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We love Arduino and we love space exploration. So we decided to combine them and let people run their own space experiments!
We love Arduino and we love space exploration. So we decided to combine them and let people run their own space experiments!
676 backers pledged $106,330 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

ArduSat - Your Arduino Experiment in Space project video thumbnail
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$106,330

676

UPDATE: Help us break the 100k barrier! So join us now!

UPDATE: We’ve posted a bunch of ideas for ArduSat apps on our Ideas page! Just imagine - you could be at the helm of a machine that, in only an hour and a half:

  • flies away over the horizon at over 18 times the speed of sound,
  • detects meteors vaporizing in the skies over Europe,
  • photographs the sunset over the horn of Africa,
  • maps the Earth's magnetic field cruising over the Indian Ocean,
  • snaps a picture of the Southern Lights dancing underneath off the coast of Australia,
  • samples the upper atmosphere to learn about  biomarkers and other signs of life,
  • stares down the eye of a hurricane,
  • maps the emitted spectrum of the sun,
  • generates truly random numbers valuable to the financial, security and science community
  • and is already back over your head, having circled the entire planet!

More technical details on the satellite design in the video below:

Earthview timelapse video courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. 

The ArduSat Mission

Our mission is to provide affordable space exploration for everyone!

We want to get you into space! Once launched, the ArduSat (Arduino – satellite) will be the first open platform allowing the general public to design and run their own space-based applications, games and experiments, and steer the onboard cameras to take pictures on-demand..

By supporting the project you’re not only reserving your place at a discounted price at the front of the line to use it once it’s in space, but you’re helping us develop a platform to make space access affordable and achievable for anyone.

What you can do with ArduSat

To get your creative cogs turning, here are just a few of the ideas the ArduSat developers are cooking up. For even more application challenges and some ideas for high school and university student projects, check out our Ideas page and get commenting! http://tinyurl.com/ArduSatAppIdeas

SCIENCE: Meteor Hunter - Small meteors that strike the atmosphere every day created trails of ionized gas in the atmosphere in the upper atmosphere. Write an experiment to try and detect meteor impacts, by listening for radio stations beyond the horizon, reflected by the meteor trails!

FINANCE and SECURITY: True Random Number Generator - Cosmic rays are truly random and can be used to generate a sequence of truly random numbers. These are crucial (and hence valuable) for devising and testing financial models, secure codes, simulations and other scientific and commercial applications.

ENGINEERING: Your Eye in the Sky - Try writing an app that would synchronize the output of a head mounted-gyro to the steering system on the satellite. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try downlinking the attitude vector in real-time to watch the satellite follow your head - you could even tie-in your head-steering to our program that takes pictures! (Talk to Joel if you’re interested in this experiment!) 

ENGINEERING: Point-and-shoot - The following settings can be set on the camera: "exposure, gamma, gain, white balance, color matrix, windowing". Try designing an algorithm that fine-tunes the settings to take even better pictures or more artistic pictures!

ENTERTAINMENT: Geiger Counter Bingo - Write an app that transmits a message with a random number and letter every time a particle hits the satellite with enough energy. Have a 'bingo from space' game between HAM radio amateurs.

ENTERTAINMENT: Photography Competition - See who among your friends can snap the coolest/most interesting picture from space. The eye of a hurricane, sunrise over the Indian ocean, even aurora from space – see what marvels you can capture!

Take Pictures from Space

The satellite is not just for scientific purposes; ambitious photographers and artists will be able to steer the satellite cameras take pictures on-demand of the Earth, the Moon, or the stars. Especially from the Artist community we expect to see some spectacular private space pictures so we all can marvel at the beauty of Earth from above.

How it Works

An Exploded view of the ArduSat (1U configuration)
An Exploded view of the ArduSat (1U configuration)

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. 

The Arduinos can also read status data from the satellite (like orbit position, per-system power usage, board temperature, etc.), so you can also run tests on the satellite itself. Check out our YouTube Channel for technical details and up-to-date videos of the payload development.

To run your application, experiment or steer the camera you can write your own code from scratch, leverage existing codes available on the internet or use one of the templates we will make available to our backers, creating a growing library of code elements.

Through our web-interface you can then upload your code to our exact replica of the satellite on the ground and make sure that it works as intended. Once you’ve worked out any bugs in your experiment (not that you would ever have any...) we will run a final test before it is uploaded into space to ArduSat. Now your code is running in space, steering the satellite and gathering data! Once the time you have booked on ArduSat is expired, we will send back the data to you via the internet.

