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Project Kessel Run

By Chris Bensen

If you prefer you can read this blog post on GitHub here.

Rockets are cool, so why not create a cloud connected rocket? I’m calling this one Kessel Run. Happy May the 4th be with you! This is an IoT rocket.

The flight computer is an Arduino + LoRa trasceiver + GPS + Acceleromiter broadcasting to a base station running a Raspberry Pi + LoRa transceiver connected to my cell phone’s hotspot to the internet, and sending everything to the Oracle Cloud.

Prerequisites

To build one you will need a few things.

1. You have an OCI account or a Free Tier Account.

1. Get the parts from here.

2. Download the 3D printable files from Thingiverse.

Building the Rocket

Assembly is fairly stright forward. Download the 3D printable files and the fins. If you have access to a laser cutter it’s super simple, otherwise print out the rocketfins.pdf, place it over some thing balsawood and use a craft knife to cut out three wings as stabilizers.

The nose cone comes in two pieces. To print those, I used a .4mm nozzle. If you add electronics you can also print out the battery holder, or if you use a different battery you’ll want to customize it. An easy hack is to attach the wires to the ends of the battery using electrical tape.

Flight Computer

For this step you’ll need the following items from the prerequisites above:

Wiring of the Flight Computer

Arduino Micro -> LoRa
MISO-pin 50 ->LoRa MISO
MOSI-pin 51 ->LoRa MOSI
SCK- Pin 52 ->LoRa SCK
Pin 9 ->LoRa CS
Pin 8 ->LoRa RST
Pin 7 ->LoRa G0
3.3v ->LoRa 3.3v
GND ->Lora GND

Arduino Micro -> GPS
Pin 3 -> ADXL313 SCL
Pin 2 -> ADXL313 SDA
3.3v ->ADXL313 3.3v
GND ->ADXL313 GND

Arduino Micro -> GPS
Pin 6 -> GPS TX
Pin 5 -> GPS RX
3.3v ->GPS 3.3v
GND ->GPS GND

I used the 433 MHz LoRa transeiver and it needs an antenna. For the 433 MHz band the wavelength is 299.792.458 / 433.000.000 = 69,24 cm. A quarter is 17,31 cm which is a good length so I cut a wire that length and soldered it to the antenna of both the trasmitter and receiver.

Prototype Breadboard of Flight Computer

The flight computer needed to be shrunk down, so I soldered on some headers and wired up a prototype breadboard.

Base Station

The base station is a Raspbery Pi connected to a LoRa transeiver which is connected to a phone via the phones mobile hotspot. The transceiver must be the same as the one installed in the flight computer.

Lora Transceiver
Any Pi 3 or Pi 4 will work.

Pi -> LoRa
Pi Pin MOSI -> LoRa MOSI
Pi Pin MISO -> LoRa MISO
Pi Pin SCK -> LoRa SCK
Pi Pin 25 -> LoRa CS
Pi Pin 5 -> LoRa RST
Pi Pin CE1 -> LoRa G0
Pi Pin 3.3v -> LoRa VIN
Pi Pin GND -> LoRa GND

May The Source Be With You

Upload the following sketch to the Arduino. Note that you will also need the files lora.h and lora.cpp.

