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Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ * 4:30 pm * Eastern time

Hi all!

Telecon tomorrow (Sept. 20 in North America, Sept. 21 in Australia) at * 30 minutes earlier than the usual time! *: 4:30 pm Eastern (1:30 pm Pacific, 11:30 am Hawaii, 22.30 European, 6:30 am Eastern Australia). We'll meet 1/2 hour earlier than usual since an ORCASAT cubesat meeting was unfortunately scheduled at our usual meeting slot this week, and I couldn't succeed in moving that ORCASAT meeting (however I extracted a promise that we would never have an ORCASAT meeting at that time again, so it will be safe for our ALTAIR meeting in the future). So just this week we'll have our ALTAIR meeting within the previous 1/2 hour, and then we can bow out for the ORCASAT meeting.

We have yet more progress on the photodiode precision amplifier board construction, updates on station-keeping prediction and simulation software, on the pre- and post-flight cross-calibration integrating sphere, and on the windowless photodiode orders from Hamamatsu and OSI Optoelectronics -- I'll post a summary shortly! More discussion items for tomorrow's ALTAIR telecon include: flight/telescope plans and tests; construction, drop testing, and other tests of the new gondolas/payloads; light sources and light source modelling; goniometric and pre- and post-flight calibration; propulsion work; nanosat bus and payload solid models; computing / website / TWiki forums and e-mails; grant applications; and recap of schedules.

Here's how to connect:

1) Open Skype on your computer (note that of course, you should first install Skype, http://www.skype.com, on your machine if you haven't already).

2) In the "Contacts" menu, add me ( jalbertuvic ) as a contact, if you haven't already.

3) Just wait for me to Skype-call you at the usual time (5 pm Eastern, 2 pm Pacific, etc).

4) If there is any trouble, or if you don't get a Skype-call for some reason and would like to join, please just send me an e-mail (jalbert@uvicNOSPAMPLEASE.ca).

Here's the tentative agenda:

I) Flight & telescope plans, and upcoming tests

II) Construction, drop tests, and other forms of tests of the new gondola and payload

III) Diffused light source and its modelling, pre- and post-flight calibration, and goniometric calibrations

IV) Solid modelling

V) Computing/website, including recent flight control and simulation progress

VI) Grant applications


Talk to you all tomorrow, thanks!!!


-- jalbert - 2018-09-19

Hi all!

Here's a quick progress report on ALTAIR balloon work done over the past two weeks, plus the minutes of our last telecon (attended by Arnold Gaertner (NRC) and me -- my apologies for the delay!), and a reminder of our telecon in 10 minutes -- please just reply with (or let me know) any corrections -- thanks! :

The photodiodes are now installed in our pre- and post-flight photometry cross-check integrating sphere:

all except for one of the four (since we presently only have 3 Hamamatsu S2281 photodiodes here):

We'll need to either get another S2281, or we could instead use some of our new windowless PDs (which are smaller, so we would need to make a mount that fits into the current 1" diameter mounts).

Before we got to that point, we needed to make the mounting plate:

and we painted it:

In this present ALTAIR <-> cross-check integrating sphere mounting, we no longer need to take the wheels off in order to do the pre- and post-flight cross-check:

partially because we installed smaller wheels than the old ones we had before:

So now, this pre- and post-flight photometry cross-check integrating sphere is done (for the time being), until we can either get that one last photodiode or install a set of our new photodiodes, and then at that point we can install amplifier and readout boards, and connect it up to our field operations computer, etc.

Regarding our new precision photodiode amplifier board from Andrew Macdonald in the UVic phys & astro electronics shop -- we hare having his schematic fabricated:

and very hopefully we will have a test board ready in a few weeks or so.

Our 11 windowless Hamamatsu S2386-8K photodiodes should be arriving at the Stubbs Lab at Harvard next week, and then I'll carry our share of them up to Canada at the end of the year. OSI Optoelectronics promised to send us a quote for our windowless UV-015 photodiodes (as the secondary cross-check photodiode on the integrating sphere) ASAP, so we are hoping for that from them within a week or so.

