WIP: Raspberry Pi Build


3d Printed Astro Pi Case
3d Printed Astro-Pi Case

This Raspberry will be my citizen-science build, where I can participate in the scientific research process. These days anyone can volunteer to help scientific researchers answer real-world questions. The Astro-Pi case was designed to fly citizen-science in space, and has room for display, buttons and sensors. The original was machined-aluminum; mine is plastic. I have it wall-mounted on an DIN rail.

It's currently running BIONIC for World Community Grid - which doesn't require any sensors, but I'd like to get a whole space-station's worth of sensors going at some point. The Raspberry Pi supports lots of inexpensive hardware add-ons and free open-source software for nearly any interest - cosmic rays, population ecology, climate and human health, to name a few. 

It's very early days, but another growing area of interest is open-networks. Imagine being part of a public mesh-net that's free. Today most people pay big fees to subscribe to the internet, but someday we probably won't. Mesh networking involves evolving hardware, open-standards, security, and government regulations - fascinating stuff. 

I've always been interested in what a spare CPU could do given enough time, and have frequently used the idea to automate parts of my job. My absolute favorite approach is just to test randomly generated solutions. Imagine the world's least efficient, but dedicated scientist. Employers loved it, and soon they'd be wheeling all the spare hardware into my office. 
April is Citizen Science Month, and CitizenScienceMonth.org has a list of events for anyone planning a Citizen Science project or event. Lot's of these projects run on phone apps and don't require any special hardware. Citizen Science is a way to collect data, but also involves the public in scientific issues -getting to choose projects, learning details, and watching the slow march of progress. 


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