Recently, my friend Mike Doornbos from Evadot got together with the small-satellite crew down at the non-profit Kentucky Space to try to fix an annoying problem. (Yes, people really do get together to solve annoying problems with their satellites!) They wanted a standard “mission command” board that could serve as the basis for the brains, power and voice for different space applications without having to make it from scratch every time. They liked their solution so much, they decided to share!
“We’re making the FireFly controller boards because it seems like a lot of projects repeat the same ten steps just to get started. If you’re going to launch a high altitude balloon with a camera on it (to take pictures of the curvature of the earth), build some remote sensing equipment, teach a class, or even launch a satellite you need the same basic components,” says Mike Doornbos. “This system gets you right to ‘step 10′ in your project. Steps 1 through 9 are already done! The FireFly is designed to provide everything you need to get started including:
- A small computer with an easy to use programming interface (emphasis on easy).
- Battery power with charging circuits.
- Long range communications.
- The ability to use existing add on hardware.
- Some software you can borrow, reuse, and share.
- A place to talk about what your building to get help.”
FireFly is solar rechargeable, provides self-powered command and data handling system, onboard storage and wireless communications and is Arduino Compatible. Although Mike and the Kentucky Space team mostly work with entrepreneurial space professionals and the DIY space community, the lightweight board also a great platform that parents, students, and teachers can use for a variety of projects.
Mike has the FireFly available for presale for $159. Grab one and let me know what you’re going to build!!