I have completed creating a proper object-oriented code structure for the ALTAIR main board firmware, which appears to function properly:

https://github.com/ProjectALTAIR/ALTAIROnboardArduinoSoftware/tree/master/libraries https://github.com/ProjectALTAIR/ALTAIROnboardArduinoSoftware

and now we can and must flexibly adjust (and add to!) the telemetry information that ALTAIR sends down to the ground station(s), to AIFCOMSS running on the ground station control computer(s).

Mark Lenckowski has completed the stabilized pole for the new 10-meter-high drop test setup at Victoria:

As you can see (faintly), he affixed side-struts and guy wire to the PVC pole, to prevent it from bending in either of the two transverse directions, so it can now be raised to vertical, from horizontal, without bending or breaking.

The survey-tripod-mounted device to cross-check yaw-pitch-roll information from the gondola (e.g., on days before/after flights) is constructed now, thanks to Mark Lenckowski -- photo at:

and all that remains to be done is to finish the small fitting between the device and the bottom of the payload. The purchased hardware in it includes both the survey tripod (http://www.cpotools.com/cst-berger-60-alwi20-o-aluminum-tripod-with-quick-release--orange-/cstn60-alwi20-o,default,pd.html), two adjustable angle mounts (http://www.thorlabs.com/thorproduct.cfm?partnumber=AP180), and a rotation mount (https://www.thorlabs.com/thorproduct.cfm?partnumber=RP01). That last fitting to attach (temporarily, pre- or post-flight) the upper adjustable angle mount to the payload landing gear has been started and will be completed here in the next couple weeks.

We're currently revising the draft initial contractual agreement from our colleagues at Globalstar Canada regarding 2 initial SPOT Trace devices (and their service plans) for the educational side-project for the upcoming NATO SPS application, in which classrooms in elementary and high schools could launch company-donated SPOT Traces using party balloons (or a more environmentally-friendly version thereof), and track them to learn more about winds at different levels in Earth's atmosphere.

Another next step, software-wise, is to add a bunch of additional data information to the telemetry communication between ALTAIR-Victoria:

and the Capella ground station:

and to update the control and monitoring software to incorporate the telemetered info, and also implement onboard SD card data storage, as well as storage of the telemetered info.

Houman will send Cordell and/or us updated sections of his master's thesis soon -- that information will be extremely useful to us going forward. Also, Susana and Nathan, it would be very helpful for us all to get the JHU students' final writeup when you have a chance.

Our next grant applications will be a NATO "Science for Peace and Security" application, together with Australian colleague partners.

That's all I remember, please send things that I forgot. Next telecon * in 10 minutes from now *, at our ***un***usual 4:30 pm Eastern time today.

Cheers, talk to you all * in 10 minutes * -- thanks all!!!!!


-- jalbert - 2018-09-20

Title Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ * 4:30 pm * Eastern time
Forum ForumGeneral
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_newwheels.jpg r1 manage 2003.8 K 2018-09-20 - 21:02 JustinAlbert new ALTAIR wheels (that fit OK on the cross-check sphere)
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_newxcheckspheremountingsystem.jpg r1 manage 2271.8 K 2018-09-20 - 21:03 JustinAlbert new way (don't have to take off the wheels) to mount ALTAIR on the cross-check sphere
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_oldwheels.jpg r1 manage 1653.3 K 2018-09-20 - 21:01 JustinAlbert old ALTAIR wheels (that don't fit on the cross-check sphere)
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_oldxcheckspheremountingsystem.jpg r1 manage 1751.0 K 2018-09-20 - 21:03 JustinAlbert old way (had to take off the wheels) to mount ALTAIR on the cross-check sphere
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_xcheckspherePDsinstalled.jpg r1 manage 1778.9 K 2018-09-20 - 21:07 JustinAlbert cross-check sphere with photodiodes installed
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_xcheckspheremissingPD.jpg r1 manage 1896.9 K 2018-09-20 - 21:07 JustinAlbert the one missing photodiode on the cross-check sphere
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_xcheckspheremountingplatepostpaint.jpg r1 manage 1898.5 K 2018-09-20 - 21:06 JustinAlbert cross-check sphere mounting plate (after painted black)
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_xcheckspheremountingplateprepaint.jpg r1 manage 1838.6 K 2018-09-20 - 21:04 JustinAlbert cross-check sphere mounting plate (before final cuts made, then painted)
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Topic revision: r2 - 2018-09-20 - JustinAlbert
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