Hackspace Magazine: Open Source Space

Drew’s column in the new HackSpace magazine is dedicated to open source space projects like PSAS, OreSat, SatNOGS and the Libre Space Foundation:

Open Source Space

Space exploration is usually associated with national agencies like NASA, or with private corporations such as SpaceX. However, there now is a growing movement of people who believe that space shouldn’t be limited to governments and companies, and that space exploration can be made more accessible with Open Source technologies.

SatNOGS won the first Hackaday Prize back in 2014 with their global network of Open Source satellite receivers. There were already a number of amateur satellites in space that had been designed and launched by universities and space enthusiasts from all over the world. However, until SatNOGS came along there was no way of getting regular data for your satellite, as it would only pass within reading range a handful of times per day. The success of the SatNOGS project led to the creation of the Libre Space Foundation.

The Libre Space Foundation, founded in Greece, aims to make space exploration accessible by developing free and Open Source technologies. Alongside infrastructure projects including the SatNOGs satellite receivers, they work on satellites and rocketry. Their UPSat was the first Open Source hardware satellite, and it was successfully delivered to the International Space Station then deployed into orbit in 2017. This deployment was a remarkable achievement: a real milestone in Open Source space exploration.

Whenever I’m in Oregon, I make sure to visit Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS), an interdisciplinary, Open Source student aerospace project at Portland State University. PSAS makes composite amateur rockets, liquid fueled rocket engines, and CubeSats (a type of small satellite made up of 10cm3 units). Over the last 20 years PSAS have had 13 launches of four generations of amateur rockets. Their current rocket is Launch Vehicle No 3.1, a four meter tall solid fueled rocket that goes up to about 5km.

PSAS is also developing a CubeSat project called OreSat. OreSat is an impressive Open Source system of modular, expandable satellite designs. Their first small satellite, OreSat0, should be completed in November then dropped off in a sun synchronous low earth orbit in February 2021. All of the hardware and software developed at PSAS can be found on their GitHub page.

Hackspace Magazine: Open Source Space

Applied Ion Systems: open source space propulsion

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Michael Bretti of Applied Ion Systems describes open source space propulsion at the 2020 Open Hardware Summit:

Applied Ion Systems is creating open source electric propulsion systems

Applied Ion Systems initially started out of a personal hobbyist effort to share projects involving plasma systems, particle beams, and and high vacuum projects.   Later, as I began to expand my efforts and meet awesome makers around the world, I began focusing my efforts on open source electric propulsion for small satellites, such as PocketQubes and CubeSats.

Eventually, this effort evolved into the world’s first and only open-source home-based electric propulsion program, working on cutting edge plasma and ion thrusters for small satellites on a hobbyist level budget.

My main objective was to provide intensive engineering resources, data, and system designs for the community to help lower the barriers of entry into the field, and allow enthusiasts to follow along the journey of creating and testing these advanced systems, with the ultimate goal of developing low-cost, easy-to-use, fully integrated space-qualified thrusters.

Applied Ion Systems: open source space propulsion

Black Mesa Labs: Ascent to 31K Meters

I am Kevin Hubbard of Black Mesa Labs. I am a High Altitude Space Balloon Engineer and this is my story of the last 3 days: I work with a small group of ultrasound engineers in Issaquah,WA-USA who are also the Balloongineers – 1 of 7 teams in Washington State that participate in the Global […]

via HAB1 04.27.2016 Ascent to 31K Meters (103,000 Feet) — Black Mesa Labs

Black Mesa Labs: Ascent to 31K Meters