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Topic: Arduinos IN SPAAAAACEEE! (Read 4654 times) previous topic - next topic

Ste Hughes

it is welcome from what i have seen

but my god your idea seems far fetched

StarkRG

Yes, far fetched. Not impossible. This is why, in order to be realistic, it would take at least 10 years to accomplish. Meanwhile I'd need to find out if an AVR can survive in space.

As someone who's aiming to get a PhD working on something that can't be done in less than a decade doesn't seem that far fetched.

zoomkat

The expectation of most forums is that you do the most research you can on your project, and then ask the members for help when you get stuck. You appear to have a general dream and expect the members to figure it all out for you, or engage in what would generally be considered pointless debate. If you don't have specific well thought out Arduino technical questions, then don't expect much interest in members suggesting solutions. The answers to some of the questions you ask can be found with mouse clicks. Other questions will require engineering expertice. I agree that the post about cost are pointless and totally miss the point of an Arduino operating in a harsh environment.
Google forum search: Use Google Advanced Search and use Http://forum.arduino.cc/index in the "site or domain:" box.

Ste Hughes

tbh i doubt atmel will be around in 10/20 years tbh

;)

StarkRG

I'm not expecting people to do my research for me, but if people already know or have ideas about where I should start looking then that's a good place to start. Also if anyone has any ideas about problems I haven't thought of that's good too. But only where it relates to the electronics.

I really don't see where I invited people to suggest my proposition was impossible. Perhaps the problem is that people are getting hung up on the project itself so let me restate, ignore the overall project of sending stuff to the moon.

What problems would I face operating an Arduino or other electronics in an environment that isn't space but is exactly like it? Imagine I have a large chamber that can simulate any set of conditions.

If thinking of it as a thought experiment is what it takes to get people to think about it then fine, it's a thought experiment. I'm not approaching it that way though, it's a brainstorming session, responses of "it can't be done" are ignored. (well, I should have ignored them anyway)

Ste Hughes

ok well

i would imagine you need to design a crystal that will survive in a vacuum

as for radiation what do nasa do?


StarkRG

Why would a crystal have a hard time in space? Isn't it just vibrating due to electrical stimulation?

I would assume NASA uses space spec chips which are significantly more expensive ($3+ when bought in bulk) than the standard catalog variety (around 20 cents when bought in bulk). I don't know of any recent microcontrollers or processors that are built to space spec and would probably be really expensive anyway.

There's plenty of scholarly articles that go into detail on the theory of the subject but I haven't been able to find anything practical. Nothing that says "here's what you can do to standard electronics" or "here are alternatives" or even "here's what it looks like when standard electronics are used".

I know that standard electronics are susceptible to radiation, yet I also know that standard electronics HAVE been used in spacecraft. At the beginning of the space race ICs were just being invented (and, in fact, for a while they were used solely in military projects), they weren't space hardened then. Heck, they barely worked by today's standards.

I also know that, at least for a while, even ground-based computers had problems with cosmic rays flipping bits and so had error compensation built in (apparently that problem all but disappeared when they started using plastic housings for the chips). So complex error correction can be used to compensate for deficient hardware, but I'm not sure if the radiation encountered in space would be too much to try and compensate for. If I knew anyone at JPL I'd ask them, unfortunately I've long since lost touch with the few acquaintances I had that worked there.

I used to work with people* who would have been an excellent source of information but, mostly due to the recession, I don't any more.

* One was a former astronaut, though I don't think he ever rode a shuttle, and I only ever saw him once or twice. In case you're wondering, the company I worked for had a contract with Google (the main sponsor of the Google Lunar X Prize). For a time I worked in the building where they designed the custom servers from scratch, then I worked in the building where they designed and built a custom cell phone operating system called Android. They had a massive hydraulic robot set up next to an espresso machine and were working on another one that would be able to navigate the halls bringing people coffee they could order on a web page. This may be part of the reason I don't like "it can't be done" posts. ;D (I have no doubt that the robot never made a cup of coffee, and probably never will, but nobody said it couldn't be done, the mobile platform one probably does work and is now wandering around the building wishing it had coffee to deliver.)

TchnclFl

I don't know if this has been mentioned (honestly, I CBA to read through all of this), but you need some sore of lubricant for moving parts.  On earth (in the presence of Oxygen), a natural thin oxide layer forms between moving metal parts, keeping them lubricated.  This process doesn't exist in the vacuum of space, therefore you need some other type of lubricant.

StarkRG

Yup, I did mention vacuum cementing a while back in passing. Apparently it's also called Cold or contact welding, and, according to some (apparently knowledgeable) guy, is a myth...

Groove

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I watched the Top Gear team's fantastic failure of trying to put a reliant robin into space. I knew that was rather far fetched, but had the release mechanisms worked it might have actually made it.

That has got to be the most ridiculous statement I've read all week.
What, exactly, is ridiculous about it? Sending a car into space? I agree. That it might actually have worked? Whyever not? Given the right amount of the right kind of fuel set up in the right way there's no reason why it couldn't work.


What is ridiculous is that you missed the point - the car was never going into space (which would have been illegal in UK airspace, and impossible on BBC budgets).
That was why they had the R/C guy to try to land it.
Yay! They got a quarter tonne of plastic car up to 3000 feet.
Well done them.
I mean it- eight tonnes of thrust is a lot of rocket.

