Amateur Radio Lunar Rover

Google X-Prize Team – Part-Time Scientists

It’s 43 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Now a group of volunteer hackers and engineers are about to send a privately-built amateur radio rover to the Moon.

Part Time Scientists Lunar Rover

Writing on ZD-Net Simon Bisson tells how the Part-Time Scientists team aim to win the Google Lunar X-Prize by landing their lunar rover on the Moon.

Simon says the Part-Time Scientists are putting together a cloud-linked global communications network [COMRAY] to handle radio links to their lander and rover (using amateur radio bands), there’s still too much lag in the system to deliver a hands-on driving experience. The rover needs to have some smarts in order to process information about its environment, while still handling input from a driver on Earth.

Read Simon Bisson’s article Home-brew hackers cook up Europe’s return to the Moon
http://www.zdnet.com/europes-return-to-the-moon-7000001306/

Watch Part-Time Scientists testing their Lunar Rover

Part-Time Scientists http://www.ptscientists.com/

Deep Space Communications Array (COMRAY) (Project Leader Michael Doornbos N4LNX of Evadot) http://www.comray.net/

Google Lunar X-Prize http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/

PongSats – 1000 Student Projects to the Edge of Space

A PongSat

On September 22 it’s planned to send 1000 student projects built into PongSats (ping pong balls) to the edge of space.

These experiments and projects are made by those in kindergarten, university professors, high school science classes and home schools kids.

PongSats on the Edge of Space – Image credit JP Aerospace

Projects range from plant seeds to filling a PongSat with a marshmallow. At 100,000 feet (30 km) the marshmallow puffs up completely filling the ball. Then it freeze dries. The student gets to hold in her hand the direct results of traveling the top of the atmosphere.

The launch of the PongSats will take place from the Black Rock desert in Nevada. The vehicles that carry them are called High Rack. They are made of foam and carbon fiber. There are four separate telemetry links to the High Rack tracking it during the flight. At the end of the flight the balloon is released and the High Rack descends by parachute.

It will take four High Racks, each with its own balloon to carry the thousand ping pong balls.

Watch PongSats

This project is using Kickstarter to raise donations http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569698176/1000-student-projects-to-the-edge-of-space

More on PongSats and MiniCubes at JP Aerospace, a volunteer-based DIY Space Program http://www.jpaerospace.com/

Kickstarter is also being used by the satellite project SkyCube http://www.uk.amsat.org/8955

UK to get Kickstarter crowd-sourced funding

A KickSat Sprite Satellite

The crowd-sourced funding website Kickstarter, which has been used for amateur radio projects in the USA, is to launch in the UK this autumn.

Radio ham Zac Manchester KD2BHC used Kickstarter to raise $74,586 in donations to fund the development and deployment of over a hundred amateur radio KickSat sprite satellites.

The amateur radio satellite project ArduSat managed to raise donations of $80,379 in just 26 days.

Kickstarter is not just about raising large sums of money, for example Sandy Antunes used Kickstarter to raise $2,780 to buy a ham radio transceiver and antennas to create an amateur radio satellite ground station Calliope

BBC News report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18780184

Twitter http://twitter.com/kickstarter/

Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/

Video of ArduSat NASDAQ Interview

NanoSatisfi founder Peter Platzer appeared on the Japanese NASDAQ TV feed to talk about the ArduSat satellite.

ArduSat is an open-source arduino-based nanosatellite. It will have an extensive sensor-suite onboard and will allow users to upload their own code and run their own experiments.

ArduSat will use a GomSpace NanoCom U482C which is a half-duplex UHF transceiver, capable of up to 3W, operating in the 435-438 MHz amateur radio satellite band. It implements Forward Error Correction (FEC) and Viterbi coding based on the CCSDS standards in order to improve reliability and throughput of the space link.

The project is raising donations through the Kickstarter site at http://nanosatisfi.com/ In just over a week they raised more than $43,000 in pledges from almost 300 donors.

Watch NanoSatisfi NASDAQ interview which is in English with Japanese sub-titles

Watch ArduSat Kickstarter Thank you

It is understanding the team are now aiming for a larger 2U CubeSat instead of the 1U originally planned.

