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Portland Linux/Unix Group: Russell's Excellent High Altitude Balloon Adventure

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Portland Linux/Unix Group General Meeting Announcement

Who: Russell Senior
What: Russell's Excellent High Altitude Balloon Adventure
Where: https://meet.jit.si/pdxlinux
When: Thursday, October 7th, 2021 at 7pm
Why: The pursuit of technology freedom

Russell volunteers with the Portland State Aerospace Society's (PSAS) OreSat program as an Industry Advisor. PSAS is a rocket club at Portland State University. The OreSat program works towards having small interactive satellites put into orbit by friendly launch services. OreSat currently consists of three small satellites based on a common design, the first one is due to launch in January. Russell's role is to help out with a system called dxwifi, a long distance S-band communication link. The goal is for ground-based student groups around the state to receive live video broadcast from orbit as the satellite passes overhead. Earlier this year, a high school student applied and got our satellite a ride on a high altitude balloon through a NASA program. One of the goals was to capture wifi data being transmitted by the payload. Because of the distances involved, this requires aiming a directional antenna at the balloon. This talk will tell the story of how Russell waded his way towards a solution using math, some hand tools, open-source software and some ingenuity.

About Russell:

Russell has been a Linux user since 1992. He worked for a few decades doing data management, programming, and analysis for a small scientific consulting firm. Since 2005 he has been deeply involved in the Personal Telco Project and trying to bring about telecommunications policy in the users interests, while also hacking on router firmware. Since 2018, he's been involved in an effort to bring at-cost fiber infrastructure to the Portland metro area, Municipal Broadband PDX.

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