AstroPi (AstroPi) - 10.04.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers (called AstroPis) flown to the International Space Station as part of British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s mission are available for use during French ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s Proxima mission. The computers are both equipped with the mighty Sense HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) that measures the environment inside the space station, detect how the station moves through space, and pick up the Earth’s magnetic field. Each AstroPi is also equipped with different kinds of cameras:  one has an infrared camera, and the other has a standard visible spectrum camera.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Claire Edery-Guirado, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom: AstroPi

Principal Investigator(s)
Claire Edery-Guirado, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France

Slawomir Zdybski, European Space Agency, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Stephane Fredon, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France
Alana Bartolini, European Space Agency, Noordwijk, Netherlands
S├ębastien Rouquette, Ph.D., Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, 31400 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
David Honess, ESA ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

European Space Agency, Education Office, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Raspberry Pi Foundation, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
European Space Agency

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2017 - April 2019; -

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

In the interest of increasing science and engineering skills in European students, an education program utilising the onboard AstroPi hardware has been developed for the Proxima mission of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
The proposed plan is to issue a competition to schools with a number of thematic software/hardware challenges covering some of the diverse needs of the space industry – e.g. survival in the space environment, measurement and calibration, hardware re-configurability, and image processing.. At the core of each of these thematic challenges is the AstroPi/Raspberry Pi computer and associated peripherals which act as the platform for on-orbit execution of the software.
It is the idea that the use of the AstroPi computer in this activity casts a tremendously wide net over the European, and French in particular, educational community. The EPO Pesquet AstroPi 2.0 activities provide opportunities for students to engage with coding activities in the context of space.
The activities related to this project are intended to encourage and strengthen the teaching of computing and coding curriculums, and through this stimulate the curiosity of students and motivate them towards further study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

Information Pending

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Space Applications
Information Pending

Earth Applications
The need for education in an ever-increasing knowledge-based society is without question, and education forms a fundamental part of the mandate of the European Space Agency (ESA). The Agency is conscious that it can play a significant role in contributing to a scientifically literate and aware society, and that it has both a responsibility and a vested interest in doing so. The International Space Station (ISS) Education Programme makes use of human spaceflight, and the ISS, as a means to capture the attention and the interest of students, to attract them to study, in particular, scientific and technical disciplines, and to appreciate and understand the benefits, challenges, and importance of space for Europe and as a member of a global economy.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

Two AstroPi computers were kept on board the International Space Station (ISS) post-Tim Peake’s Principia mission (Increment 46/47).
To run the program, one (or both) AstroPi computers are deployed on the ISS in a location suitable for the needs of the code. The protective cases include a piece of seat track, to allow the unit to be mounted and positioned using a multi-use bracket. During Increment 46/47, the AstroPi was deployed in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus and in Node 2.
The AstroPi units are powered in one of two ways:
  • via a Griffin power adapter connected to an ISS AC power inverter.
  • via USB port on an ISS crew laptop.
The units operate in a ‘headless’ mode. Headless means without a keyboard, monitor or mouse connected. The units are configured to boot and automatically begin processing without crew interaction. Additionally, the units can be accessed remotely from another computer via the use of an Ethernet cable and a web browser.
Towards the end of the Principia mission, an additional feature was added to the AstroPi Vis (equipped with visible camera):  AstroPi can be connected to the Joint Station LAN (JSL) network via an Ethernet cable and operated from designated USOC as long as the Pi remains powered.
The plan is to enable the same JSL connectivity for the AstroPi IR (equipped with infrared camera).
The programs to be executed on the ISS in the scope of ‘’AstroPi 2.0’’ are uplinked and executed from Biotesc via JSL.
Previous ways of program execution (i.e. uplink of programs to an ISS laptop via the standard ISS file uplink) include the copy of one of the available SD cards and transfer of SD card from ISS laptop to an AstroPi by a crew member is still possible, in case JSL connection fails or is unavailable.
Depending on the uplinked programs, the processing of the AstroPi units might produce some output files through interactive sessions, or autonomous data collection, which may need to be downlinked for analysis. In such cases, these result files are transferred to Biotesc, via JSL, in accordance to established procedures (for example for imagery checks).

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Additional AstroPi information from ESA's Erasmus Experiment Archive
European AstroPi Challenge Website
Proxima Mission Educational Resources from CNES (in French)

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