MarkTF
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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:40 pm

Mennims wrote:Very interesting, so peltier is out of the question, so how would you guys recommend doing it? What setup would you use?
Without better definition of a specific application environment, I don't think one can propose a general solution.

The initial thread question was "Will the RPi work in a vacuum?" without any other qualifications and I think there is plausible reason to believe the electrolytic capacitors aren't going to vent/explode and that radiative cooling may be sufficient to prevent overheating. That's probably good enough for a school weather balloon data logging project, but clearly wouldn't cut it for a life support system.

One might also need to consider (at least) solar loading for a space-based application, the impact of packaging/shielding on thermal management, other platform electronics, power/size/weight constraints for the particular application, and so forth.

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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:55 pm

stortryne wrote:Interesting.... What will be the biggest problem? Keeping it cool, or keeping it warm? :)
Both! The SOC will get hot because it can't dissipate its heat and the batteries will get cold. There is a reason space travel is difficult
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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:54 pm

Thanks to all of you, for me this discussion has been very enriching, I never would have imagined that certain metals can be evaporated under high vacuum conditions.

What about the batteries? If we like to fly a weather balloon for some time (let's say, a ground captive balloon), what would be the constraints that I should have in mind?
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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:42 am

jdb wrote:Ask me this question after we go through the non-convective environment and explosive decompression tests as part of our functional certification for upload to the ISS.
Would it be possible to get a copy of the test-reports afterwards? I would like to add them to my digest of Pi Reliability and Regulatory Compliance.
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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:06 am

stortryne wrote:Interesting.... What will be the biggest problem? Keeping it cool, or keeping it warm? :)
And, while we're talking space: No problems with radiation?
depend on the mission profile(altitude, orbit, duration, etc...).
TL;Dont wanna write:
for any weather balloon mission, need heating,
when you mean space, do you mean above Kármán line / 100KM above sea lvl?if orbiting around the sun, need cooling.
problem with radiation, yes, a very good example Yarkovsky_effect

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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:26 pm

Since CubeSATs use PC-104 boards and they survive for relatively long periods in the vacuum of space, PIs should be able to survive in orbit if the overall system can handle the thermal conditions.

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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:17 am

If the pi got to -40 I would run the cpu or maybe even the gpu at 100%. If I did that I think the pi's temp would be above 0C and it would heat up the other electronics. This would use the the power faster though.
A computer's power can't be just measured Gigahertz. It is the same thing with us humans.

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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:25 am

rpiswag wrote:If the pi got to -40 I would run the cpu or maybe even the gpu at 100%. If I did that I think the pi's temp would be above 0C and it would heat up the other electronics. This would use the the power faster though.
The Pi has been proved to run at -40 or less (http://www.raspberrypi.org/penguin-lifelines/), but if cold was a problem I would go for a dedicated controlled heater device, rather than possibly slowing the machine down with unneeded processing.

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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:25 am

But my solution would work though and it would also be cheaper.
A computer's power can't be just measured Gigahertz. It is the same thing with us humans.

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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:25 pm

rpiswag wrote:But my solution would work though and it would also be cheaper.
I don't have any doubts about your cheaper solution, but please consider the following scenario:

The RasPi is operating in a remote and very cold ambient, only lying on batteries and/or solar panels gathering very important scientific data, we are aware of the freezing temps, so, our local hacker implement some software routine to speed up your device, hence, generating more heat to warm the electronics inside the container, but the device would also consume more (scarce?) power from the power supply and also we have the certain possibility to hang up the -remote & human unattended- device, trowing away money and research time.

Instead of heating up the SoC crunching dummy data, I would implement the electronics inside a suitable plastic box shielded with Styrofoam and some moisture absorber pellets inside; and only if we are on really very cold temperatures, I would think in a RasPi controlled, automatic heater device.
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Re: Does the Raspberry Pi work in a Vacuum?

Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:33 pm

Heater wrote:3corey2,

Be serious, -40C is a common low end spec. for industrial and automotive equipment. Heck it's a normal temperature in winter around here.

At 40Km up the temperature is said to be -20C. Mind you, you have to pass though a layer of about -60C at 20Km up !

Your GoPro could not handle it. That says nothing about electronics working in a vacuum or at altitude. It says a lot about Go Pro:)

Edit: And what is all this "if a electronic gets tooooo cold the electricity cannot flow"? You do realise that the resistivity of conductors generally goes down with decreasing temperature. Low temperatures may cause problems but it's not so simple as that.
lol that was funny. though with micro-electronics, other than metalic resistivity, we should also consider resistivity of the semi-conductor structures (transistors, traces, wells). Not that they may not be going down with decreasing temps, but i don't have raw data.
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