We're sure readers will offer the traditional El Reg welcome today to Rock Seven, which has climbed aboard the British space programme by providing an Iridium satellite comms capability for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic The company's newly developed …
Cheers to them!
Anyone who contributes to LOHAN deserves a pint!
Gosh, Iridium is still running?!
Yes. Why shouldn't it be?
"Being able to help with the British space programme is brilliant"
Um, isn't this overstating the case just a little, especially since the base of operations is currently Spain??
Why let facts get in the way of a good story
"Um, isn't this overstating the case just a little, especially since the base of operations is currently Spain??"
Not really, the Russian space agencies launch from Kazahkstan. We've just outsourced the LOHAN operations.
A massive thumbs (pint included) up for Rock Seven
And their marketing tactic has worked.
I looked at their website, checked their prices, and am now wondering how to get the purchase approved by the Home Office ('er indoors) to buy one. Very reasonable.
I was honestly expecting the cost of that device to be exorbitant but the website suggest not. Hell, you can barely get GSM/SMS connectivity in an embedded device for the prices they charge.
£159 for the device. £8/month subscription (no annual contract!). 12p per credit (down to 4p in bulk). That's seriously competitive with SMS devices. Hell, I might even buy one to add onto my in-car Raspberry Pi project. How does the messaging work, though? I assume you need two devices to send messages to each other, but even so - that's still quite good.
Might have to rock up to Brentwood next time I'm there and see the kit for myself if that's possible.
To answer my own question: Apparently, for the RockBlock, the messaging goes via some sort of email gateway at RockBlock. Send/recieve messages via email with just a single device, by the look of it.
> That's seriously competitive with SMS devices
It's a little dearer; each credit gives you up to 50 characters.
Nevertheless, this is a pretty cheap way to get sat-based messaging. I'm trying to think up a project to justify buying one :-)
The obvious application...
...of this is to send back live pictures. I mean, forget trivial stuff like GPS or system status telemetry --- 340 bytes is big enough for a 52x52 monochrome bitmap, or if you really want to push the boat out, 36x36 at 2bpp or 18x18 at 4bpp. And that's without compression, too.
So it's a double-ended strap-on then...?
Re: "two-way chat"
"So it's a double-ended strap-on then...?"
I'm trying to work out how that's possible
Re: "two-way chat"
"Did you say strap in or strap on?"
@Elmer Phud - Re: "two-way chat"
"I'm trying to work out how that's possible"
With careful design ;-)
First thing that springs to mind is a manual launch switch for the rocketry should the pressure switch launch trigger fail, or worse, the telemetry suggests that the balloon has burst prematurely?
Similar to if the balloon bursts prematurely, when she lands (or just before as might not have clear view of the sky) sends the gps coordinates so she can be found easily.
Although the existing tracking is there, nothing like a backup
Take a leaf out of NASA's book
...and transmit a fecking annoying tune when it reaches launch altitude.
Why don't you use it do download a song from some publicity hungry US pop star?
Oh no wait, that would be an absolutely ridiculous thing to do and massive waste of time and resources. Who'd do something as stupid as that???
Transmit Current (average) 190mA
Transmit Current (peak) 1.5A
Might be too expensive to send a message every ten seconds...
On the other hand, only 30g module (the board with the power supply and antenna must be heavier by still) is impressive for a two-way space communication gadget!
Way to opt out of warranty support
"Warranty void if broken" indeed. If it's not broken, why would one make a warranty claim?
Re: Way to opt out of warranty support
Is that what they call a "lifetime guarantee"? The warranty expires when it dies...
Pint Personally Proffered
This has a huge number of control and monitoring possibilities.
I will point this out to some of my transcontinental motorcycle buddies.
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