Photo credit: Adam Greig (CC BY-SA 2.0)

GitHub Repository:

"Cambridge University Spaceflight is a student run society founded in 2006 comprising undergraduates and postgraduates from many disciplines. We design, build and test high altitude balloons, high powered rockets, and other related experiments. Our main aims are to inspire and provide practical experience to Cambridge University students." (old website)

As a core member of the CUSF committee, I was involved with the design, construction, programming and testing/flight of various avionics projects flown on rockets and high altitude balloons — some examples are listed on this site. These projects have involved:

  • Writing embedded firmware in C using ChibiOS RTOS. I tended to use ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers such as the STM32F405RGT6.
  • Designing circuit schematics and two-layer PCBs using KiCad. These boards often involved RF and high speed digital traces, so proper routing and grounding was important.
  • Developing Python apps (e.g. GUIs and USB backends) for various society projects, such as an attempt at time-of-flight trilateration to track the position of our Martlet III rocket.
  • Collaborating with schools and companies to assist with the construction, launch, tracking and recovery of high altitude balloons as part of CUSF’s outreach programme.
  • Managing a team working on the Jerboa superpressure balloon project.
  • A trip to Black Rock desert, Nevada to launch Martlet III.

As a purely extracurricular activity, involvement with the society allowed me to gain practical experience outside of my degree.