SolarSurfer Satellite Control

One of the most fun projects that I’ve gotten to work on recently was the SolarSurfer project. A unique aspect of that project which I hadn’t done before was remote control via a satellite connection. The project is extensively documented on Hackaday; check out the logs on satellite comm overview, real-time tracking, and mission simulation. Here is a short summary of the different project aspects: Developed telemetry protocol for bandwidth-constrained…

Django Quick-Start Templates

In the last two years at SpaceX, I have worked on a number of quick turn around web applications. Every time I start a new app, it takes me at least a day or two just to get the essentials in place, even with a framework like Django. In order to aid myself and others in future projects, I’ve taken advantage of Django’s template option to create the django-quick-start-project template…

Arduino and Django Data Logger

In an effort to demonstrate a new django-quick-start package I’m making at work (similar in purpose to pinax, but with some SpaceX-specific packages), I decided to create an Arduino data logger that is viewable through Django. The data from a couple different sensors is first collected with an Arduino. A Python daemon polls the Arduino periodically and asks for new data. The daemon saves this data to the Django database.…

Last Day at Illumin

Today is my last day at Illumin – the online magazine of the Viterbi School of Engineering. I held the position of webmaster for four years, and I like to think that I had a positive effect on the magazine. My biggest achievements during my time at Illumin was rewritting the entire content management system from scratch as well revamping the site styling. The new content management system helps Illumin staff manage…

Presenting BenBeitzel.com

Introducing BenBeitzel.com, the latest creation from JAVConcepts. BenBeitzel.com is the “officially rad website for Benjamin R. Beitzel,” a musician, actor, DJ, and a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. One of my favorite parts about this new website is the videos page. Ben has produced a number of short videos with himself, and with his band Lovenotes. Ben’s videos are creative and innovative, and are certainly a joy a…

New Job at Illumin Magazine

Hello everyone! I have just secured a new job for myself for the next school year. The job is with Illumin Magazine, an online magazine put out by the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. The goal of Illumin is to illustrate the many ways engineering benefits and impacts our daily lives. Illumin articles are created by students of the University of Southern California, and are…