A mock up of the web interface, showing you the current location of ArduSat and what its cameras can 'see'.
A mock up of the web interface, showing you the current location of ArduSat and what its cameras can 'see'.

Why You’ll Want In

Propose A Sensor or Cool Experiment and fly them in space!

Besides being first in line to use the satellite when it goes online (and the obvious bragging rights that come with it!), backers will also have the opportunity to propose additional sensors to include in the payload. Our mass budget currently allows for approximately 5 additional sensors, and we’re holding a voting competition for the best ideas.

Discover Magazine is also holding a competition for the most innovative experiment or application for ArduSat with a grand prize worth $1500 (for details see our extensive FAQ section at the bottom).

What You're Paying For

We've already developed a prototype of the Arduino bank, the sensors, and the software that lets us remotely upload code to the satellite. We’ve also designed the satellite bus to carry all of those sensors and Arduinos: now we need your support to finance the hardware and assembly costs of the satellite itself, and the launch cost to put it into orbit.

Our fundraising goal is 35,000 USD, which will allow us to build, test, and integrate all of the hardware and software needed for a 1U ArduSat. As soon as the funding goal is met, we can move ahead with applications for free launches through various NASA or ESA ride-along programs. We believe that this project has enough technical, scientific, and outreach value to successfully secure a launch with these programs. However, if we are not successful in securing a launch with these programs within 18 month, we have secured funding to buy a commercial launch for ArduSat to make sure you get into space!

If at least 200 pioneer space scientists and artists join us, we can buy a commercial launch. This would not only allow us to launch your ArduSat as soon as it is built and tested, but also potentially launch the satellite to a higher altitude, meaning a longer operational lifetime with more opportunities for you to run experiments and take pictures.

If at least 300 self-made space scientists and artists sponsor ArduSat, then we can build a double-sized “2U” or even triple-sized “3U” version of the ArduSat we designed. The extra volume and power generated means that we can provide you with even more interesting sensors, such as high accuracy star sensors and infrared cameras.

Join the ArduSat Movement!

As an oft-quoted space captain once said, space is truly the final frontier, and ArduSat will allow you to participate in conquering it! By backing ArduSat, you not only become part of this adventure, but you also open the doors for many more to do so as well. As a backer we hope you’ll engage with us, and through your suggestions and voting, decide what kind of satellite ArduSat will be. ArduSat’s backers are more than just users, they’re satellite designers and explorers!

Our Platinum Partner: CATN

CATN, a UK-based hosting company, has joined the ArduSat movement as our Platinum Partner! The CATN team is racing ArduSat to launch their new vCluster PHP platform, which is an innovative clustered hosting service that allows web developers to effortlessly deploy their applications in a highly scalable and secure environment. 

Our Corporate Space Partner: Arrowhead Systems of Stoke-On-Trent 

School kids can be space scientists too.

Arrowhead Systems of Stoke-On-Trent is partnering with NanoSatisfi LLC to enable UK School children to design and run experiments on an innovative new satellite.
The founder of Arrowhead says: "I'm hoping that today's children and their teachers will be as excited about getting in to space as I was a number of years back, I remember sitting cross legged on the hall floor in junior school, as an American I'd never heard of appeared on the grainy black and white TV screen, hopped down a short run of steps and uttered 'One small step....'. The Internet has grown up around Open Source Software. Now people across the globe are collaborating, using the same open source philosophy but with hardware; Open Source Hardware.

Product designs that you can freely use, improve upon and make yourself, from 3D printers to interactive jewellery and mood lights to chairs that tweet when you fart! Arduino has traversed the world since its start in Italy in 2005, now ArduSat will take it another 300KM, this time straight up"
Learn how you can be a space scientist, follow progress and get updates on how you can join us by following https://twitter.com/@tioukcom and get your school into orbit.

Discover Magazine and Astronomy Magazine

Discover and Astronomy Magazine has partnered with ArduSat and will be running the Discover Astronomy Space Challenge: submit your ideas for the most innovative experiment, game or application run on ArduSat, we will fly the winner in space and give the applicant a free Team Development Kit worth $1500!

Become a backer of ArduSat and join the Challenge today! Watch the video and read more about it in our FAQ section at the bottom.

The panel deciding on the best application for the challenge is going to consist of the following judges:

Corey S. Powell - Editor of Discover Magazine
Phil Plait- Bad Astronomer
Ariel Waldman- founder of Spacehack.org 
Peter Platzer - NanoSatisfi CEO
Darlene Cavalier - Founder of SciStarter and Science Cheerleader             David Eicher- Editor in Chief of Astronomy Magazine

SciStarter/Science Cheerleader

We've joined forces with SciStarter LLC and Science Cheerleader as our official community partners; they'll be helping us spread the word out about ArduSat to access as wide a pool of inventors as possible. We believe that space is for everyone to participate and SciStart and Science Cheerleader are a terrific partner in getting everyone involved, excited about space, science and technology!

