iamnull
Posts: 11
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:28 pm

I have this little pet project I'm stuck on. I want to send something into orbit and have it come back. Ambitious, I know, but it's at least fun to work on. My initial inclination was to use an Arduino board interfaced with an Android phone through the mirco usb port. Would Raspberry Pi offer many advantages as opposed to that setup?

AdRiley
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:32 pm

If I were attempting this, I think the choice of CPU would be the least of my worries. My guess would be that you would want to go with whatever is lighter...
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kme
Posts: 448
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:48 pm

Exactly what do you think a phone will do in orbit? Its range is max. 10 km and you want to go to 200+ km and move 27.000 km/t. Pretty hard to keep a base station within reach.

matt_heys
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:50 pm

A Raspi would probably be easier to work with in terms of running at a higher level and not needing to find/develop a USB stack for Arduino. Just assuming that there are Arm Linux drivers for Android phones as I don't know if there are or not.

What's the phone bit for? if it's for remote communication there aren't any phone transmitters that far up. If it's for data logging gathering it might be easier (and cheaper) to buy a sensor and log directly to an SD card from either an Arduino or ATMel controller.

iamnull
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:05 pm

The original idea was that the phone would handle most of the processing, and as an added bonus would make for easy recovery if it could be made to also reenter.

Lakes
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:10 pm

GPS for tracking though, so you can find where it comes down. :)

kme
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:15 pm

Quote from iamnull on November 16, 2011, 18:05... and as an added bonus would make for easy recovery if it could be made to also reenter.A couple of seconds difference in the reentry phase means the difference between landing in West Europe or far Sibiria. I think you should join your nearest amateur rocket club and discuss your ideas as they seem to need some polishing.

Also just to send something in orbit is anything but trivial. And controlled reentry much, much harder.

iamnull
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:37 pm

Quote from kme on November 16, 2011, 18:15
Quote from iamnull on November 16, 2011, 18:05... and as an added bonus would make for easy recovery if it could be made to also reenter.A couple of seconds difference in the reentry phase means the difference between landing in West Europe or far Sibiria. I think you should join your nearest amateur rocket club and discuss your ideas as they seem to need some polishing.

Also just to send something in orbit is anything but trivial. And controlled reentry much, much harder.

I'm aware of how accurate it needs to be. I'm also aware of the difficulty of reaching orbit. As it stands, the biggest problem for this project is the bi-propellant system. Stage 1 would probably be a large solid booster, but the orbital entry and exit maneuvers would have to rely on a liquid fueled thruster, and the cost of developing that is incredibly prohibitive. Cant exactly strap acetylene tanks full of H2/O2 to a delta wing and hope for the best.

The original idea was for the phone to take the input from the various sensors and control the workings of the craft; this idea came about from a conversation about how the computers used for the Apollo missions were less powerful than modern smart phones. It's not unreasonable to think that a smart phone would be capable of doing everything required at a high enough speed such as to be able to guide a small craft into and out of orbit. When it gets back in 3G signal range, it's potentially feasible to even allow remote control for the final landing.

eggn1n3
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Re: Orbiter.

Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:10 pm

Does a phone has IO pins available you can use? If you succeed, show us some photo's! Seems pretty exciting.

jamesh
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:31 pm

In case you don't know, only one non-governmental organisation has EVER put something in orbit. SpaceX. Cost $100Million.

There is a competition in full swing at the moment called the N-Prize for orbital attempts. but no-one has won that yet. Or even got close.

John Carmack of Doom/Quake/Rage fame runs Armadillo aerospace and has a lot of rocket experience. His last effort to just get to 100kft crashed and burned. (STIG)

Copenhagan Sub orbitals are trying to get to orbit - they had a low altitude test earlier this year which sort of failed. At least it left the pad.

All the above use customised electronics. I think a mobile may not be robust enough for what you are planning. A raspi might work, and would be easier than modifying a phone. As someone else said, the electronics are by far the easy easy easy easy bit. If you think they are hard, then you might have trouble grasping how difficult getting stuff up there is. It's not that rocket science is difficuly, it's that rocket engineering is VERY VERY VERY difficult.
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Lakes
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:47 pm

Build the launcher on top of Mount Everest, that gets you part of the way there.... ;)
Ok, I`ll get my coat.... :)

eggn1n3
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:03 pm

In case you don't know, only one non-governmental organisation has EVER put something in orbit. SpaceX. Cost $100Million.
I think they put a man into space which was costing $100M.

There are more space projects using a phone:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie.....t-12253228

RichC
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:29 pm

Very very difficult but do-able. A home-built rocket got to 121,000 feet recently...
feature=share
http://ddeville.com/derek/Qu8k.html

kme
Posts: 448
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:37 pm

Don't underestimate the legal complications either in these times with anti-terror laws all over the place.

The only reason Copenhagen Suborbitals managed was a flaw in the regulations: the Danish Civil Aviation body only has authority with things with wings or balloons. Rockets doesn't qualify :-) And then someone in the Royal Danish Navy probably went out of his competence and let Copenhagen Suborbitals borrow a test firing area in the Baltic Sea. The entire air and sea space gets closed for any commercial traffic. Not an easy thing to accomplish - especially not when Scandinavia's largest airport is only15-20 minutes away.

jamesh
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:41 pm

To reply to a bunch of posts....

No road to top of Everest, so you would have to hand carry everything, or drop off by helicopter.