ISIS CubeSat Structure Brochure http://www.isispace.nl/brochures/ISIS_CubeSat%20Structures_Brochure_v.7.11.pdf

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/NanoSatisfi/307866409295499

ArduSat Arduino CubeSat Technical Details https://amsat-uk.org/2012/06/20/ardusat-arduino-cubesat-technical-details/

ArduSat Open Source CubeSat Next Phase in DIY Space Access http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8337

ArduSat Arduino CubeSat Update http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8284

NanoSatisfi was founded by Austrian-born Peter Platzer a former high-energy physicist (CERN), former Hedge Fund Quantitative Trader, avid HP-41 hacker and Arduino enthusiast, along with Belgian aerospace engineer Jeroen Cappaert intern at NASA Ames Research Center, Canadian aerospace engineer Joel Spark intern at EADS Astrium and Hungarian Reka Kovacs intern at NASA Ames Research Center working on alternative methods of public outreach for space science. The four founders met at the International Space University in Strasbourg and thought that they could do something to provide affordable, open-source space exploration for everyone.

Interview with author of DIY Satellite Platform

Tubesat - Image Credit Interorbital Systems

Have you ever wanted to build your own personal satellite but your last name doesn’t start with Gates or Branson? Well, now there’s good news. For the price of a car you can now build, test and launch your own personal satellite at home.

Dr. Sandy Antunes, Author of DIY Satellite Platform, talks about building his own amateur radio personal spacecraft Project Calliope. The best part (besides having your own satellite) is that you can now do some serious science.

Find out what kind of satellite Dr. Antunes is building and how he’s running the same kinds of tests the large Aerospace companies do, but for a fraction of the cost.

Project Calliope: http://www.projectcalliope.com/

Watch How to build your own personal satellite

Dr. Sandy Antunes used Kickstarter to raise funds for the project
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ghostlibrary/capturing-the-ionosphere-ground-station-calliope

Amazon – DIY satellite Platform
http://www.amazon.co.uk/DIY-Satellite-Platforms-Space-Ready-Picosatellite/dp/1449310605/

Interorbital Systems http://www.interorbital.com/

ArduSat Arduino CubeSat Technical Details

ArduSat is an open-source arduino-based nanosatellite. It will have an extensive sensor-suite onboard and will allow users to upload their own code and run their own experiments.

ArduSat will use a GomSpace NanoCom U482C which is a half-duplex UHF transceiver, capable of 3W, operating in the 435-438 MHz amateur radio satellite band. It implements Forward Error Correction (FEC) and Viterbi coding based on the CCSDS standards in order to improve reliability and throughput of the space link.

The project is raising donations through the Kickstarter site at http://nanosatisfi.com/

Watch Technical Details

Here are the links to the parts mentioned in the video:

Flight Control Computer: NanoMind 712C http://gomspace.com/index.php?p=products-a712c

Electrical Power Supply (EPS): NanoPower P31u http://gomspace.com/index.php?p=products-p31u

Solar Panels: NanoPower P100U-A http://gomspace.com/index.php?p=products-p100ua

Transceiver: NanoCom U482C http://gomspace.com/index.php?p=products-u482c

Structure: ISIS 1U CubeSat Structure http://www.cubesatshop.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=1&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=66

ISIS CubeSat Structure Brochure http://www.isispace.nl/brochures/ISIS_CubeSat%20Structures_Brochure_v.7.11.pdf

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/NanoSatisfi/307866409295499

ArduSat Open Source CubeSat Next Phase in DIY Space Access http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8337

ArduSat Arduino CubeSat Update http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8284

NanoSatisfi was founded by Austrian-born Peter Platzer a former high-energy physicist (CERN), former Hedge Fund Quantitative Trader, avid HP-41 hacker and Arduino enthusiast, along with Belgian aerospace engineer Jeroen Cappaert KK6BLQ intern at NASA Ames Research Center, Canadian aerospace engineer Joel Spark KK6ANB intern at EADS Astrium and Hungarian Reka Kovacs intern at NASA Ames Research Center working on alternative methods of public outreach for space science. The four founders met at the International Space University in Strasbourg and thought that they could do something to provide affordable, open-source space exploration for everyone.