NanoRacks-ArduSat-X (NanoRacks-ArduSat-X) - 09.17.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Developing space-ready materials is expensive and time-consuming, but some existing components already used on Earth may be easily adapted for use in space. NanoRacks-ArduSat-X tests existing advanced electronics and hardware in the space environment with minimal adaptation. The investigation also determines which products are suited for basic space applications such as education and simple science investigations. Using Earth-rated sensors, microprocessors and materials lowers the cost of access to space.
Science Results for Everyone
NanoSatisfi Inc., San Francisco, CA, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Laboratory (NL)
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2013 - March 2014
Previous ISS Missions
Cost for space-proven materials is still exorbitant when compared to earth-rated products. Lowering the cost for such items is a crucial ingredient in providing affordable and convenient space exploration for everyone.
NanoRacks-ArduSat-X tests advanced electronics and hardware from earth in the space environment with only minimal adaptation in order to lower cost of access and use of space.
NanoRacks-ArduSat-X provides proof-of-concept that earth-rated sensors and materials can be used in space with minimal adaptation for specific applications (e.g. education, simple science).
NanoRacks-ArduSat-X makes available information about what type of earth-rated sensors, microprocessors and materials might be most suited for basic and limited space applications.
Ease of use through a web-interface and intuitive User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) through careful design are a major part of enabling the primary investigation objective. A complex chain of software is established for NanoRacks-ArduSat-X. Starting with low-level assembly code to control some of the sensors, C/C++(programming language) for the majority of on-board software and the control of the radio equipment on the space-craft and on the ground and higher-level languages like Ruby on Rails, SQL and Python (programming languages) are integrated to form one seamless software-architecture.
On the hardware side, consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors like magnetometers, accelerometers, gyros and temperature sensors are connected via an augmented Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) protocol with more complex, yet still off-the-shelf sensors like Geiger counters, a camera and spectrometer. Selection criteria and know-how with regards to earth-rated sensors, microprocessors and materials which are mass-produced and hence cheap yet can be used in space for specific and limited applications allow for dramatically cheaper space missions in the future by taking advantage of the low cost due to mass production on earth. The microprocessor payload consists of a number of Atmel chips which communicate with a supervisor processor via a proprietary communication protocol which provides very fine control over the individual computational nodes of the payload. The majority of the bus-components are standard space flight hardware with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 9 or 8.
NanoRacks-ArduSat-X uses commercially available equipment for various applications, reducing costs and increasing access to space. Reducing costs for small space hardware, especially in low-Earth orbit (LEO) and for pico-, nano- and micro-satellites, enables new projects aimed at Earth observation and education
Lowering the cost of space exploration enables a constellation of cheap satellites offering substantial benefits, including Earth observation and basic science. Small satellites using commercially available advanced sensors helps authorities better respond to disasters, such as wildfires and floods.
Remove the Remove-before-flight pin before launching the space-craft from the ISS. No other operational requirements and constraints are known or expected at this point in time.
Communication with the space-craft via ground-stations of NanoSatisfi Inc. and partners of NanoSatisfi Inc.