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Astro Pi @ campug

Astro Pi @ campug

Ben Nuttall

July 02, 2019

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  1. Astro Pi: Python on the International Space Station
    Ben Nuttall
    Raspberry Pi Foundation
    UK Charity 1129409

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  2. @ben_nuttall
    Ben Nuttall

    Technical Programme Manager at
    Raspberry Pi Foundation

    Based in Cambridge office (here)

    Creator of GPIO Zero and piwheels

    Columnist on opensource.com



    [email protected]

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  3. @ben_nuttall
    What is Astro Pi?

    Raspberry Pi 1B+

    Sense HAT

    Camera module V1 (VIS/IR)

    Space-grade aluminium case

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  4. @ben_nuttall
    Sense HAT







    8x8 RGB LED display

    Mini joystick

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  5. @ben_nuttall
    Camera module


    1080p30, 720p60 and 640 ×

    2592 × 1944 pixels

    Visible light and infra-red versions

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  6. @ben_nuttall
    Astro Pi competition

    Competitions for young people in ESA member states (most of EU, plus

    "Your code in space"

    Mission Zero / Mission Space Lab

    Running since 2015

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  7. @ben_nuttall
    Astro Pi astronauts

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  8. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Zero

    30 seconds runtime on the ISS

    "Hello world" in space – pixel art and
    messages, with conditionals

    Access to sensors but not camera

    No data logging

    Submit through web emulator on

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  9. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Zero

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  10. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab

    3 hour runtime on ISS

    Science experiment

    Idea phase; code phase; experiment run phase; analysis and report phase

    Two themes: Life on Earth / Life in Space

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  11. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab

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  12. @ben_nuttall
    How did we get them up there?
    How did we get them up there?

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  13. @ben_nuttall
    How do we access or update them?

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  14. @ben_nuttall
    How do we access or update them?

    Launched with Raspbian Wheezy SD cards

    Ran first competition with no LAN access, and no upgrade plan

    On Tim Peake’s last day in space, he had a task to connect an ethernet cable

    Astro Pis are now on the station LAN (not the internet) – ground connection
    now possible

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  15. @ben_nuttall
    How do we access or update them?

    To update the SD card:

    Prepare image

    Get image security hardened


    Image gets uplinked to station laptop

    Astronaut follows procedure to write image to SD card

    Astronaut inserts SD card and connects power

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  16. @ben_nuttall
    OS upgrades

    Raspbian Wheezy Raspbian Jessie
    → Raspbi

    Raspbian Jessie Raspbian Stretch
    → Raspbi

    Raspbian Stretch Raspbian Buster (next)
    → Raspbi

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  17. @ben_nuttall
    Sending code to space

    Code uploads are separate from SD card image uploads:

    Send zipfile

    Send paperwork

    Upload via scp

    Hope it works :)

    If not, read the syslogs...

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  18. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab ideas

    Detect crew presence with sensors

    Log data to see what happens

    Environmental - check ISS conditions


    Global issues e.g. climate change


    Forest depletion


    Shrinkage of lakes

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  19. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab - libraries

    picamera, sense_hat

    Pyephem, reverse_geocoder

    GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library)

    numpy, Scipy, Pandas

    Tensorflow, opencv, scikit-learn, scikit-image

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  20. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab results

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  21. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab results

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  22. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab results

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  23. @ben_nuttall
    Mission Space Lab results

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  24. @ben_nuttall
    Astronaut webinar

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  25. @ben_nuttall
    Third mission?

    In-between Mission Zero and Mission Space Lab

    Time commitment


    No ISS involvement

    Using existing data and photos

    Small periodic challenges, drop in and out

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  26. @ben_nuttall
    Data captured

    CSV of all sensors for 24 hours (8 batches of 3-
    hour runs)

    Time-lapse of photos

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  27. @ben_nuttall
    3 hours on the ISS

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  28. @ben_nuttall
    How can you help?

    Talk to me today

    Share your ideas and interest

    Mentor a young person or group when the challenges launch

    Volunteer at a Code Club or CoderDojo

    Watch astro-pi.org and @Raspberry_Pi / @astro_pi on Twitter for updates

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  29. @ben_nuttall
    Are you in here?

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  30. @ben_nuttall
    Get the data


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  31. Astro Pi: Python on the International Space Station
    Ben Nuttall
    Raspberry Pi Foundation
    UK Charity 1129409

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