Ground Sphere Background -
Welcome to the Ground Sphere CubeSat Ground Station. This is a joint project between Mach 30 and Southern Stars to take the lessons learned from Mach 30's GS-001 ground station and create a low cost satellite ground station so backers, students, and space enthusiasts can listen to SkyCube tweet from space.
Questions and Answers From the DC Happy Hour hangout -
What may entice someone to buy the Kits?
- Experience spacecraft communications first hand without a license
- SlowScan TV Software option 1:
- SlowScan TV Software option 2:
- SlowScan TV Software option 3:
- Inspire students to become excited about space, electronics, and radio communications through hands on space and making activities
- Educational projects around orbits, satellites, electronics, and radio communications
- Academic research into the scalability and capability of the Ground Sphere architecture (including performance of individual units and networking multiple units together)
- Build a space related project that can be used to listen to spacecraft
- (upgrade) Participate in a satellite ground station network to create a public resource for listening to satellite signals over the internet (satellite version of Flight Aware - http://flightaware.com/)
- (upgrade) Raspberry Pi upgrade instructions
- Tweet or txt interface, API integration
- Satellite “voicemail” that sends a recorded sound file of satellites that flew over while you were out.
- (upgrade) point-to-point network to listen to Groundsphere from your phone
- Help Mach 30 verify the documentation for Ground Sphere is complete (per our OSHW Prime Directive)
- Promote the use of OSHW for spaceflight
Answer some “What if” questions:
What other features do customers want? (networking ability, desired features?, build time? Integration with Raspberry Pi?)
- iOS compatible? mobile compatible?
- Base version with compatible upgrades offered as “add-on” kits.
- Potential upgrades:
- automated “stand-alone” all-in-one unit based on Raspberry Pi, instead of a USB device.
- automated networked capability (based on Raspberry Pi) to connect multiple units via internet.
- Permanent exterior installation version (i.e. weatherproof).
- Comes with curriculum, or other Educational materials
- Base version kits with various build times. or in different stages of pre-assembly
- Components only (aka Card-level) -- Advanced project, time = several days
- _____________ (aka Box-level) -- Maker project, time = 1 weekend
- “Few hour assembly” (aka System-level) -- IKEA version, time = hours
- What kind of community forum access would you be interested in?
To whom are we asking these questions?
- Space Enthusiasts
- OSHW Enthusiasts
- Educators (Primary, Secondary, and Postsecondary)
- Home Schoolers
- The generic “Parent”
- Scout leaders
- Suggested Individuals
- James C. from School Factory
- Mary from CCSSC
- Yuri’s Night organizers
- Mach 30 direct network (i.e. friends and family)
Include links to supplemental information
- Satellite Prediction Software -
- Software Defined Radio -
Also, what alternative hardware Kits could we pursue, based on survey results?
- A Rockets 101 Kit - Rockets 101 is a user guide for getting started with the model rocket hobby. It guides users through the selection and operation of the rockets needed to meet the Bronze Level NARTREK (http://www.nar.org/model-rocket-info/nartek-skills-program/) Badge. The kit version would include a printed copy of the guide and all required model rockets and materials (except motors)
- Yavin Thruster Kit - The Yavin Thruster is a 3D printable cold gas thruster. Using the Yavint Thruster Kit, makers can design and fabricate their own small scale rocket engines. When paired with the Grissom Test Stand (a derivative of the Shepard Test Stand), users can measure the performance of their thrusters to extend the educational value of Yavin.
- Grissom Test stand kit - This hardware is the revised the Shepard Test Stand which will be adapted for use with the Yavin Thruster. Using this equipment, one can investigate rocket science, and thruster performance, in their own home!
Rough Cost Estimate based on the BOM -
- Fixed Costs, $31.54 (for standard parts across all Ground Sphere versions)
- $11.75, (includes $2 shipping) RTL2832U Software Defined Radio (SDR) Dongle
- $3.49, Size M power jack
- $0.05, Heat shrink tubing
- $7.96, (Qty 4 @ $1.99 each) Blackburn Type L Mechanical Connectors
- $0.28, (Qty 4 @ $0.07 each) ½” #10 screw
- $0.16, (Qyt 4 @ $0.04 each) #10 nut
- $0.48, (Qty 4 @ $0.12 each) Insulated crimp ring terminal Red (22-18 AWG)
- $0.12, Insulated crimp ring terminal Blue (16-14 AWG)
- $2.50, (includes $0.75 shipping), Short length of 50ohm coax connecting ant to connector
- $4.75 (includes $1.25 shipping), Short length of 50ohm coax connecting preamp to SDR
- (optional) Rubber feet
- (optional) Silicone sealant
- Variable Costs, $58.16 (variance <$20) changes based on frequency and dimensions)
- $35.00, 432LowNoiseAmplifier
- $0.92, (Qty 2 @ $0.46 each) ¾” sched 40 couplers (stacked)
- $0.20, (Qty 2 @ $0.10 each) ¾” PVC sched 40 pipe 1½” long
- $6.61, Round outlet box cover with single ½” hole
- $4.98, Round outlet box
- $1.49, ¾” PVC sched 40 to ½” NPT male adapter
- $1.51, ¾” PVC sched 40 end cap
- $0.20, (qty 2 @ $0.10 each) 14ga wire pulled from Romex house wire
- $5.00, Tuned length of RG62u 90ohm coaxial cable
- $2.25, (includes $1.00 shipping), Conductive ripstop fabric
- $TBD, Ground Plane sturdy base (2x2 ft. square acrylic sheet?)
- Outsourced Circuit Assembly - ?
- Parts collection by Aaron - ?
- Total cost? - $125
- Total advertized price (2.6x total cost??) - $325 Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price
ACTION (J) Make a “sibling” project on ODE -- as a place to compile the data