Archive for September, 2011

Moving and Shaking

Monday, September 26th, 2011

The team has been really cranking. Here’s last Saturdays accomplishments:

Tracking systems preped and tested for Mesospheric Explorer II

Repaired loops on 3ooog balloon launch bag.

Changed Tandem data manager subsystem from 9v to 11.2 volt, main and backup unit.

Mounted Tandem controller and battery housing for live video system.

Finished Tandem swinging antenna mount.

Finished Tandem parachute cannon piston.

Added retention mounts and lines to parachute cannon piston.

Test live video system.

Made new top loading video camera box.

Modified Tandem main controller program to accommodate extended relay board.

Setup test ground station.

Test Tandem parachute ejection, (fired through the main controller).

Mounted all three decks on Mesospheric Explorer II.

Mounted and tested mini-beacon on Tandem.

Mounted and tested mini-beacon on Mesospheric Explorer II.

Parachute basket mounted on Mesospheric Explorer II.

Made Tandem’s main parachute bridle.

Repaired mounter mounts and crew module mockup.

Successfully fired and small rocket motor with a laser (all our future rockoon launches will use laser ignited motors).

Saturday Build

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

The Tandem got a new camera mount and housing and Sky Pup’s parachute’s mounting plate was almost completed. Paul put the finishing touches on Tandem’s second balloon launch bag then started in on patchwork and repair on the high rack balloon launch bag. After seventeen launches this year is was getting a little frayed.

We assembled two more high rack frames and lastly we began mounting the live video system on Tandem.

It was a solid ‘crossing things off the list’ day.

Working Tandem

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Sky Pup Parts

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Yesterday we laid up a foam and carbon fiber part for the chase plane. We’re installing a whole aircraft parachute inside the wing.  The part is the deck that goes in the wing that the parachute sits on. Just now we pulled the part out of the mold. It looks great and fits perfect. The next step is to cut slots in it for the parachute mounting webbing.

Night Fill

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Night balloon fill from our 2001 Mesospheric Explorer launch.

Too Close

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Here’s Away 47 800 feet about the ground.  There are 300 PongSats on board descending waaaay too close the lake. It touched down on the beach.

Tandem Progress

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

It was debug Tandem day, but it went really well.  The motor RPM were down. We suspected the hall effect sensors but it turned out to be software.  We found the problem just before we started unsoldering sensors.

We also mounted down the main controller and tracking system and chased down a timing problem in the motor controller subsystem. We had taken out the computer in the sensor controller to use it on the Samsung mission.  We reinstalled it and it’s all fine except the compass calibration data in the e-prom is wiped. Tandem now thinks North is somewhere toward Hawaii…. Oh well, another thing on the todo list.