Ordered 3 protos of the MarsaNet GPS (MrfGPS) boards.  The MarsaNet GPS appliance will be a little different than currently available GPS solutions on the market now.

Current rocket GPS systems on the market now usually combine the GPS and transmitter on the same board and send data down to a complimentary reciever making an integrated standalone solution.  Nothing wrong with that.

The MarsaNet GPS module is a network appliance and works as a GPS data server.  So it simply consists of a GPS module (u-blox module) and the low power MRF transciever that connects to the network.  The GPS data for location tracking gets to the ground by using the MarsaNet transmitter on board the rocket.  In addition the Marsa54L will also use the GPS data in Kalman filterning mode as another data input to determine the rockets apogee and altitude.

As with all the other MarsaNet gadgets the GPS module can be placed anywhere on the rocket to maximize convience and reliability and to minimize interference from other RF and electronic devices on your rocket.

When or how will my older Marsa54L be able to use MarsaNet?  I get that question often.

The upgrade process for 54L to 54L-MarsaNet is a little more complicated than regular upgrades.  The reason is that channel setup and initialization is stored in EEPROM memory of the processor instead of the PROGRAM memory.  Normal firmware upgrades only change the program.  Because Marsa54L MarsaNet has 9 channels of programming instead of 5 this means the EEPROM structure needs to be changed during the upgrade.  Not a big problem but the firmware upgrade is a little more complicated.

Today I tried the version of this upgrade and it almost worked!  So we are close.

Now that the MarsaNet initial launch process is settled down we can get back to work on this upgrade.  Hopefully in the next week or so the upgrade firmware can be thoroughly tested, allow for a little bug fixes and release shortly thereafter.  Stay tuned.

More software development on the telemetry radios today.  The MarsaNet telemetry radios are not simply one-way links of data to the ground but rather devices on the network.  This means there is traffic going both ways including traffic to configure, find and validate connections.

When the Marsa54L starts it looks for devices on the MarsaNet network.  Pings are sent back and forth to validate devices.  When a telemetry transmitter is detected the Marsa54L instructs the telemetry transmitter to see if there is a ground receiver on the network.  A ping is sent to the ground receiver and the Marsa54L waits for a return. If one is received then the Marsa54L knows there is a ground receiver on the net, if there isn't one then it knows that also and may affect how it deals with that situation.

MarsaSystems is currently defining all the posssible telemetry use cases and designing the software accordingly. System should be ready for beta in a very short time.