Using Satellites to teach Programming, Raspberry Pi, Arduino and engineering ..







I have been exploring this idea before – in the form of a fictional book

The story line of our book – for kids to learn Raspberry Pi and Arduino by learning how to design and launch a satellite 

Apart from the story line, from a technical perspective – the basic idea is:

You could teach kids about a temperature sensor in isolation OR you could teach them the same idea of a temperature sensor but in context of a satellite. Which one is better?

The idea is not as far-fetched as it may sound i.e. this is very much doable and at least – and hence it is a story based on fact

The NASA Elana program provides a possibility to explore these ideas based on the  Cubesat standard explained more here (NASA Elana program with Cubesat standard)

(NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is adapting the Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer, or PPOD, to put these CubeSats into orbit. This deployment system, designed and manufactured by the California Polytechnic State University in partnership with Stanford University, has flown previously on Department of Defense and commercial launch vehicles.)

So, we have a story (A group of kids who collaborate globally to launch a Satellite in Space) – and the idea is to teach kids about programming and design using the Pi / Arduino using the NASA Elana program

The ardusat project used Arduino with cubesat and used the following sensors

The Arduino processors may sample data from the following sensors  :

one digital 3-axis magnetometer (MAG3110)

one digital 3-axis gyroscope (ITG-3200)

one 3-axis accelerometer (ADXL345)

one infrared temperature sensor with a wide sensing range (MLX90614)

four digital temperature sensors (TMP102) : 2 in the payload, 2 on the bottomplate

two luminosity sensor (TSL2561) covering both infrared and visible light : 1 on the bottomplate camera, 1 on the bottomplate slit

two geiger counter tubes (LND 716)

one optical spectrometer (Spectruino)

one 1.3MP camera (C439)

 So, while our story is fictional – its a great way for kids to learn about real programming in context ex you could teach temperature sensors in isolation – or in context of a satellite in space. Which is better!

Thoughts and comments welcome ..

Image source: NASA