As citizen scientists begin developing experiments to fly on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft (see our Call For Experiments), the range of hardware options for payload developers is rapidly increasing. Within the last month, two new microcontroller boards have appeared on the market.

Arduino Due 32-bit microcontroller board

The long-awaited 32-bit Arduino Due microcontroller board has been released and is available for purchase through Makershed, Sparkfun, and Adafruit. Retail price is $49.95.

Running at 84 MHz, the Arduino Due offers a significant performance boost over 8-bit Arduino boards such as the Arduino Uno (16 MHz). The Arduino Due uses the same Maker-friendly Arduino integrated development environment as the Arduino Uno. It also offers API-level software compatibility and compatibility with most Arduino hardware shields – all factors which minimize the learning curve for Arduino developers.

The Arduino Due provides 512 KB of flash memory and two backs of static RAM (64 KB and 32 KB). Full specifications can be found here.

Netduino 2 Plus .NET-compatible microcontroller board

Not to be outdone, Secret Labs LLC has released the 168-MHz Netduino Plus 2, with 1 megabyte of flash memory and 192 KB of RAM. The Netduino series of 32-bit microcontroller boards are compatible with most Arduino shields but run the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework. This makes Netduino a good option for developers who are familiar with the Microsoft .NET platform and Visual Studio development environment.

The Netduino Plus 2 retails for $59.95 and is available through Amazon and Adafruit.

It’s our hope that citizen scientists will try out a wide range of microcontroller and microprocessor options during our initial flight campaign. We will be publishing a guide to available processor options in the near future.

Written by Astro1 on November 21st, 2012 , Electronics Tags:

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