The October recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is the Illinois Space Society, which is a student-run non-profit 501(c)3 aerospace organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. The Illinois Space Society hosts a variety of technical projects and educational outreach programs. One of their largest technical projects, Spaceshot, is aiming to be one of the first collegiate teams to build and launch a two stage rocket to 100km, also known as the Kármán line, the beginning of space.
Over the past two years they’ve been working on creating flight computers that can accurately conduct state estimation at extreme high altitude. The group says “GPS is undoubtedly the most accurate form of positioning we can utilize, but most consumer grade modules are not rated for those extreme altitudes or speeds. Our hope is to use the HackRF One as a GPS simulator to help test our modules in an easily reproducible manner without the need for an expensive test flight. With that said, a HackRF One would also allow us to expand beyond the range of our RTL-SDR to help debug our ESP32-S3 wifi modules and our upcoming wireless 5GHz video systems.” The Illinois Space Society also plans to use the HackRF One we send them to help kickoff their radio club. We look forward to seeing what projects the Illinois Space Society does from here!