Seriously though, read up on the history of spaceflight.
Sputnik was launched in 1957.
It was probably over 25 years before "amateur" devices like UoSAT made it into LEO.
In that time, computers went from room-sized monsters to the IBM-PC.

UoSAT's (SSTL, now part of EADS Astrium) successors use industrial-grade components in their spacecraft with lots of redundancy, both in hardware and software.

The Moon is nearly a thousand times further away than LEO.
Lunar missions are still big news in the industry.
By the time the Moon is in the amateur's reach, I think the AVR will have been consigned to controlling electric toothbrushes.

I'm not trying to prick your bubble; just pointing out that if anything, you're aiming too low with your choice of hardware.
Per Arduino ad Astra

daveg360

#55
Mar 09, 2010, 11:23 am Last Edit: Mar 09, 2010, 11:25 am by daveg360 Reason: 1
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impossible on BBC budgets


I dunno - they must have a few quid, now that JR has left.

Let's forget your previous comments and focus on your thought experiment.  You want to look at hardware that could possibly be used for a space mission and the implications.  First question for you to answer:

You're going to space.  You've spent a lot of money going there.  It's taken the last 10 years of your life to get this point.  As your project limps across the moon, bumping into rocks and streaming data back at terrific 9600bps.....
Why oh why oh why did you spend <$50 on the processing component.
If your system involves lethal voltages/life critical/flamable elements - you probably shouldn't need to ask.
The Arduino != PC.

kg4wsv

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yet I also know that standard electronics HAVE been used in spacecraft. At the beginning of the space race ICs were just being invented (and, in fact, for a while they were used solely in military projects), they weren't space hardened then.

One big difference between then and now is feature size - how many actual atoms are used to make up a gate on the die.  Early ICs had huge feature sizes, so that the impact of a particle affected a small part of a single transistor.  Modern ICs have much smaller features, such that a radiation particle strike affects an entire transistor.  These strikes can cause temporary errors (e.g. single event upset), or can permanently damage the device.

NASA deals with the problem in three ways: hardened devices, shielding, and redundancy.  IIRC, there's only one fabrication line left running that produces rad-hardened devices, and those devices aren't all that modern anyway.

-j

Crook

#57
Mar 09, 2010, 09:49 pm Last Edit: Mar 09, 2010, 09:54 pm by electrocrook Reason: 1
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I've heard estimates that if the funding was provided we could build, and launch, manned interstellar craft within 50 years. We went to the moon at great expense over 40 years ago, much has improved, technologically, since then.


Then you've been listening to idiots. Interstellar flight? To WHERE?? I'd listen to the feedback you're getting here, most of it is spot on. It's easy to have ideas, and it's too easy to not know how ridiculous they are to implement. I've enjoyed this thread but sadly it's losing steam now.

You seem to be lacking in the basics which makes it easy to ask questions but unable to accept the responses and then get a bit upset because it doesn't fit in with your vision. You're never getting a lander on the moon. Never. Even winning the lottery won't help. Tens of millions would barely get you off the ground with a project like a lunar lander. The technology won't improve in the way you think it might, not in 10 years or in 50. Space will always be very expensive, simply from a joules per pound/dollar perspective.

Ahh well, i'm bowing out of the thread as it's become unproductive, but really - what an idea. A lunar/martian lander? Why not build a HALO or space elevator and be done with it?

By the way, I'm a physics specialist.
3D Artist,Modeler, Texturer, Animator, Electronics and Robotics, Programming C, VB, Website Design, Flash animator

Too many hobbies?

cr0sh

StarkRG:

You mentioned Scaled Composites; I've been to their hanger back in the day when Voyager was flying - didn't get to meet anybody important or such (it was a lonely weekend), but I had fun as a kid.

Scaled Composites DID NOT go into orbit with their launch. At best, they had a ballistic trajectory. They -barely- made it to the edge of the atmosphere where "space" begins. In no way did they have the fuel budget or speed needed to achieve orbit.

They ended up spending the equivalent of $2.00 for a 25 cent prize. I realize they were just proving it could be done, and that it was one small step. With that said, we have yet to see anybody else do it. I am not saying it won't be done again (non-orbital launch); Virgin just might do it next, or someone else. But that is still a long way from attaining low-earth orbit.

LEO is a long way away (orders of magnitude) from a moon flight and landing.

Finally - if you don't think you are going to have to answer to some government somewhere on Earth (or deal with politics) when it comes to building the equivalent of a intercontinental ballistic device - you are dreaming. Dreaming big, but still asleep.

Good luck.

:)
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

zoomkat

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You're never getting a lander on the moon. Never. Even winning the lottery won't help. Tens of millions would barely get you off the ground with a project like a lunar lander. The technology won't improve in the way you think it might, not in 10 years or in 50. Space will always be very expensive, simply from a joules per pound/dollar perspective

Hmmm..., so where does he ever say *he* is going to personally finance a lunar lander? Where did you get that idea in your head??? And yes, lunar landers have successfully been put on the moon, so if you have the $$$, it can be done.
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