ArduSat: Open Source in orbit
The ArduSat project will launch at least one and possibly two cubesats into orbit in mid 2013, carrying a payload combining an extensive sensor suite and cameras with a multi-node processor platform based on Arduino. Once in orbit the satellite will be accessible to students, space enthusiasts, and others who will be able to upload their own data collection and processing experiments to the platform, or control the cameras to take pictures from space. The project has received significant funding via Kickstarter and support from corporate sponsors including Australian Open Hardware company Freetronics.
The payload operational software and the hardware design is all Open Source, with collaborators around the world working together on the design. The final hardware design and validation is all being performed in Australia, and various test flights including High Altitude Balloon launches will also take place in Australia.
The design of the payload is an interesting exercise in low-level system architecture, with multiple microcontroller nodes requiring pseudo-independent access to the shared sensor suite. An objective of the design is to allow experiments to be prototyped quickly and cheaply on the ground using standard Arduino-based hardware, so maintaining software compatibility with regular Arduino boards and sensors while still meeting flight requirements is a high priority.
This talk will provide an overview of the ArduSat project and what it hopes to achieve, the system architecture of the payload, and demonstration of a late-stage payload prototype.
Jon has been hacking on both hardware and software since he was a little tacker. Most recently he's been focusing more on the Open Hardware side, co-founding Freetronics as a direct result of organising the first Arduino Miniconf at LCA2010. Freetronics is the Payload Hardware Partner for ArduSat.