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Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time

Hi all!

Telecon tomorrow (Mar. 21 in North America, Mar. 22 in Australia) at the regular time: 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific, 11 am Hawaii, 22.00 European, 8 am Eastern Australia). Lots more new updates on AIFCOMSS station-keeping prediction/simulation software; the 3 new photodiode precision amplifier boards are completed and are currently being tested -- new photos in the upcoming minutes; and also we're readying for outdoor drop testing this spring (in my new backyard!). More discussion items for tomorrow's telecon include: flight/telescope plans and tests; construction and lab tests of the new gondola/payload; 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. I'll send an update with a bunch of recent photos, etc, before the telecon tomorrow.

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 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 - 2019-03-20

Hi all!

Apologies for the delay! -- here's a reminder of our telecon in 45 minutes from now, plus a quick progress report on ALTAIR balloon work over the past 4 weeks (+ meeting minutes of our telecon 4 weeks ago, attendees Arnold Gaerner [NRC] & me):

A couple of weeks ago UPS delivered the photodiodes and equipment that I had sent to UVic from Fredericton (and, previously, driven up from Boston and New Hampshire to New Brunswick) -- the 11 Hamamatsu windowless S2386-8K photodiodes:

the 12 OSI Optoelectronics not-yet-windowless UV-015 photodiodes:

and the Thorlabs WR1 photodiode "can opener" (so that we can cut the windows off the OSI Optoelectronics photodiodes):

as well as sets of mounting holders for the photodiodes (which are made by Thorlabs). Additionally, last week we received a new ultra-small laser diode module from World Star Tech -- a 660 nm 80 mW free-space module (this product number HP5-80G-660) that is much smaller than the ones we use on the balloon payloads, mainly due to the fact that this smaller module does not have thermoelectric cooling. Here it is when turned off:

and when on:

This new smaller module might be suitable for the ORCASat cubesat, but first we'll need to see if it is as stable, or nearly as stable, with time as the thermoelectrically-cooled modules that we use on the balloon payload, so our student Peter Ogilvie will be measuring that (by recording and analyzing time series of the output of a power meter, from both types of laser modules) this upcoming week. Right now Peter is working with and analyzing the new equipment for testing direct control of a bare laser diode:

(Some more info on that equipment is in the minutes from 4 weeks ago.)

The three new precision photodiode amplifier boards are still in Andrew Macdonald's hands in the UVic phys & astro electronics shop-- here's all 3 of them on his desk:

He's presently working on testing new miniature triaxial connectors (https://www.smithsinterconnect.com/products/connectors/high-speed-data/ndl-q-ndl-t-series/) with them.

Another ongoing task of mine is to prepare the backyard of the new house to which I just moved for outdoor drop testing this spring. Here's a diagram (overlayed on a photo) of how drop testing will be set up there (the clothes-drying line, crossed out in red, will be removed):

and the opposite view (the small chain-link fence, crossed out in red, will also be removed):

and an indoor view -- the base of the drop-testing pole will be fixed on the floor (inside the window) by a pole-base-holder which I will make from some lumber:

and this outdoor drop testing setup will, of course, use the 10-meter stabilized pole that Mark Lenckowski made a while ago:

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 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 also 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.

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.

Our next telecon is in 45 minutes from now (see below for Skype instructions).

Cheers, and talk to you in 45 minutes! -- thanks all!!!!!


-- jalbert - 2019-03-21

Title Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time
Forum ForumGeneral
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
JPEGjpeg HamamatsuS2386-8KWindowlessPhotodiodes.jpeg r1 manage 1536.5 K 2019-03-21 - 17:39 JustinAlbert Our 11 new Hamamatsu windowless S2386-8K photodiodes
JPEGjpeg OSIOptoelectronicsUV-015Photodiodes.jpeg r1 manage 2084.7 K 2019-03-21 - 17:42 JustinAlbert Our 12 new OSI Optoelectronics UV-015 photodiodes (not windowless yet -- will need to remove windows with the Thorlabs WR1 can opener)
JPEGjpeg ThorlabsWR1PhotodiodeCanOpener.jpeg r1 manage 1404.2 K 2019-03-21 - 17:19 JustinAlbert New Thorlabs photodiode can opener (product number WR1, to make photodiodes windowless)
JPEGjpeg WorldStarTechHP5-80G-660MiniLaserDiodeModuleOff.jpeg r1 manage 2044.2 K 2019-03-21 - 17:14 JustinAlbert New World Star Tech mini 80 mW 660 nm laser diode module (HP5-80G-660), not thermoelectrically cooled
JPEGjpeg WorldStarTechHP5-80G-660MiniLaserDiodeModuleOn.jpeg r1 manage 2258.2 K 2019-03-21 - 17:16 JustinAlbert New World Star Tech mini 80 mW 660 nm laser diode module (HP5-80G-660), not thermoelectrically cooled, turned on
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Topic revision: r3 - 2019-03-21 - JustinAlbert
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