Raspberry Pi used for Amateur Radio Satellite Software

Dave Johnson, G4DPZ, AMSAT-UK/AMSAT-NA, running GPredict on his Raspberry Pi

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NA member Dave Johnson, G4DPZ, has been using the Raspberry Pi to run amateur radio satellite software.

The £22 ($35) Model B Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized ARM-based computer board that plugs into a TV and a keyboard. Based around the 700 MHz ARM11 processor the board has 256 MB SDRAM, two USB ports, Ethernet with composite and HDMI video outputs. Low-level peripherals are GPIO pins, SPI, I²C, I²S and UART.

It was developed in Cambridgeshire by a UK registered charity, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing.

Dave’s Raspberry Pi runs Debian Squeeze with Xwindows and is accessed using VNC over his shack network.

The first amateur radio application he got running was the GPredict satellite tracking software, thanks go to Alex Csete OZ9AEC for making such a portable implementation. Dave found the sofware and updates of the Keplerian Two Line Elements from the Internet worked perfectly.

GPredict free real-time satellite tracking and orbit prediction http://gpredict.oz9aec.net/

Raspberry Pi http://www.raspberrypi.org/

You can buy the Raspberry Pi through Premier Farnell/Element 14 http://www.farnell.com/ and RS Components http://rswww.com/  Both distributors sell all over the world.

Raspberry Pi – the road to compliance

BBC video: 7-10 year olds get to grips with the Raspberry Pi http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18301670

Raspberry Pi emulator for Windows http://sourceforge.net/projects/rpiqemuwindows/