SpaceX have never put a man in to Space - they have put a capsule with a big cheese in to space, and brought it back. Cost to that point of the SpaceX programme was in excess of $300mill I think.

Nothing wrong with mobile phone processors in this job, but keeping them in the phone form factor seems a little daft. If you are spending 10mill on a launch, you may as well spend a bit of cash on building electronics that can do the job better and more reliably.
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Nutmeat
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:09 pm

Quote from iamnull on November 16, 2011, 17:28
I have this little pet project I'm stuck on. I want to send something into orbit and have it come back. Ambitious, I know, but it's at least fun to work on...
You're dreaming big, and should continue to do so.

I would recommend that you take time up front to do some back-of-napkin calculations to determine the gravity of what you're imagining. Once you understand the magnitude of what's involved with a shot like this, you can look at ways to start making it happen. Raspi and arduino would make excellent boards to experiment with in your garage. The list of engineering challenges in what you're doing is quite long. Just start by solving them one challenge at a time.

Achieving an orbital return is a goal. Getting there will take a determination unique amoung humans. Perhaps you've got that drive. If the Raspi is at all responsible for your accomplishing a space shot, even indirectly, you can bet allot of people will be impressed by your ingenuity in using this device.

Lakes
Posts: 267
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:14 pm

Start with weather balloons first, just to try things out..... :)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00ll139

Svartalf
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Re: Orbiter.

Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:09 pm

Quote from AdRiley on November 16, 2011, 17:32
If I were attempting this, I think the choice of CPU would be the least of my worries. My guess would be that you would want to go with whatever is lighter...

Actually, the choice of CPU is right up in the top of the list. When you send something up like this, you need to concern yourself with:

Power profile- the lower you can get this, the easier it will be able to power it with something that can be realistically lobbed into orbit and be light and be safe for the "mission".

Weight - if it's power profile is low, it matters little if the system board is heavy for some reason. You have a weight budget that the power supply and the device itself brings to the table.

Radiation hardness - If it's not got adequate shielding (which is unlikely because of the weight concerns) you need to have gear that will be resilient to radiation exposure. Most semiconductor gear is vastly more sensitive to radiation than living things are- at least with respects to stable operation. I'd say that unless you have some way of assuring that the device is properly radiation shielded, you're going to have concerns about THIS particular issue with respects to most of the gear you're going to lay hands on. Most of it isn't rad-hardened and that stuff that is, would typically be milspec and ferociously expensive compared to the consumer/industrial stuff we're looking at with the R-Pi.

vladhed
Posts: 35
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Re: Orbiter.

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:38 am

Far easier and cheaper to use a weather balloon

http://lanarkspace.wordpress.com/

Gets you about the same altitude. I know the LASA guys - they use GPS connected to a packet radio (HAM) transmitter for altitude and tracking telemetry. Usually a cheap digital camera driven by an interval-o-meter.

What would the R-Pi be doing?

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Gert van Loo
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Re: Orbiter.

Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:46 am

No body tried to launch a rocket from a weather balloon?
should get you twice as high.

Bacan
Posts: 347
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Re: Orbiter.

Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:02 am

Google search using: Black Rock Rocket Club Nevada

Found

The Black Rock Desert is a mecca for rocket launching enthusiasts. Several amateur rocket clubs use the Black Rock Desert Playa as a launching site because of its remoteness, good sight distance and good weather.

At least three different rocketry clubs conduct launches and campouts on the Black Rock Desert Playa each year. Club websites are listed in the References section of this eBook.

The current altitude record for amateur rocketry was set by the Civilian Space Exploration Team (CSXT) on May 17, 2004, when its "Go Fast" rocket reached an altitude of 72 miles (380,160 feet). This was the first amateur rocket to cross the officially recognized threshold of space, which is 100 kilometers or 62 miles above sea level.



You will have to travel 8 or 9 time zones to play with these boys & girls.

jamesh
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Re: Orbiter.

Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:20 am

Quote from Gert van Loo on November 18, 2011, 08:46
No body tried to launch a rocket from a weather balloon?
should get you twice as high.


Called a Rockoon. Some of the N Prize contestants are using that approach.
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MDC
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Re: Orbiter.

Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:17 pm

Quote from jamesh on November 17, 2011, 15:41
To reply to a bunch of posts....

No road to top of Everest, so you would have to hand carry everything, or drop off by helicopter.

SpaceX have never put a man in to Space - they have put a capsule with a big cheese in to space, and brought it back. Cost to that point of the SpaceX programme was in excess of $300mill I think.

Nothing wrong with mobile phone processors in this job, but keeping them in the phone form factor seems a little daft. If you are spending 10mill on a launch, you may as well spend a bit of cash on building electronics that can do the job better and more reliably.


The Everest post is no such a bad idea. Sending a orbiter that height would be a real help. But move your thought process away from Everest and move it to Hawaii, were the worlds real highest mountain is (Thank you Qi)

I don't know if anyone knows the place I am talking about, It is the place in Hawaii That has lots of international space telescopes on it. It is so high that you can suffer high altitude sickness.

There is a major plus to this location as well. It is easier to get to, since there are scientists up there all the time.

Bacan
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Re: Orbiter.

Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:43 pm

It is also Sacred to the Native Hawaiians.

MDC
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Re: Orbiter.

Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:08 pm

Quote from Bacan on November 18, 2011, 19:43
It is also Sacred to the Native Hawaiians.



Didn't know that :? .

One question though, if it is a sacred place to them why have they let people build on it?

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