With a Cosmoneer Proto, you will:
- Learn how spacecraft subsystems work
- Experience spacecraft design challenges
- Learn spacecraft guidance & navigation
- Learn how to apply robotics at the spacecraft level
- Be your own mission control
Whether for your mad scientist lab or a classroom or a makerspace, the Cosmoneer bridges the gap between your spacecraft dreams and real hands on hardware.
The Cosmoneer Proto consists of these basic spacecraft systems: Command & Control, Power, Attitude Control and Communications using low cost components, 3D printing, Open Source Hardware and Software.
In the same manner that spacecraft are inaccessible once they are launched, the Cosmoneer is designed to be hands off while providing as real as possible facsimile of a spacecraft in space.
Wireless induction power closely imitates solar power, suspension in the yaw axis simulates zero gravity and the string provides a low friction environment. The micro controller acts as a CPU, controlling other components and systems programmatically.
Attitude control is achieved via heading measurements from a compass and a CMG (Control Moment Gyro) that provides inertia and torque, or the ability to turn the Cosmoneer without touching anything, imitating the same systems used on the International Space Station. The CMG’s torque output is controlled by Pulse Width Modulation to a servo and brushless DC Motor speed controller.
Line-of-sight communications is achieved via infrared serial communications, which requires a degree of pointing accuracy and repeatability. Leveraging a proven protocol based on infrared, called Serial IrDa, the complexities of establishing a reliable link are offloaded to a chip that manages the connection. By using infrared very little power is used to maintain communications.
We’ve packed quite a bit into this simple, hackable design. We used portions of the main circuit board as attachment points for the two front support PCBs, should you choose to add sensors or other electronics.
All kits (assembled or unassembled) include the following parts:
Zero-G Power Stand
- Hanger Arm (Upper & Lower sections, two connecting clips)
- Two front supports
- Three feet
- Hanger support ring
- Three zip ties
- Inductive Power TX board, coil & female power socket (with nut)
- Power TX board cover
- Hanger spool, hook and thread
- 12v 1A 120vac wall adapter
- 100mm acrylic sphere w/rubber alignment feet kit
- Mainboard w/2x attached vertical prototype PCBs
- Mainboard support frame w/2x attached prototype PCBs, 1x acrylic dashboard w/2x screws & nuts
- Power RX board, connector & coil attached to support plate and front PCB support arms
- Control Moment Gyro (Servo w/screw & brushless motor, Motor speed controller, Superburst battery replacer board & penny balancer
- Sphereless hanger kit (hanger, 2x pcb supports, 2x screws/nuts, 2x screws/nuts/washers)
- 0.96″ I2C OLED board with connector
- Serial IrDa breakout board, 6pin male header, 6pin 90deg male header
- USB cable & FTDI programming board
We’ve come to realize that a project of this magnitude can’t be done in a vacuum. Space is hard, and simulating it is nearly as difficult. But the rewards of designing a desktop spacecraft simulator is something we wanted to share with the world. Want to do more with a Cosmoneer Proto? Simply download the 3D design files, schematics or other tools required to help you modify them to suit your project/mission needs. We’ve got all of our source files available on GitHub and a discussion forum for sharing of ideas, challenges and breakthroughs waiting for you!
If you’d like to review the current files, you’ll find them here:
This is open source hardware as defined by the Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Definition 1.0
- Documentation under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License
- Source code is under the following license: GNU General Public License, version 3 (GPL-3.0)
Using the Arduino Application, you can program your Cosmoneer Proto to execute many spacecraft missions right on your desktop!
You’ll use the on-board micro-controller to interface basic spacecraft systems: Command & Control, Power, Attitude Control and Communications. All of these systems are represented in the diagram below, using as few components as possible.
Building upon the inertial guidance and infrared communications, users can team up and experience spacecraft constellations via data relay races and other spacecraft mission challenges.