Archive for December, 2011

Happy Airship New Year!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

The team is spending New Years Eve working on the new Tandem airship. I can’t think of a better way to bring in the new year.

Plowing Through

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Sometimes research and development is just a matter of getting methodical and plowing through. We fixed the problem with the data logger and have run tests 49, 50, 51 and 52. We worked out the ideal number of electrodes on 48,49 and 50. On 51 we introduced offset electrodes into the mix. Test 52 was the configuration we were building up to. It’s call an offset internal frame hall electrode array. That mouthful means the little copper plate don’t lineup with each other. We were pretty surprised when it worked the first time and doubled output of unit 51.

Offset internal frame hall electrode array for MHD 52

One Step Forward…

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

and a tiny one back.

We just completed MHD test firing 48.  The data logger showed 5 millivolts across the whole 30 second sampling cycle. It should show zero until the run, about two seconds of power data then zero again. Instead of another firing it looks like this evening will be spend troubleshooting the unit.

Getting Better

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

We just finished firing test 47. This was the second test of the new Hall effect unit. We made some modifications and got a 310% increase in power output. We’re starting to figure this out.

Hall Effect MHD Test

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

We successfully generated power with the Hall effect MHD generator. Has anyone else done this outside of a national lab? This unit still needs a lot of tweaking, but I’m pretty happy with the results of the first run.

This was MHD test firing number 46.

MHD Milestone

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Our MHD development is now going to split into three branches. The first is the using the #45 unit on the quad engine. In the second we using our older narrow channel unit for using in developing a new data logger. In the third branch we starting work on the more complex Hall effect type MHD generator.

The electrode array for the Hall effect MHD Generator.

Balloon Expansion

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Compare Tandem’s balloon at 20,000 feet with it at 95,085 feet.