2017-05-06 10:45 to 2017-05-06 12:15

Experience level


Session Track


Flying Rockets with Free Hardware and Free Software

High power model rocketry is a hobby that lives at the intersection of engineering, craftsmanship, and visceral thrill.  While designing and building airframes capable of exceeding the speed of sound on the way to seemingly unreachable heights is a big part of the challenge, rocket enthusiasts also depend on electronics and software to ensure safety and return each airframe to be flown again.

In addtion to other things they are well-know for in the Free Software world, Bdale and Keith share a passion for rocketry. They both earned the highest level of certification in the hobby, and volunteer their time to local and national rocketry clubs and events including the annual NASA student launch.  For about the last decade, they have also collaborated on the design of completely open avionics systems for the hobby, under the name Altus Metrum, LLC. 

This session will explain what's so exciting about the rocketry hobby (lots of pictures and maybe even some video included!).  Along the way, you'll learn how everything Bdale and Keith do from designing the rockets and propellants, to designing and manufacturing their electronics, to running a successful open hardware business, is all accomplished with 100% Free Software!