Start From Observation — About Pramantha’s First Data Product.

What’s the Story?

Intro

Project Chronos started in April 2014 at Rome Space Apps Challenge and uncontrollably developed further by meeting new people on the road in these last two years; you can read stories, faces and activities in the microblog. We wanted to create something that could make people closer to space exploration.

Let’s build a spacecraft…

Space exploration has always been the leading field for any kind of technological equipment. Space travel is usually the first fire-proof for every device we hold or we will take advantage of in our daily life. Anything electronic we own has been made with components tested or derived from something that has been set on orbit during its product development lifetime.

This incredibly fascinating industry in these days is experiencing a flip-over due to terrible breakthroughs.

The fact we are interested in: commercial-off-the-shelves standardized products are set on orbit thanks to always more popular techniques, design and approaches. This is the case of ArduSat (an Arduino-based picosatellite), or SmartSat (a smartphone-based one), or the hundreds of Cubesat (the leading standard for satellites that weight less than 1 Kilo) missions that have already been launched by public and private launchers; these are mostly managed by universities and public institutions. It’s a news of these days that the first historical NASA SLS (the “big rocket to Mars”) mission will carry cubesats to the Moon. University course-level spacecraft built on the Cubesat blueprint can be build for a cost of around 5000$.

Why not kicking this thing out of the atmosphere?

It is probable that lifting a nanosat to orbit will be incredibly cheap in the very next years. This will be made possible by a new generation of highly cost-attentive launchers (like SpaceX’s Falcon-9 or Amazon’s Blue Origin) that will probably let a 5 Kg spacecraft to be lifted to space with less than 10000$ (probably also incredibly less than that). A lot of chips and boards and sensors can be put into 5 Kilos! This actually opens thousands of new possibilities for challenging businesses to research and operate.

We are doing super-cool!!! But now?

The most interesting activity in my field of activity is information retrieval. How this technology can be used to retrieve, downlink, store and most importantly serve data about equipment, tools, Earth, Space and, in the end, Universe? How can this data be used and finally marketed?

How big need to be a company to actually be in the possibility to accomplish a minimal level of business in this field (data providing through standardized interfaces)? Can a crowdsourced company, supporting and supported to/by different scientific projects and open source communities, engaging thousands of hobbyists researchers and students, be a facilitator for economic relations and value production?

The data-product presented below (see For Developers) is the first start for a response to these questions. Let people to access space activities’ information easily and with some sort of tutoring (a keyword and search system) to find the right resources to understand what space exploration is about and how is going to evolve in these first years of activity of commercial spaceflight.

What’s next?

Once we have disseminated this information and driven attention? Let’s develop Pramantha intiative! Pramantha is a completely self-financed business project based on volunteering. Pramantha was born alongside Project Chronos’ activities, a future-futuristic and cutting-edge design experience headed to build a data retrieving and APIs business for “space data” (the programmatic use of scientific and operational data coming from space missions inside data-products); full with visualizations, charts and… games.

Like a contemporary piece-of-art spotted on the streets of many towns, it catches eyes or sticks in the mind during daily life tasks. It can be experiment, gaming or simply an exploring deployment placed among devices in Cyberspace.

Want to know more? You can ask for a plan.

For Developers

The product

I have published this REST mini-API for the purposes of a semantic engine: http://semantics.projectchronos.eu/
You can find the Swagger-based documentation at: http://semantics.projectchronos.eu/docs

The structure of the response body is like:

{
“articles”: [
{
“keywords”: <the keywords related to an article>,
“article”: <the data about the article>
}, …
],
“next”: <the next 25 articles in the pagination>
}

The API allows also reverse searching using keywords, as you can read in the documentation there is the Filter Articles endpoint.

The same endpoint serves also other filtering functionalities like: filter by type (one of the type of Article Object like ‘feed’, ‘movie’, ‘media’, ‘tweet’, ‘fb’, ‘paper’, ‘pdf’). You can experiment with the other endpoints and see what comes out. The graph on which the API runs is growing pretty fast, so, most probable, the more the time pass, the more fun!

Going On…

Next post will be for techies, about how to I managed to publish NASA OCO2’s big data (with some hands-on about my repository). Whoever wants to join: this is the right time.

This work by http://pramantha.net is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.