Requiem for a Space Elevator

A project log for TrillSat

Texting Without Cell Towers, Power Grid, or the Internet: IoT meets AX.25 Aboard an Arboreal Space Elevator

Lee DjavaherianLee Djavaherian 09/07/2018 at 10:520 Comments

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is said to launch a tiny space elevator next week.

Just like TRILLSAT-1, it isn't a "real" space elevator, as this is still the domain of science fiction, but it serves as a miniature test platform.  But the Japanese spacecraft is said to be the first experiment of a tethered "elevator movement" in actual space, which is pretty cool.

My TrillSat project will no longer be updated on this project page, and any future updates will resume on its main site at  I plan to take a long break before I resume, as this competition sucked most of the fun out of it for me.

TrillSat's latest subsystem #Tethered Haptics Using Morse Pulses was a project page I specifically created for the Human-Computer Interface Challenge (since the judges ignored TrillSat completely in the first 3 challenges), so this actually marks the 4th loss for TrillSat in a row.

As evident from my log entry back in July, the 2018 Hackaday Prize competition has been one of the most disappointing experiences in my life, something I will never repeat, as I rarely extend myself or personal projects in this way.  I was overjoyed back in March 2018 when the competition was first announced to find out that TrillSat qualified for 4 of the 5 challenges and felt like the luckiest person in the competition.  It is inconceivable to me that all 80 of the winning projects so far could have beaten TrillSat on merit--and this prevented it from even entering the finals.

The only reason that I decided to put in the final effort for the 4th challenge was mainly a matter of principle--it served to complete what I originally set out to do back in March.  Suffice it to say, while TrillSat is an open-hardware, power-harvesting, robotic platform with numerous human-computer interfaces and thus directly qualified for 4 of the 5 challenges, it is definitely not a musical instrument and won't be entered into the 5th challenge.  The judges can relax and don't have to look at it any longer.

Again, thanks followers/likers for recognizing this project--it was the only beacon of light in a dark place.

TRILLSAT-1, signing off.