MySpectral

We've partnered up with the newly-founded MySpectral, who will be developing one of the key sensors for the ArduSat payload, the world's first purely open-source spectrometer (called Spectrino). Our backers will be among the first to get access to this truly remarkable instrument with a wide range of applications. 

A face-to-face view with the new spectrometer
A face-to-face view with the new spectrometer



GOMSpace

We've partnered up with GOMSpace from Aalborg, Denmark, as our official engineering and integration partner. As the developer of much of the hardware used on ArduSat, their support will help us avoid development and integration woes while assembling the bus, meaning we can pour more time and effort into perfecting the payload.

GOMSpace CEO Lars Krogh Alminde had this to say about the partnership:

“GOMSpace is excited to have joined forces with NanoSatisfi as their engineering and integration partner to make ArduSat a reality. We strongly believe in the mission and goals of ArduSat, making space exploration affordable for everyone. Our CubeSat platform, and our flexible engineering and integration expertise fits the technical requirements of the ArduSat mission very well. This is an exciting project and we are very happy be part of it.”

Some of the GOMSpace hardware that will be inlcuded in the ArduSat
Some of the GOMSpace hardware that will be inlcuded in the ArduSat

Team Prometheus

Team Prometheus has joined the ArduSat project to provide two high-altitude test flights of the Arduino payload, one using a stratospheric balloon and one atop a suborbital rocket! 

The first flight, scheduled for late September, will carry the payload prototype and flight computer to an altitude of 100,000 feet (roughly 30 km) using a balloon, and will allow for testing of the payload and sensor performance, onboard data handling protocols, and communication systems.The second flight, scheduled for October, will launch a new payload prototype and flight computer to an altitude of roughly 40 miles (64 kilometres) atop a balloon-launched rocket.

Near Earth LLC.

Near Earth LLC  is very pleased to support the Ardusat Kickstarter project and the Nanosatisfi team. Near Earth is an investment bank focused on both incumbent and emerging high growth companies in the satellite, aerospace and wireless industries. We are a FINRA registered broker-dealer and can act as placement agent for private capital raises as well as financial and strategic advisors supporting mergers, acquisitions and the sale of companies.

DIY Sandbox

DIY Sandbox is our partner for the design and development of the Arduino architecture and boards, and software and production support. They are a local, highly experienced MEMS design company that has built some very exciting products for the DIY space like the Platinum and we are excited to have them on board for our ArduSat project. 

Freetronics

Freetronics, an Australian electronics manufacturer specialising in Arduino-compatible boards and devices has joined us in the quest for affordable space exploration! They have a fair amount of experience in DIY space projects and will help us with the design and production of the sensorboards. We'll work with  them to get our prototype ready for our high-altitude balloon test with Team Prometheus. Check out their video on our youtube channel!

Orbiting Eden

Orbiting Eden is very excited to partner with ArduSat because it gives us the opportunity to debut our web-based satellite command and control “eye in the sky” software. www.orbitingeden.com is a website that anyone can log into and use to control virtual spacecraft in the earth-moon system and that control will extend to real spacecraft! Orbiting Eden will allow ArduSat users to exactly predict where the space-craft will be and “see” what the space craft will see to plan their perfect picture. The ultimate goal of Orbiting Eden is to bring orbital dynamics into the collective consciousness as has been done previously with aerodynamics while providing a simple interface so one average person can control a satellite instead of the more conventional teams of highly trained professionals. You can log on right now to see the beta version of our space simulator. 

Codebender

CodeBender - your web-based Arduino Development Platform
CodeBender - your web-based Arduino Development Platform

We have discovered and already engaged a super team in Europe to help with your Arduino development - Codebender! It deeply integrates with the open documentation available on the Arduino website can be accessed directly from the IDE using a simple shortcut. One of codebender's main features is remote flashing: together with an Ethernet shield flashed with a properly designed TFTP bootloader, you will be able to upload a sketch remotely, over the internet! They have an IndiGogo campaign running as well, check it out!

You will hear more from us in how you can use Codebender going forward but we are very excited to be working with them and make your experience as easy and seamless as possible!

Our Partners 

Press Coverage

DVICE:"[G]et involved right now: there's no cheaper or better way to start doing a little bit of space exploration of your very own." 

