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Using the Earth Observation Camera

Receiving images from the camera

To receive images from the camera you will need to run the MCC software referenced in the Required software section and perform a sequence of steps detailed below. Screenshots and paths in the instructions are shown for Windows 7. Tab titles may differ in Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Connecting the Camera

Connect the camera using a special male-male ribbon cable to the orbiter control computer (OCC). See here for ribbon cable assembly instructions.

Connecting the HF Transmitter

Connect the HF transmitter to the Orbicraft Construction Set network. When the HF channel is operating on the construction set the LED of the HF transmitter will emit a light signal that will be detected by a sensor on the HF receiver.

Actual HF channels in spacecraft use no visible light signals but rather rely on high-frequency radio communications. In the Orbicraft construction set images are transferred with simulated HF receiver and HF transmitter while the actual transfer takes place over a Wi-Fi channel between the OCC and an FTP server started automatically on the PC when the MCC software is launched (Ground Control.exe). This approach provides a visual cue to how processes work. The HF receiver can be connected to the user’s PC by means of a USB adapter packaged with the construction set. HF receivers integrated into the globe can be used when working with the globe.
An HF transmitter must be present in the construction set network for an image to be transferred. It is not mandatory to use the HF receiver for receiving images as the image will be transferred and should appear in the MCC window even with no receiver present. If the image was transferred using the HF receiver and the HF transmitter LED flashed within the field of view of its sensor, a message will appear under the image stating that the image has been received over the HF link.

Setting up a Static IP Address

Open Control Panel → Network and Internet → Network and Sharing Center

 Network and Sharing Center

Click Wireless Network Connection

 Wireless network connection

Click Properties


Click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)

 Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)

  • In the window that appears, choose Use the following IP address:;
  • Click on empty fields next to Subnet mask to have them automatically filled out with the address mask;
  • Click OK.
After completing your work with the construction set, be sure to revert settings to “Obtain an IP address automatically”. Otherwise the standard Wi-Fi connection will not work.

Disable the Windows Firewall

The Windows Firewall may block image transfers over the Wi-Fi link and should be turned off.

Click Control Panel Windows Firewall Public networks

Click Disable Firewall

To restore computer security after completing work with the construction set, you can revisit the Windows Firewall window and click the Restore defaults button.

Launching the Mission Control Center.

Launch the MCC

See here for instructions on launching the MCC (Ground Control.exe).

The FTP server is automatically launched in the background when the MCC software is started. Essentially it is the FTP server that receives images from the camera. For images to be received correctly only one FTP server must be in operation at the same time.
If you have already launched the MCC (Ground Control.exe), make sure that only one ftpdmin process is visible in the Task Manager. Press the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Delete → Task Manager → Processes tab.
The screenshot below shows an example with multiple such processes running. This is not what should happen. You have to terminate all ftpdmin processes (select a process, then click End process) and then relaunch MCC.

Starting the Program

Launch the photography and image transfer program.

See the Getting Started section for instructions on creating and launching the program. A test program shown in the Land Survey Camera section will capture ten images in succession and transfer them to the user’s computer. Then the MCC program (Ground Control.exe) launched at the user’s PC will display incoming data in an area to the right of the map where the SPUTNIX company logo was originally displayed.

Received images will appear in the FTP folder that will be created automatically under the Ground_Control folder whence the Ground Control.exe program is launched. Files can be found in catched and missed folders, depending on whether the signal hits the HF receiver: if there was a hit, data will be written to the catched (caught images) folder, and if the signal was weak or undetectable, the missed (missed images) folder will be written to.
en/camera_settings.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/25 16:28 (external edit)