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We live in a connected world, but that world ends not far beyond the outermost cell phone tower. [John Grant] wants to be connected everywhere, even in regions where no mobile network is available, so he is building a solar powered, handheld satellite messenger: The MyComm – his entry for the Hackaday Prize.

The MyComm is a handheld touch-screen device, much like a smartphone, that connects to the Iridium satellite network to send and receive text messages. At the heart of his build, [John] uses a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium SatComm Module hooked up to a Teensy 3.1. The firmware is built upon a FreeRTOS port for proper task management. [John] crafted an intuitive GUI that includes an on-screen keyboard to write, send and receive messages. A micro SD card stores all messages and contact list entries. Eventually, the system will be equipped with a solar cell, charging regulator and LiPo battery for worldwide, unconditional connectivity.

2016 will be an interesting year for the Iridium network since the first satellites for the improved (and backward-compatible) “Iridium NEXT” network are expected to launch soon. At times the 66 Iridium satellites currently covering the entire globe were considered a $5B heap of space junk due to deficiencies in reliability and security. Yet, it’s still there, with maker-friendly modems being available at $250 and pay-per-use rates of about 7 ct/kB (free downstream for SDR-Hackers). Enjoy the video of [John] explaining the MyComm user interface:

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Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Cellphone Hacks, The Hackaday Prize
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ArduSat successfully launched in space – Watch video!

arduino, diy, satellites, science, space Commenti disabilitati su ArduSat successfully launched in space – Watch video! 

ardusat launch

ArduSat was successfully launched in space last Sunday 4th August and it’s now on its way to the International Space Station (ISS):

Ardusat is the first open satellite platform allowing general public to design and run their own applications, games and experiments in space, and also steer the onboard cameras to take pictures on-demand:

Ardusat offers the chance for everyday people to control a satellite for different purposes such as exploration, entertainment and experiments. It takes advantage of the existing technologies and platforms so that more and more people can participate in the space technology. With more and more people participating, the space industry is likely to go on through countless innovations.

Learn more from DIY Space Explorations.



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