Discussion Forum » General »

Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time

Hi all!

Telecon tomorrow (Oct. 4 in North America, Oct. 5 in Australia) at the regular time: 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific, noon Hawaii, 23.00 European, 7 am Eastern Australia). Continued 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 (now received) and OSI Optoelectronics -- I'll post a summary shortly! More discussion items for tomorrow's 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 gondolas and payloads here in Victoria

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 - 2018-10-03

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 30 minutes -- please just reply with (or let me know) any corrections -- thanks! :

We have an updated schematic (below) for our new precision photodiode amplifier board from Andrew Macdonald in the UVic phys & astro electronics shop, which he is now laying out and having fabricated:

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

Our 11 windowless Hamamatsu S2386-8K photodiodes have arrived at the Stubbs Lab at Harvard last week. (I'll carry our share of those windowless photodiodes 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 (and I sent them yet another reminder yesterday) so we are hoping for that from them within a week or so.

As mentioned last time, I've completed creating a proper object-oriented code structure for the ALTAIR main board firmware, which functions properly:

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

and I've now added code to 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) -- and now I must test that latter new code.

Since I felt that the "new" wheels on the gondola (to be able to mount with the cross-check integrating sphere):

had too little padding, and would thus result in landings that are too hard, I decided to make yet another iteration of the wheel setup, switching back to the "old" wheels, but with very long axles so that the gondola could still properly mount with the cross-check integrating sphere:

As mentioned last time the pre- and post-flight photometry cross-check integrating sphere itself is done for the time being until we can either get the one last S2281 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.:

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 a half-hour from now *, at our usual 5:00 pm Eastern time today.

Cheers, talk to you all in 30 minutes!!! -- thanks all!!!!!


-- jalbert - 2018-10-04

Title Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time
Forum ForumGeneral
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_wheels4oct18_1.jpg r1 manage 2225.2 K 2018-10-04 - 22:11 JustinAlbert Newest (i.e., new version of "old") ALTAIR wheels
JPEGjpg ALTAIR_wheels4oct18_2.jpg r1 manage 2106.4 K 2018-10-04 - 22:11 JustinAlbert Newest (i.e., new version of "old") ALTAIR wheels, second view
PDFpdf PDAnalogFrontendv5.1.pdf r1 manage 91.0 K 2018-10-04 - 20:59 JustinAlbert Updated schematic (version 5.1) for the precision photodiode amplifier board
Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r3 < r2 < r1 | Backlinks | Raw View | WYSIWYG | More topic actions
Topic revision: r3 - 2018-10-04 - JustinAlbert
    • Cern Search Icon Cern Search
    • TWiki Search Icon TWiki Search
    • Google Search Icon Google Search

    Altair/Forum All webs login

This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright & 2008-2023 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
or Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? use Discourse or Send feedback