Archive for February, 2013

Magnetohydrodynamic Generator Test 90

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

We did MHD firing test 90 last night. We have been getting a lot of fouling of the electrodes. Carbon builds up on them during the run and prevents current flow. In this experiment we coated the electrodes with an ablative fluid before firing. The idea was that it would cause the initial carbon to break off during the run leaving a clean electrode. It only needed to work for 1/5 of a second to see it in the data. OK, yes, this means we sprayed WD-40 into the unit before we firing the rocket engine. WD-40 fixes everything right?  IT WORKED!

We got much better power output. A new solution always leads to a new problem and this one is no different. The clogging carbon buildup was also protecting the electrode array. Without the buildup the electrodes were pretty chewed through.  The spiraling fragment you can see at the bottom of the picture is a piece of electrode number 1 moving at 83 mph (we measured it with the camera frame rate).

Space 1999

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

This is a big rockoon we flew in 1999. The rocket was launched at 29,000 feet and flew to 72,233 feet.

The balloon drawing is to scale. They show the balloons at max altitude diameter. You can really see how much they expand.

New PongSat Tee Shirt!

Friday, February 15th, 2013

We have a great new PongSat photo tee shirt at the JPA Store!


Buy one today and help support PongSat!

Saturdays Build Session

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

There are eleven vehicles in progress now in the shop. A bunch of high racks (including a rocket launch variant), Ascender 26 and Ascender 90. Much progress was made on all of then this weekend.

Lots of Balloon Platforms

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

A truck load of High Rack balloon platform.
This pile was for the Samsung Galaxy phone project. I once though that was a lot. What we have in the shop makes that look like nothing.

We’re building for two separate missions in April, nine vehicles all together and for an October mission, seven vehicles.

JPA in Air and Space Magazine

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

At least our chair is :)

Overview article on New Space

Monday, February 4th, 2013

We got mentioned in an article about new commercial space companies. Usually with ping pong balls and airships we’re considered too wacky to be grouped with the other players. It’s nice and much appreciated that these folks did.

idea-writes STL Aerospace