Broadcast 2743 Rishabh Maharaja

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Guest:  Rishabh Maharaja;  Topics:  Student driven Project Hermes program to establish a Wi-Fi network in space for system bus use.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See   

We welcomed Rishabh Maharaja to the program to discuss his Project Hermes for undergraduate aerospace engineering students at Capitol Technology University.  You can follow along by viewing Project Hermes videos on YouTube by searching for Project Hermes.  In addition, you can read about Project Hermes here: 





During our 1 hour 20 minute program without a break, Professor Maharaja described Project Hermes which is designed to establish a Wi-Fi network in space for system bus use.  Rishabh used Android smartphones and the Iridium network, specifically Iridium Go to make the TCP/ip connection.  Our guest spent time explaining this to us plus why they used Android over other platforms.  He said for now the were using simple telemetry but he wanted to see the project evolve to advanced telemetry as his vision is to have an effective bus for allowing commercial satellite control to its fullest potential.  We also talked about some of the challenges to do this in GEO and beyond as compared to LEO. 

Listeners asked our guest several email questions.  Sandy in Boston wanted to know if eventually a space tourist could connect to this system to stream live images from their space tourism ride.  A student listener wanted to know if this class was online for others outside Capitol Technology University to take.  Several times during the discussion I brought up the fact that this was an undergraduate class and I inquired about pre-requisites or any type of needed background or high school class work.  You might be surprised by Rishabh' s response o my questions regarding this being an undergraduate class. 

We also talked about pairing to the network.  Rishabh explained payload pairing on the ground and with the payload via  Iridium Go.  He also talked about the orbital challenges and the problem of latency.  In response to latency questions, he mentioned the Delay Tolerant Network (DTN) under development.  If the DTN interest you, do a Google search for "delay tolerant network" as there has been much written about its development.

Several times during our discussion Rishabh referenced using the TCP/IP network for this project and creating Wi-Fi in space for satellite system bus usage.  Other listener questions asked about hacking a satellite, security protocols, the use of a common interface, and other cell phone like satellite communication projects like PhoneSat which was a NASA Ames project.  Cubesats were also discussed as they are integral to Project Hermes at this time.

Rishabh was asked about the NASA Goddard EO-1 mission which was launched in 2000 for testing new technologies.  It has also been useful for obtaining important disaster information.  Our guest said it had run out of fuel but was still operating though its orbit was decaying as its mission life was ending.

Listener Randy asked if Apollo era computers could do Project Hermes or if the Android platform represented a significant increase in technology and capability over the computers that took us to the Moon.  Don't miss what Rishabh had to say about this in response to Randy. 

As the program was ending, we talked about several of the YouTube videos for Project Hermes plus their Facebook presence.  As you will see if you check out the YouTube videos per above, you will see the relationship with the University of Colorado Boulder ROCKSAT program and RockOn.  We also talked about using high altitude balloons over the use of sounding rockets but as you will hear, both were used and both have advantages and disadvantages. 

In summary, our guest said their main goal was proof of concept and to use off the shelf technology.  Our guest mentioned RF issues in the ascent stage plus he mentioned the specifics of some of the off the shelf hardware used on Project Hermes.  He also mentioned that their total payload size was about 15 pounds.

Please post your comments/questions in the comments section of this program archived on TSS website.  You can reach our guest through me at





Hermes Project for using cell phones for getting data directly from space

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25 Jul 2016 Rishabh Maharaja
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