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Space Related Instructable - Atmosphere/Pressure Sensors Answered

I am really into rocketry, aerospace engineering and space in general. I have met a few people at my college that are somewhat interested in the same but dont know alot about it. So i thought i could build a few different environment sensors like the astronauts use to simulate/demonstrate a few basics.

For example i wanted to build a few different sensors. But i cant find any instructables to teach me how to make these....Can anyone help or can anyone direct me to a few instructables that could be used to tweak to work for this purpose?

- To help show how the astronauts have to regulate their atmosphere in the ISS or even explain how we don't breathe just oxygen - we breathe a combination of O2 and Nitrogen since Earth's atmosphere is mostly nitrogen.
  • O2 (oxygen) Sensor
  • CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Sensor
  • N (nitrogen) sensor
  • Display to show all sensor data
- To help show how they manage pressure in the ISS and have it regulated by an airlock.
  • Atmospheric Pressure Sensor and Display

9 Replies

Udon (author)2017-10-23

Cosmic radiation detector!

Build an electroscope! It literally can be built from junk, and it hardly requires any complicated hand tools.

But the possibilities for teaching physics are vast.

Charges, forces, current, capacitance...even ionizing radiation.


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caitlinsdad (author)2015-10-20

Look up High Altitude Ballooning. There are many organizations, clubs, and hobbyists devoted to doing space experiments and have documented them. Good luck.

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acadena2 (author)caitlinsdad2015-10-20

I have looked up high altitude ballooning however i keep getting referred to arduino/sparkfun/adafruit boards and told to go buy those. I cant seem to find a source that will teach me how to build them myself rather than buy them for $75+...

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caitlinsdad (author)acadena22015-10-21

There is a cost when starting to get into electronics. With microcontrollers you usually need to add on the sensor components and related hardware. GPS modules, datalogging shields, and even a simple thermal sensor will drive up how much you have to spend real fast. Specialty things like gas or pressure sensors are probably expensive and something you really can't build without a machine shop or already have high end test equipment to calibrate.

Raspberry pi and arduino and all of their variants are suggested to use because they are "affordable" but now you can appreciate why it cost billions to send up a rocketship.

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acadena2 (author)caitlinsdad2015-10-26

ok i see yes i understand. Now that i know most sensors will be more expensive then ill just wait and learn arduino first and then move on to more advanced electronics. Like i said, i just wanted to build a gas sensors to tell you how much of each gas was in the environment to demonstrate how the ISS and astronaut habitats are regulated when they have to keep O2 at 20% and the pressure at 14.7 PSI. And i would like to say i have found some gas sensors pretty cheap but i dont know if they would actually just sense the gas or tell you how much of the gas it present in the environment. Would you know anything about these?

Gas Sensors:



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caitlinsdad (author)acadena22015-10-26

The way the use "gas" is pretty specific to the types of gas vapor the sensor can detect like carbon monoxide, alcohol, some flammable stuff...read the specs or datasheet. If you want a cheap breathalyzer or smoke/CO alarm that's about the most you can do with it. They have oxygen sensors in cars for the engine but they may be pricier and need to be hooked up to more advanced electronics. And then you need your gas pressure sensors to read the pressure, all contained in your pressure vessel to act as the sealed environment you are testing for.

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acadena2 (author)Kiteman2015-10-26

Wow! No i havent seen this one before, i do have the one for atmospheric monitoring but it mostly speaks about building radiation sensors....-.-

But thanks for the suggestion, this will definitely be my next purchase.

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Kiteman (author)2015-10-21

My take is to focus your build on the flight, rather than the sensing.

You can get a nice toy for about $98 called PocketLab that records altitude, acceleration, temperature, pressure and magnetic fields.

Be aware, though, that it must be within bluetooth range of a phone to record data.


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