Archive for December, 2013

Ascender 26 CAD Drawings

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

I’ve been finishing up the CAD drawing of Ascender 26. The interior drawing aren’t complete yet but the outside is looking good. This shows the Ascender 26 in it’s first short flight to 1000 feet configuration.


Spaceship building Practice

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Yesterday we got a lot of spaceship building practice in. Musicians practice there violins before a concert right? However there are few opportunities for spaceship building practice. At JPA we use submarine building for a spaceship building practice. Yesterday we cut the recesses for the fore and aft ballast tank port frames. Its rather like notching the hole in the wall to fit the door frame.

We got all four port frames recessed.


MHD Tests 96 and 97

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

We conducted two MHD tests last night. First first produced no data. We had conducted a dry test before the firing. A dry test is when we run the data logger on the fully prepared system however the motor is not fired. Instead a battery is connected to the plates. We check the and if you see the batter voltage you know the system is ready. The dry test was successful but there was no data from the live firing. While disassembling the system we discovered that the ground wire on the data cable had broken. It was apparently hanging on by a single strand during the dry test and came off when the test rig was rolled out to the parking lot.

On second second run it unit just plain old wouldn’t fire. After four hours of epic ninja battles with the test gear we got a good test. Sometimes your gear just gets old. This was firing 97. I’m just glad everything starting failing all at once rather then put us in agony for weeks.


Mach Two Shock Tube

Monday, December 9th, 2013

We’re getting ready to start testing the airship’s drag reduction systems. The main tool we will be using is a mach two shock tube. A shock tube is a very short duration wind tunnel. It ‘s made of a long tube with a burst plate at one end and test chamber at the other. The tube is pumped down to vacuum then the plate at the end is burst open. This causes a supersonic wave to travel down the tube into the test chamber.

We have a 10000 samples per second recorder so we can measure the speed of the wave. The first goal of the system is to be able to turn it on with out it imploding. After that we’ll slowly start increasing the speed of the system. We hope to have it running at Mach 2.2 within a year.


Ascender 26

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Ascender 26 is a small vee shaped airship. It’s a test bed for systems for the Ascender 100. This spring we will do several flights of Ascender 26 to 1000 feet.