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At MakerFaire NYC

Hi all,I'll be at the NYC MakerFaire this weekend (Sept 21-22), in case anyone wishes to join up...

Concepts For A CubeSat LARP

I am a firm believer that simulations improve reality.  If you want to launch a CubeSat, you...

Putting a TARDIS in Space?

I am used to odd looks when I say I'm flying a satellite to convert the ionosphere to music. ...

Who Can Launch a CubeSat?

In the half year since I wrote last September, the CubeSat field has greatly moved forward. ...

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Project CalliopeRSS Feed of this column.

Alex "Sandy" Antunes is the mastermind behind 'Project Calliope', a pico-satellite funded by Science 2.0 and being launched in 2011 by a mad scientist who is a space & music enthusiast. This... Read More »

Not all satellite building involves blowing things up, frying circuits, and desperately hacking hardware.  Sometimes you get regulatory-related requests such as "provide a brief abstract of your mission (include key milestones or events)".  So, free of hype, here is the boilerplate definition I came up with for Project Calliope.
Back in October I made my picks for the hotly contested Etsy/NASA contest.  And now the winners are announced.  Neither of my picks (stenciled glass bottles and wooden toy blocks for alien children) made it.  And, well, I'll say I'm not leaping up to buy any of the winners.  Still, it was a neat little contest with interesting implications.

DIY satellite news every Tuesday here and at Project Calliope
Last year, the NPR sound engineer said I was the first scientist to really nail what sonification is.  In my 365DOA podcast, I am joined by Matt and Hai-Ting of ScopesMonkeyChoir.com in the continuing saga of just why the heck I am launching a musical satellite, and what can you do with an orbiting musical instrument.

Back before I became a ham-licensed PCB-ordering flux-soldering basement-building boutique satellite maker, it all started with an idea-- actually, with a column on my other ID here at Science 2.0.  And since I'm still cooking with a 101-degree fever, I figure I'll go for that way-back-machine wavy effect and let you all read where it all began.

Greetings, true believers.

I've not let a week pass yet without some tidbit of amateur satellite relevance, and this week is no exception.  Being pleasantly mired in work-work, I'll be necessarily brief with this update.

I broke my first solar cell today.  Soldering the solar panels requires I learn a new soldering technique, reflow soldering, where you paint solder flux then just heat the entire material.  Breaking the cell was simply due to the fragility of the cell, not the new technique.  Thankfully, IOS provides a few extra cells for this reason.  I (as always) took notes on the panel build, and (as is all too common) haven't transcribed them into this blog yet.


Feb 23 2011 | comment(s)

A music project has cropped up that is very much like Project Calliope, if you swap out 'one man show' and replace it with 'crowdsourced'.  The core concept is Calliope's "convert space to music via detectors and send to ground for anyone to remix", and (perhaps due to the Tubesat design limitations) very similar in terms of approach, method and focus as well as intent.  Innovation?  Flattery?

Last week I said the mission of Calliope is that "hearing the levels and variety of activity in the ionosphere in real or near-real time, as ambient sound, will help people get an intuitive sense of the activity and change at the boundaries of space."