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Putting the Raspberry Pi Into Orbit 82

Jack Spine writes "The Raspberry Pi is likely to be blasted into space, according to project founder Eben Upton. The $35/$25 credit-card-sized single-board educational computer could be used in sounding rockets, satellites, and high altitude balloon tests, according to Upton. Raspberry Pi has proved wildly popular since its launch, with one developer planning to build into a model boat to sail it across the Atlantic."
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Putting the Raspberry Pi Into Orbit

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  • Why (Score:5, Funny)

    by x181 ( 2677887 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @07:53PM (#40645047)
    Why launch one into space when you can't even keep up with demand here on Earth?
    • This was inevitable (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because everyone does it these days. Every other university has a student "space exploration interest club" who launch a helium balloon to "near" space, snap a picture and recover their "satellite". Google launched 7 such balloons with a bunch of Android phones onboard to prove that "Android works in space", and the iPad pouch creators launched one to show how their pouch/case protects your iPad in the event of it accidentally falling from space. A couple of years ago it was "it can run your toaster", no

    • From Raspberry Pi distributor element14:

      Registration for the Raspberry Pi has now closed. We are currently ensuring that the large number of customers who registered their interest over the final few days of registration have sufficient opportunity to order their Pi, and will be opening to general Raspberry Pi orders mid July.

      If you signed up at the launch, you'd have one by now, and if not, you can get one quite soon.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I was hurtin' for another pi article.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have been playing with my Raspberry Pi for a little while now, mostly as a media center and like the way the CEC package works with CEC compatible TV, turns on the TV and you use the TV remote. With all the developing going on, I suspect that before too long I will be able to put together a Raspberry Pi with an ipcam viewer app that can turn on the TV when a proximity switch is activated. I already have an Adroid app for ip cameras that also support TPZ , which could be rewired along with a inexpensive

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are they launching some space-hardened version? What about the radiation in space?

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @09:36PM (#40645561)

      they will use a monster brand hdmi cable, it will be fine

    • by neric ( 106851 )

      It is ridiculous to say you could use this for a satellite. Yes, you could throw this up into orbit in a satellite and it would probably work for a little while before radiation issues. If you are buying a multimillion dollar rocket, you can afford to throw down more than $35 for your satellite bus. If you are hitching a free ride on rocket bought by a third-party and just wanted a few day of LEO orbit, then yes Raspberry Pi could be an option. If you have a free ride to space, you might want to spend a

      • by Yoda222 ( 943886 )
        You probably can't use directly a Raspberry-Pi board in space application (radiation is not the only problem, you also have thermal issues, ...), but using not specificaly space-hardened processors could be possible in a majority/median voter system. But you need to remplace one space hardened processor with a bunch of normal processors, and have a specific electronic for the voter system. And put a shield to lower the radiations.
        • Why can't you use Raspberry Pi (or other COTS electronics) in space? Just because radiation and heat are issues, does not mean they are automatically terminal issues.
          • by Yoda222 ( 943886 )
            I see several potential problems.
            • You will probably need to add a thermal regulation system on the board
            • Memory (and OS) is on a mobile SD card. Lauch may be a problem
            • A lot of other stuff on this board could have troubles during launch (connectors like usb, ethernet, and power plug, audio, hdmi, RCA) You don't really want a connector orbiting alone in your box
            • there is not a lot of mounting points

            Of course you could buy the card, remove some connectors, drill holes yourself, sold the SD card, add some the

            • It isn't that hard to design a system that is passively thermal managed, for a realistic range of spin rates.

              The mounting points is a serious stumbling block; certainly moreso than radiation or temperature. Launch vehicles that don't have squishy human payloads aren't shy about peaking at 15Gs (SD cards can and should be glued in place. We already investigated this.) I never did mechanical design - but unless I hear otherwise I wouldn't consider it a fatal problem. If thermal and mounting do become really p

      • Got any evidence to back that up? Have you actually modeled COTS components in the radiation environment of LEO? I have.
        • by Yoda222 ( 943886 )
          Do you have result of tests or calculations somewhere ? I'm interrested in such stuff even if it's not close to my job anymore. I've seen a lot of stuff about space designed components but no test or calculations "regular" COTS. (just for reference, for spacecraft on a ~50 inclined orbit arround 1000km altitude, we got (in prediction and in real life) around 70 EDAC a day (with maybe 90% in the SAA, I may be able to find a plot of this) in a 4Mo memory. (the calculated double error rate, taking in account t
          • Don't have them to hand, but we were modelling a much lower orbit (few hundred kms) which makes a big difference for radiation. We look at COTS survivability for a year, at 45 degree inclination, and found it good enough for student work :)
    • ... of components due to lack of air (and gravity!) for convection cooling. I think that these are not the same things (although they are related) the sunlit side of the satellite could be a toasty 100 degrees C, while the dark side could be -100. If the satellite is spinning but not fast enough perhaps some traces could expand and contract enough to break. Meanwhile without air to conduct heat, a single small component on the board could overheat and fail.

      I think the Russians (at least in the early days

      • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Yes, thermal control is a problem. No, it is not a showstopper that stops you using COTS electronics in space.
    • Radiation in LEO isn't that bad. COTS components don't just die the moment they leave the atmosphere. If every single event upset translated into an actual fault, they wouldn't be very reliable down here on earth either.

      Cubesats have flown with COTS hardware - and they have done it through orbits that pass through the south atlantic anomaly. Yes, there are reliability issues - but certainly not showstoppers.

  • Put this Raspebrry Pi in my hands.

    Maybe when I can order one and have it at my house in less than 6 months, then I'll give a fuck about what you can do with them. This may as well be one of the million other vaporware products that were always impossible to get.


    • by psergiu ( 67614 )

      Maybe if you cared enough to actually order one on February 29 or on March 1st, you'd had one. It's been 2 months since i received both my RPis.

      Whoever really wanted an Raspberry Pi already has one - the rest are the typical /. trolls.

      • I don't do pre-orders. If someone doesn't have the item that I want in stock, I won't order.
        If I can't have it in 3 days, I don't order.

        I'm just getting really sick of these slashvertisements. If it's not in stock anywhere, it's vapor.


  • I wonder how they plan to hold it down, given that the Pi board's lack of mounting holes is something of an annoying fail. There's not even much space on the edge of the board to clamp it, which seems to have created an interesting challenge to those now making Pi-cases. Although in this application, I assume most of the connectors would be removed, giving a bit more spare board-area.
    • by psergiu ( 67614 )

      Sugru. Lots of it :)

    • I bought a logic analyser (open source hw+sw) for $50 and while it was very cheap, the developers also forgot to include mounting holes!

      what is it with very smart people who forget obvious stuff like this? uh, did you even think that anyone would care to have standoffs and screws and a case? no? really?? duct tape for the lot of us? that how it goes?

      sigh. pcb design has a lot of details (I do it, part time, myself) but please folks, don't forget obvious things like HOW TO MOUNT the damned board. also

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      I'm sure they'll build a case with a method of mounting.
  • Another Raspberry Pi article! Where are the Arduino news?

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