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Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)

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David Ashton
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
David Ashton   8/22/2011 8:07:10 AM
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Steve, could you not have used a battery with a better projected lifespan? Or were you stuck with this one? How would you do it better next time?

mac_droz
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
mac_droz   8/22/2011 8:21:50 AM
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Great article! I'm following it as well as the project website. There's just one think I don't understand: Why on Earth did you pick the battery with a maximum lifespan of 5 cycles and unknown characteristics in the temperature range that you are going to use? I understand all about the safety (there are good articles in the technical section on the project website), but this seems almost like a political decision. Any off the shelf battery from supermarket would do a better job it seems. Anyway I enjoy reading! 73 de sq2ahr

Sanjib.A
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
Sanjib.A   8/22/2011 3:58:40 PM
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Steve, thanks a lot for sharing the information. I'm curious to know what measures are taken to protect the electronics from harsh conditions in space, which are not usually needed on earth. Again, I am also wondering why you did not do something better than using that battery. Great article! will look forward for the next parts.

Steve Bible
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
Steve Bible   8/22/2011 6:23:50 PM
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Hi David, the battery is what we were given for the project. We did expect it to live a little bit longer than it did. But we did learn! So we are discussing options for the next ARISSat such as NiCd with supercaps. It will be experimental so we can learn from it. It will also have to meet all safety requirements.

Steve Bible
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
Steve Bible   8/22/2011 6:26:23 PM
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Hi SQ2AHR, thank you! It really wasn't a political decision. In the beginning ARISSat-1 was to be SuitSat-2. We would get the suit and its battery. Thus we always planned from the beginning to use the Orlan suit battery.

Steve Bible
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
Steve Bible   8/22/2011 6:29:21 PM
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Hello Sanjib, no special protection was given to the electronics. However, we did put in redundancy and monitoring so that the subsystems will continue to operate if they detected a failure. We shall see during the life of ARISSat-1 how well it performs in Low-Earth Orbit radiation environment. On the battery choice, please see my replies above. Glad you like the blog!

Robotics Developer
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
Robotics Developer   8/23/2011 2:58:29 PM
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Bummer about the battery!! It seems that (in hindsight) a backup/redundant storage system would have been in order. Is there any consideration for a low power down standby/hibernate mode for the next satellite? This coupled with a small redundant power backup could be used to enable the electronics to not get reset during short periods of eclipse. Thanks for the details! A classic case of "this is what we have to work with" and making due. Keep up the good work.

David Ashton
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
David Ashton   8/24/2011 12:47:25 AM
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Thanks Steve. Interesting you mention NiCds, I would have thought you'd go for something like Li-ion? I'm quite a fan of NiCds,but it's mainly as I have access to lots of them. If you look after them they are good batteries...but they do have an annoying habit of going permanently short circuit if they are left discharged for any time....which, as with your current battery's problems, would be disastrous. Any reason for choosing NiCd?

Sanjib.A
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
Sanjib.A   8/24/2011 3:18:43 AM
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Hi Steve, thanks a lot for the information. While browsing through the parts e.g FPGAs, controller, I've seen some manufacturer sells "radiation hardened" chips. Do you really need them? They are usually sold at a premium. Also, what is the environmental spec. (temperature etc.) for which you design your electronics?

mspitze
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re: Chips in Space: Letís look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
mspitze   8/24/2011 5:58:01 PM
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Would hate to be the poor Cosmonaut that gets failed battery for his his life support systems.

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