Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GPS Simulator

Work has started on a GPS simulator that will eventually become a NearSys kit. The simulator creates the GPS sentences that a near spacecraft will see on a typical mission. The ascent rate and burst altitude are all programmable. It's also possible to create a lose of satellite lock.

The GPS simulator will allow anyone with a programmable flight computer to test their flight code on the ground. It will also let anyone with an APRS tracker observe the behavior of their tracker without leaving the ground.

The simulation will reduce the risk of mission failure due to unforeseen behavior caused by high altitude GPS sentences. It also will let inidividuals run a test on their entire near spacecraft to observe that it will function as desired. Tests like this increase the number of successful near space missions.

Next up is the near space simulator, a totable thermal vacuum chamber called Near Space in a Can.

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