Think you have challenges getting that sonar, airspeed sensor, or magnetometer to produce clean data in the harsh environment on your Skywalker, with ESCs, RF fields, 65mph winds, and multi-G impacts? Well, the guys over at NanoSatisfi are looking for a new level of pain, and have a kickstarter to put the ArduSat into a polar orbit.
Rather than simply launch their payload into space with a load of sensors and some experiments, they are embracing the larger spirit of an open project, and are sandwiching in several arduino-based boards, with the intent to run your experiments. Various options to beam your message down to Earth, take photos or otherwise run your program have been outlined. They have a host of different sensors for your program to I/O block, filter, calculate the median value, and compare to a fluctuating reference voltage.
"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 (check out the FAQ below for a full list). The sensors are connected to a bank of user-programmable Arduino processors, which run your application or experiment, gathering data from the space environment."
Here is the video pitch, for your viewing pleasure.
Personally, if I were these guys, I'd want someone to talk me into joining the DIYDrone's very own Team Prometheus and BLUAS groups. They can use these teams' methods to trial and test the gear in high altitude balloon launches before I fired this gear into orbit, and avoid some of the potential for public embarrassment and project failure when learning that the GPS was an MT 3329 rather than MT 3339, that the resistors became superconductors at near zero kelvin, the RF field from the telemetry link was generating spurious signals on all the analog sensors, the alternating heat/cold caused the inter-board connectors to swell and contract like an accordion, and the moisture inside the Pan/tilt servos locked up the gears...
It's space. Where even AVRdude will not help you debug. Err ... scream. I'm thinking there is a good chance that the guys behind this project are already members here. If so, maybe we can give them some constructive questions and ideas. And our support. But if you have to get your Arduino-rant out, go ahead (you know who you are, you lovable rogues.) Just be brief, we've all heard it before, and this project could generate discussions that are actually interesting, possibly even helpful in solving our own sensor, electrical, and environmental challenges.