cloudrocket.ino

//Board: Arduino Mega 2560
//Processor: ATMega 2560
// LoRa
// https://www.adafruit.com/product/3073
// ATMega2650 ->LoRa
// MISO-pin 50 ->LoRa MISO
// MOSI-pin 51 ->LoRa MOSI
// SCK- Pin 52 ->LoRa SCK
// Pin 7 ->LoRa CS
// Pin 6 ->LoRa RST
// Pin 2 ->LoRa G0
// SS- pin 53 //N/A
//
// Arduino Micro ->LoRa
// MISO-pin 50 ->LoRa MISO
// MOSI-pin 51 ->LoRa MOSI
// SCK- Pin 52 ->LoRa SCK
// Pin 9 ->LoRa CS
// Pin 8 ->LoRa RST
// Pin 7 ->LoRa G0
// 3.3v ->LoRa 3.3v
// GND ->Lora GND
#include <SPI.h>
#include “LoRa.h”
const int csPin = 9; // LoRa radio chip select
const int resetPin = 8; // LoRa radio reset
const int irqPin = 7; // interrupt request pin
const byte localAddress = 0xBB;
const byte destinationAddress = 0xFF;
const byte syncWord = 0xB4; // Sync word (network ID)
const byte spreadingFactor = 7; //spreading factor (6–12)
// Accelerometer
// https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-qwiic-3-axis-accelerometer-adxl313-hookup-guide?_ga=2.60797357.1096858093.1651183108-2026033215.1651006494
// Arduino Micro -> Accelerometer
// Pin 3 -> ADXL313 SCL
// Pin 2 -> ADXL313 SDA
// 3.3v ->ADXL313 3.3v
// GND ->ADXL313 GND
#include <Wire.h>
#include <SparkFunADXL313.h>
ADXL313 myAdxl;
const int accelerometerIC2Address = 0x1D;
// GPS
// https://www.adafruit.com/product/746
// Arduino Micro -> GPS
// Pin 6 -> GPS TX
// Pin 5 -> GPS RX
// 3.3v ->GPS 3.3v
// GND ->GPS GND
#include <Adafruit_GPS.h>
#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial GPSSerial(6, 5);
Adafruit_GPS GPS(&GPSSerial);
uint32_t timer = millis();
void setup() {
Serial.begin(115200); // initialize serial
// — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
// Initialize LoRa
Serial.println(“LoRa Duplex Init”);
LoRa.setPins(csPin, resetPin, irqPin); // set CS, reset, IRQ pin
if (!LoRa.begin(433E6)) { // 915E6)) { // initialize ratio at 915 MHz
Serial.println(“Error LoRa init failed”);
while (true);
}
LoRa.setSyncWord(syncWord);
LoRa.setSpreadingFactor(spreadingFactor);
LoRa.setTxPower(20, true);
LoRa.setTimeout(10); //set Stream timeout of 10ms
Serial.println(“LoRa init succeeded”); //set the I/O pin modes:
// — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
// Initialize Accelerometer
Serial.println(“Accelerometer Init”);
Wire.begin(accelerometerIC2Address);
//Begin communication over I2C
if (myAdxl.begin() == false) {
Serial.println(“Error accelerometer init failed”);
while(1);
}
Serial.print(“Accelerometer init succeeded”);
myAdxl.measureModeOn(); // wakes up the sensor from standby and put it into measurement mode
// — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
// Initialize GPS
Serial.println(“GPS Software Serial”);
GPS.begin(9600);
// uncomment this line to turn on RMC (recommended minimum) and GGA (fix data) including altitude
GPS.sendCommand(PMTK_SET_NMEA_OUTPUT_RMCGGA);
// uncomment this line to turn on only the “minimum recommended” data
//GPS.sendCommand(PMTK_SET_NMEA_OUTPUT_RMCONLY);
// For parsing data, we don’t suggest using anything but either RMC only or RMC+GGA since
// the parser doesn’t care about other sentences at this time
// Set the update rate
GPS.sendCommand(PMTK_SET_NMEA_UPDATE_1HZ); // 1 Hz update rate
// For the parsing code to work nicely and have time to sort thru the data, and
// print it out we don’t suggest using anything higher than 1 Hz
// Request updates on antenna status, comment out to keep quiet
GPS.sendCommand(PGCMD_ANTENNA);
delay(1000);
// Ask for firmware version
GPSSerial.println(PMTK_Q_RELEASE);
Serial.println(“Setup Complete”);
Serial.flush();
}
int counter = 0;void sendData(String name, String value) {
String packet = “,” + name + “,” + value;
Serial.print(packet);
LoRa.print(packet);
}
void loop() {
char c = GPS.read();
if ©
Serial.write(c);
// if a sentence is received, we can check the checksum, parse it…
if (GPS.newNMEAreceived()) {
// a tricky thing here is if we print the NMEA sentence, or data
// we end up not listening and catching other sentences!
// so be very wary if using OUTPUT_ALLDATA and trytng to print out data
//Serial.println(GPS.lastNMEA()); // this also sets the newNMEAreceived() flag to false
if (!GPS.parse(GPS.lastNMEA())) { // this also sets the newNMEAreceived() flag to false
Serial.println(“GPS FAILED”);
return; // we can fail to parse a sentence in which case we should just wait for another
}
}
if (!myAdxl.dataReady()) {// check data ready interrupt, note, this clears all other int bits in INT_SOURCE reg
Serial.println(“Waiting for dataReady.”);
}
else {
myAdxl.readAccel();
// send packet
LoRa.beginPacket();
LoRa.print(“BEGIN,”);
sendData(“id”, String(counter));
sendData(“src”, String(localAddress));
sendData(“dest”, String(destinationAddress));
sendData(“x”, String(myAdxl.x));
sendData(“y”, String(myAdxl.y));
sendData(“z”, String(myAdxl.z));
sendData(“day”, String(GPS.day, DEC));
sendData(“month”, String(GPS.month, DEC));
sendData(“year”, String(GPS.year, DEC));
sendData(“fix”, String((int)GPS.fix));
sendData(“quality”, String((int)GPS.fixquality));
if (GPS.fix) {
sendData(“latitude”, String(GPS.latitude, 4));
sendData(“lat”, String(GPS.lat));
sendData(“longitude”, String(GPS.longitude, 4));
sendData(“long”, String(GPS.lon));
sendData(“knots”, String(GPS.speed));
sendData(“angle”, String(GPS.angle));
sendData(“altitude”, String(GPS.altitude));
sendData(“satellites”, String((int)GPS.satellites));
}
LoRa.print(“,END”);
Serial.println();
LoRa.endPacket();
}
counter++;
delay(50);
}
lora.py

