back to article LOHAN cooks up tempting Raspberry Pi spiced with Iridium

The electronics buffs among you should brace for explosive geekgasm, as the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team serves up a tasty dish of Iridium-spiced Raspberry Pi, with a tempting side dish of Python. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic You'll recall that back in September, our audacious …


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  1. Captain DaFt
    Thumb Up

    Damn, this is getting high tech for a garden shed project! Well done and consider my flabber truly gasted!

  2. fawlty
    Thumb Up


    All thats left is to bounce the signal directly into Mr Bigs limo somewhere near Aurora, Illinois...

    In all 'seriousness' - keep up the good work! - E Musk esq must be quaking in his boots, his plans for Mars are increasingly threatened by the next generation off the SPB drawing-board (surely playmonauts could be genetically engineered to colonise the red planet via crowd-sourced garden sheddery?)

    Cheers cheers cheers.

    1. daveake

      Re: Excellent...

      No doubt Mr Big's Limo as 3G at least, in which case he just needs to have his chauffeur type in the URL for the live map :)

  3. James Micallef Silver badge
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    Fantastic stuff

    The first step to a new way of colonising space? After all, the major difficulty in getting stuff to outer space is the giant gravity well. The combination of balloon + rocket means that starting from 100,000 feet, a rocket weighing X tons can have a lot closer to X tons of payload and a small bit of fuel to escape the outer atmosphere, instead of (as is the case for ground-launched rockets), most of X being fuel and teh rest being a tiny payload.

    Now, what size of balloon would you need to get a SpaceX Falcon up to 100k feet??

    1. Bush_rat
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Fantastic stuff


      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Fantastic stuff

        Actually, 100kft doesn't make much of a difference - you still need a lot of fuel to accelerate to to orbital velocity.

        Lots of people looking in to Rockoons - try Wikipedia.

    2. daveake

      Re: Fantastic stuff

      Roughly 1m^3 per kilo. So, erm, big :)

  4. niku
    Thumb Up

    Good News

    So much prefer reading news like this than the other tripe that passes for tech-news these days! Keep it up!

    1. Elmer Phud
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Good News

      Chances are that someone in GCHQ will finally realise what ElReg is up to and slap a D notice on it all as being military spec.

      Well, there must be some firms out there who are looking at their multi-million contracts and feeling vulnerable.

  5. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
    Thumb Up

    Well done!

    That is all.

  6. daveake


    My, one of those balloons seems to have a familiar logo ...

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  8. TheRealRoland


    What's the total weight of all the doodads and gizmos we're shoving into PARIS and LOHAN (fnar). Not tsk-ing, just interested what the total payload would be when it's all done, and if there's a need for a bigger balloon?

  9. Astarte

    At last - Pi(e) in the Sky

    Lovely thought.

    1. daveake

      Re: At last - Pi(e) in the Sky

      I did that pun *months* ago :-) ...

  10. imanidiot Silver badge

    Do you need the Pi

    I'm just wondering, do you really NEED the Pi. Sure it's not extremely big or heavy but I don't think it'll add anything to the mission a simple microcontroller circuit couldn't deliver for a quarter of the weight and power usage.

    1. daveake

      Re: Do you need the Pi

      The Pi is just used on the ground, as a gateway between the Iridium system and the radio mapping system. The flight computer itself is an Arduino Mega.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Do you need the Pi

        Ahh, right, I failed to pick that up from the article.

        I'll get my coat and leave in shame...

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