Check out the April of Popular Science. Last September we flew two business cards for editors.
They have a mention of the flight and a photo showing PongSats and MiniCubes (and a Lego Astronaut from England). We’re at the bottom of page 6.
There’s a great PongSat article at Hack-a-Day.
We fired MHD test 91 last night. This was intended to be a “null” test. The next thing we are working on is electrode gap width. The idea is at start with the electrodes so far apart that you don’t generate any power. The slowing move them together test after test until you find the optimum. However instead of getting all zeros we got a pretty strong spike followed by a weird wave. We’re still analyzing but I think this opens up a few possibilities.
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).
We have a great new PongSat photo tee shirt at the JPA Store!
Buy one today and help support PongSat!
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.
At least our chair is
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.