Feeds

LOHAN will return to Earth by flying (open) sourcer

Our space beauty gets a bit of geeky goodness inside her

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

We at the El Reg Special Projects Bureau are delighted to welcome the OpenPilot initiative aboard our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) programme.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicThe chaps from OpenPilot got in touch to say they reckoned their CopterControl board (pictured below) could do the job of guiding the Vulture 2 aircraft back to terra firma following its high-altitude, rocket-powered departure from the LOHAN launch platform.

In case you're not up to speed on just how the launch bit might work, there are some initial reader thoughts right here.

Once it's burnt its rocket propellant, the Vulture 2 will return to Earth under autopilot control. There are a few Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems out there, but OpenPilot's open source credentials tickled our inner geek.

The CopterControl boardThe blurb explains: "OpenPilot is a next-generation Open Source UAV autopilot, it is a highly capable platform for multi-rotor craft, helicopters as well as fixed wing aircraft. It has been designed from the ground up by a community of passionate developers from around the globe, its core design principals are of quality and ease of use.

"Simplicity does not come with any compromises either: with no hard-coded settings, a complete flight plan scripting language and other powerful features, OpenPilot is an extremely capable UAV autopilot platform."

Here's an example of what OpenPilot can do, in this case stabilising a Zagi flying wing:

OpenPilot's Gary Mortimer described his fellow developers as "very excited" to get to grips with LOHAN and her mighty orbs. He noted: "Several technical issues face the team not least of which is the lack of atmosphere for flying surfaces to grab hold of."

Accordingly, Gary reckons he's going to need plenty of developers to chip in their expertise for the task ahead. If you fancy getting involved, contact OpenPilot here. ®

A tip of the hat to our LOHAN associatesOpenPilot

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.