Bad Astronomy: "This is very cool: Discover Magazine is contributing to a project to help the public create and run an experiment that will actually get launched into space aboard a small cubesat satellite! This is a real thing."

New York Observer: "[T]he possibilities are endless: Amateur astronomers, budding physicists, video game designers or hopeless romantics could find a use for the service."

Engadget:'[S]ure, it's far cry from actually launching yourself into the stars, but would you rather be a tourist, or a scientist?'

Citizen Scientists League: "[T]his looks like a fantastic opportunity for amateurs to put their experiments out into space. The Ardusat Project looks very accessible, helpful, and willing to work with people who want to take part in this program."

Hack a day

Kurzweil AI

AMSAT-UK

PresseText

Craze Base

Portal to the Universe

Special thanks to

AKH

Dennis DC

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Every dollar helps! With any donation, you can join the discussions on the comment page and the backers list on our website. Furthermore, you have our personal gratitude, and we’ll prove it to you with a personal thank-you email.

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    SHOUTOUT: You have our personal gratitude for supporting the project, and we’ll prove it to everyone by Tweeting you a thank-you (optional for the super-modest)!

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    All of the above plus a customized picture taken by the satellite, signed by the team!

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    All of the above and a set of five Science Cheerleader Trading Cards (NFL/NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers) to inspire your favorite young scientist.You can see a sample of the cards here: http://tinyurl.com/ScienceCheerleaderTradingCards

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    ARDUNAUT: All of the above, plus your initials on the satellite. You also get a print of a satellite delivered to your inbox, which you can print out and fold into ArduSat!

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    By pledging at least $150, you’re pre-ordering the chance to take up to 15 space pictures, steering the direction of the satellite and time of your choosing and have them delivered to your inbox.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    By pledging at least $300, you’re preordering a time slot to broadcast a personal message from space for up to a day, during which ArduSat flies over every point on Earth. You give us the message, we do the rest! You will receive a personalized recorded thank you message from a Science Cheerleader, and if you want to dedicate the message to someone, we’ll name them an Ardunaut too!

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    MINI-EXPLORER: By pledging $300 or more, you’re pre-ordering 3 days of uptime on the satellite, where you can run your own custom experiments/applications using the STANDARD sensor package. You can read more about the sensors in this package in the FAQ section.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    EXPLORER: By pledging $500 or more, you’re pre-ordering a full week of uptime on the satellite, where you can run your own custom experiments/applications using the STANDARD sensor package. The first 50 to sign up will also receive a subscription to Discover Magazine and a SciStarter T-Shirt. You can read more about the sensors in this package in the FAQ section.

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    Pledge $775 or more About $775

    PIONEER: By pledging at least $775, you’re guaranteed a full week of uptime on the satellite, where you can run your own custom experiments/application/game using the ADVANCED sensor suite. You can read more about the sensors in this package in the FAQ section.

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    PIONEER: By pledging $800, you’re pre-ordering a full week of uptime on the satellite, where you can run your own custom experiments/applications using the ADVANCED sensor suite. We will also deliver to you a customized Labenga lab coat and a SciStarter T-Shirt. You can read more about the sensors in this package in the FAQ section.

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    TEAM DEVELOPER: By pledging at least $1,500, you’re pre-ordering a PIONEER package (see above), plus we’ll send you a complete development kit with Arduinos and the ADVANCED sensor suite so you’ll have your own gear to test on at home. You'll also have the option to chat for 30 minutes on Skype with a Science Cheerleader, and you'll get a SciStarter T-Shirt.

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    SHOW ME THE ROPES: You get a TEAM DEVELOPER package (see above), plus a 2-week nanosatellite crash course on space, satellites, and how to design a top-notch space experiment or application, either remotely or on-location with us.

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    CORPORATE SPACE PARTNER: Pledge $7,500 or more and you or your company gets to name a Camera or Sensor Bank, you get your name or logo on the satellite and you receive the title of Official ArduSat Partner. Furthermore, you will receive a PIONEER package, a mockup of Ardusat, and Arduino starter pack donated to the person/classroom/organization of your choice, optionally with the CEO of Nanosatisfi (Peter) being present.

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    PLATINUM PARTNER: Pledging $10,000 or more makes you our one-and-only Platinum ArduSat Space Partner, with all features of our Pioneer Reward and recognition on our website, publications, press releases, and the satellite itself. You also get to name the satellite (within reason) for its mandatory entry into the UN database where all satellites are registered. You also enjoy a 30-minute video Skype chat with NASA Astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave. (full bio here: http://tinyurl.com/StoryMusgrave)

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Funding period

- (30 days)