather than components on your own board), all the extra stuff you don't need are opportunities for failures and consume power and payload volume you want or need elsewhere. There's a tradeoff (go research make vs. buy) between the benefits of a design taliored for the mission and the associated time & cost to develop it, vs. carrying cruft you don't need and compormising on design elements by using systems developed for a different use. Radiation hardening is a small piece of it, probably not the most significant.

Re: Space is rough (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | 1 year,12 days | (#44246569)

You missed my point. You don't necessarily need genuine radiation hardening, but a basic choice of commodity electronics can make for something FAR more durable than an Arduino.

Re: Space is rough (2)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | 1 year,12 days | (#44239035)

radiation hardening does NOT mean long lead times or ultra expensive components.

NASA are not idiots you're right, they also don't build microsatellites with off the shelf arduinos.

You need to do some research. NASA just successfully launched two PhoneSat satellites this year, which use Arduino as part of a watchdog circuit. They plan on flying more in the future.

Planet Labs was founded by two of the lead engineers who built PhoneSat. The founders of Nanosatisfi worked at NASA Ames, where PhoneSat was built, and EADS Astrium, a major satellite manufacturer.

Just because something appears in a parts catalog doesn't mean it's available for overnight shipping. You'll find that out if you actually try to order them.

The fact that someone is doing something differently than you would doesn't necessarily mean they are stupid or know less than you do. They may have good reasons for what they are doing, because they spent more time thinking about the problem than you did composing your Slashdot flame. Not to mention building actual hardware and testing it. If you believe you can do better, great -- build your own satellite.

Re: Space is rough (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44241451)

You need to do some research. NASA just successfully launched two PhoneSat satellites this year, which use Arduino as part of a watchdog circuit. They plan on flying more in the future.

That seems like a big difference from using the Arduino as the main processor of the satellite instead of some secondary role. Would it have made that big of a difference in price if they had to spend a couple hundred dollars on a controller when they are already paying much more to get things up there? Why not just make more PhoneSats...

Radiation Issues (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44234941)

I'm sure some Googling could find me some basics, but this would be a great chance to hear anecdotally from people who work on this stuff daily - how big of an issue is radiation and the hardening for circuits? What kinds of damage/effects are you having to counter, and how do you go about fixing it? There was a story floating around last month of the phone-based projects that are being launched. Are there certain zones or ranges in the magnetosphere where the radiation hits harder, or becomes a non-issue? And what's considered "good enough" when it comes to hardening?

Re:Radiation Issues (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,13 days | (#44235225)

Radiation is a serious issue and can corrupt the stored program as well as runtime operation. Commercial devices will not last long in space. Even plastics degrade and shrink in space, due to evaporation of volatiles so the connectors will fall apart after a while. Another issue is the launch phase. The vibration of a rocket system is extreme and parts can break off the boards. Conformally coating the electronics and gluing down all heavy parts with RTV will make it last a little longer. Don't expect more than a few weeks of service life, if they even get to orbit in a working condition.

is it really about the HW cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44235079)

I thought getting the stuff up there was far far far more expensive than the hardware itself. Even if it's space hardened hardware.

Re:is it really about the HW cost (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,13 days | (#44235235)

If there was a band of gold circling the earth and the Ariane space truck could go and get a tonne at a time - it would not be worth it.

Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44235753)

Arduino? Why did I instantly think of the arduino in this schematic: http://xkcd.com/730/ ?

This effort (not the xkcd one) is probably a worthy one. But just because of the arduino, I cannot take it seriously. I try, really, but fail.

bunch of my arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44236003)

this is a bunch of my arse. why would someone want to put a $20 microcontroller in a $500k satellite? other than for the hype?

A raspberry pi should do as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44236249)

Yeah, it can be done with arduino computers, but all you need is a raspberry Pi.
There's a project on kickstarter now, trying to raise money for launching a microsatellite powered by a solarsail and controlled with a raspberry pi, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aresinstituteinc/lunarsail-the-worlds-first-crowdsourced-solar-sail

There's another project currently on kickstarter that are about to launch a micro satellite, though I haven't been able to find out what computer they are using, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597141632/cat-a-thruster-for-interplanetary-cubesats , but I'm sure anyone who is interested enough, could ask the project creator

Re:A raspberry pi should do as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44246403)

Yeah, it can be done with arduino computers, but all you need is a raspberry Pi.
There's a project on kickstarter now, trying to raise money for launching a microsatellite powered by a solarsail and controlled with a raspberry pi, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aresinstituteinc/lunarsail-the-worlds-first-crowdsourced-solar-sail

There's another project currently on kickstarter that are about to launch a micro satellite, though I haven't been able to find out what computer they are using, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597141632/cat-a-thruster-for-interplanetary-cubesats , but I'm sure anyone who is interested enough, could ask the project creator

RasPi -- the only thing more annoying than morons stuffing a whole prototyping platform (i.e. Arduino) in every damn project they build. A computer designed purportedly for education, but primarily serving to dump surplus obsolete SoCs at a profit. Closed firmware, and the best thing at all? It's big selling point is USB and HDMI, so that you can plug up a cheap keyboard and TV. GUESS WHAT, FUCKTARD. THERE'S NO USB KEYBOARDS & HDTVS FLOATING AROUND IN LEO!! Yeah, it could absolutely work, but it makes no fucking sense at all. This is "geek"dom today, rallying around bullshit because the trademark ("Arduino", "Raspberry Pi", or whatever the fuck it will be tomorrow) is known to be the hip thing, with no fucking thought for whether it's an appropriate thing for what your project actually needs.

You might say (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44242835)

per arduino ad astra

Factually incorrect (2)

planetlabs (2979529) | 1 year,12 days | (#44245567)

None of our spacecraft or ground equipment is based on Arduino.

Re:Factually incorrect (1)

esden (144537) | 1 year,12 days | (#44245871)

Thanks for correcting this. I guess the source should be informed that they are spreading false information too.

Re:Factually incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44246457)

Allow me to guess: you guys use AVRs in some capacity, and the braindead "tech" press helpfully "translated" that to Arduino, because who uses AVRs without including a whole hobbyist dev board in every instance of every product they make? (Well, anybody professional, that's who, but the geek press these days might just be the only thing dumber and out of touch with real tech than your average middle manager.)

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