ArduSat, a nano satellite to rent for your own space experiments..

What is ArduSat?

ArduSat is a miniature cubic satellite, measuring 10 cm along each edge and weighing about 1 kg. Onboard it will have a suite of 25+ sensors, including three cameras, a Geiger counter, spectrometer, magnetometer and more. The sensors are connected to a bank of user-programmable Arduino processors, which run your application or experiment, gathering data from the space environment.

The Arduinos can also read status data from the satellite (like orbit position, per-system power usage, board temperature, etc.), so you can also run tests on the satellite itself. Check out our YouTube Channel for technical details and up-to-date videos of the payload development.

To run your application, experiment or steer the camera you can write your own code from scratch, leverage existing codes available on the internet or use one of the templates we will make available to our backers, creating a growing library of code elements.

Through our web-interface you can then upload your code to our exact replica of the satellite on the ground and make sure that it works as intended. Once you’ve worked out any bugs in your experiment (not that you would ever have any...) we will run a final test before it is uploaded into space to ArduSat. Now your code is running in space, steering the satellite and gathering data! Once the time you have booked on ArduSat is expired, we will send back the data to you via the internet.

Created by a physicist, two aerospace engineers, and a NASA business manager, the project will allow users on Earth to upload their code via a web interface to a ground-based satellite replica. Once the ArduSat crew is sure that the code works, they’ll send it up to the real satellite. At the end of the experiment, data will be sent back down for users to peruse.

The ArduSat team has already built a prototype of the sensors, software, and other technical bits necessary to launch the satellite; now they just need funding (which they have surpassed) to build and integrate all the hardware and software for the launch. Anyone who pledges $325 is guaranteed "three days of uptime on the satellite" to run experiments--not a bad deal.

What ArduSat Apps the nano satellite can do?

flies away over the horizon at over 18 times the speed of sound,

detects meteors vaporizing in the skies over Europe,

photographs the sunset over the horn of Africa,

maps the Earth's magnetic field cruising over the Indian Ocean,

snaps a picture of the Southern Lights dancing underneath off the coast of Australia,

samples the upper atmosphere to learn about biomarkers and other signs of life,

stares down the eye of a hurricane,

maps the emitted spectrum of the sun,

and is already back over your head, having circled the entire planet!

What you can do with ArduSat?

Science: Meteor Hunter - Small meteors that strike the atmosphere every day created trails of ionized gas in the atmosphere in the upper atmosphere. Write an experiment to try and detect meteor impacts, by listening for radio stations beyond the horizon, reflected by the meteor trails!

Engineering: Your Eye in the Sky - Try writing an app that would synchronize the output of a head mounted-gyro to the steering system on the satellite. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try downlinking the attitude vector in real-time to watch the satellite follow your head - you could even tie-in your head-steering to our program that takes pictures! (Talk to Joel if you’re interested in this experiment!)

Point-and-shoot - The following settings can be set on the camera: "exposure, gamma, gain, white balance, color matrix, windowing". Try designing an algorithm that fine-tunes the settings to take even better pictures or more artistic pictures!

Entertainment: Geiger Counter Bingo - Write an app that transmits a message with a random number and letter every time a particle hits the satellite with enough energy. Have a 'bingo from space' game between HAM radio amateurs.

Photography Competition - See who among your friends can snap the coolest/most interesting picture from space. The eye of a hurricane, sunrise over the Indian ocean, even aurora from space – see what marvels you can capture!

Take Pictures from Space
The satellite is not just for scientific purposes; ambitious photographers and artists will be able to steer the satellite cameras take pictures on-demand of the Earth, the Moon, or the stars. Especially from the Artist community we expect to see some spectacular private space pictures so we all can marvel at the beauty of Earth from above.
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