Antunes: DIY Instruments for Amateur Space


Sandy Antunes
O'Reilly Media, March 2013, $4.99 print/$2.99 ebook
ISBNs: Print, 978-1-4493-1064-6, Ebook 978-1-4493-1063-9

Contact info:

Buy this book now in the ScienceWriters bookstore.

Antunes writes:

INSTRUMENTS is my 3rd book in a four-book series on "Do It Yourself DIY Space," based originally on my DIY blog.

Sandy Antunes

The series arose in 2009 when a lone freelance scientist (me) decided to see if one person of average competence (also me) could build a satellite in their basement, leading to the Project Calliope satellite. After blogging on the build for two years, I completed the satellite.

Shopping the idea of publishing the 'lessons learned' and how-to (minus all the mistakes) as a book or series made sense. O'Reilly Media/Maker Press was the first place my agent recommended.

This "Instrumentation" book is about hobby-level sensors, but also is covertly a guide to remote sensing and sensors of all types. It tackles sensor roles in earth, solar, planetary and astronomy use.

The work is drawn from my operations work in high energy astrophysics on the science side as well as general principles arising from basic physics and observation. Filling in the earth-observing details took a bit of research, but fortunately that part of the material was also needed for a course I was teaching. In a circular fashion, that teaching occurred because Capitol College in Laurel, Maryland, had hired me in 2011 in part due to my build experiences with Calliope.

So a freelancer writes a book that teaches others how to do what I now teach students so they can do it better.


Deadline for June 2013 book blog: May 23, 2013

To submit your book announcement, follow the above format. Include your name, phone number, and email address, along with contact information for your publicist and agent. Send a photo of yourself and of your book jacket (small jpg files).

Write 250-350 words to summarize your book’s contents. Tell how you developed your idea, researched the book, and wrote it. Include a little about the book’s route to publication. No press releases, please.

Send info to Lynne Lamberg, NASW book editor,

May. 2, 2013

Advance Copy

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here.

Publication of NASW members' reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

Drexel University Online

Leon Levy Center for Biography fellowship