import time
import busio
from digitalio import DigitalInOut, Direction, Pull
import board
import adafruit_rfm9x
import requests
import os
import json
URL = os.getenv(‘URL’)
print(URL)
if (URL is None):
print(“URL environment variable not found”)
flight_file = open(“lora.log”, “a+”)# Configure LoRa Radio
CS = DigitalInOut(board.CE1)
RESET = DigitalInOut(board.D25)
spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, MOSI=board.MOSI, MISO=board.MISO)
rfm9x = adafruit_rfm9x.RFM9x(spi, CS, RESET, 433.0)#915.0)
rfm9x.tx_power = 23
def get_val(data, name):
index = data.index(name)
if index != None:
return data[index + 1]
return Nonedef make_json(data, fields):
result = {}
for i in range(len(fields)):
name = fields[i]
result[name] = get_val(data, name)
return resultwhile True:
packet = None
rssi = rfm9x.last_rssi
# check for packet rx
packet = rfm9x.receive(with_header=True)
if packet is None:
print(“waiting”)
else:
try:
print(packet)
packet_text = str(packet, “ascii”)
print(packet_text)
data = packet_text.split(“,”)
print(data)
print(get_val(data, “x”), get_val(data, “y”), get_val(data, “z”))fields = [‘id’, ‘x’, ‘y’, ‘z’]
j = make_json(data, fields)
j[“signal”] = “{0} dB”.format(rssi)
if (URL is not None):
response = requests.post(URL, json = j)
flight_file.write(json.dumps(j))
flight_file.write(“,\n”)
except:
print(“except”)

Copy lora.py to your Pi.

Cloud

Run with python3 lora.py. If you create the environment variable export URL=<endpoint> all the data will be streamed to the REST endoint. This requires an Oracle Cloud account. You can get one here: Free Tier Account.

Stay tuned for future directions how to set up the cloud for streaming.

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Chris Bensen

Chris Bensen

I make stuff for myself and Oracle. Creator of the Worlds Largest Raspberry Pi Cluster and Lego Computer.