PIE1 – Raspberry Pi Sends Live Images from Near Space

A Raspberry Pi

Dave Akerman M6RPI has used a Raspberry Pi computer board as the flight computer on a High Altitude Balloon (HAB) and sent back live images from near space at an altitude of almost 40 km.

SSDV picture from a previous PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

SSDV picture from a previous PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

The balloon, appropriately called PIE1, was launched from Brightwalton, in Berkshire on July 14, 2012. The images were transmitted on 434.650 MHz (300 bps, 600 Hz shift) in the amateur radio 70cm band using the Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) standard.

PIE1 reached an altitude of 39,994 metres and images were received as far away as Northern Ireland (that’s over 500 km, not bad for just 10 mW on 434.650 MHz!).

See the images sent by PIE1 http://sanslogic.co.uk/ssdv/live

The full story and pictures are on Dave Akerman’s website http://www.daveakerman.com/?p=592

Read The Register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/17/pi_ascent/

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

UK High Altitude Society http://www.ukhas.org.uk/

High Altitude Balloons have featured at a recent AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford.

You can watch a video online of the presentation that Cambridge University Spaceflight gave called “Teddy Bears in Space” at http://www.batc.tv/channel.php?ch=1
In the Archive List category box select AMSAT then click Select Category then in the stream box select Teddys and click on Select Stream

Or download a copy of the video at http://www.batc.tv/vod/Teddys.flv

This years AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium takes place Sept. 15-16 details at

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/