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Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time

Hi all,

Telecon tomorrow (Apr. 4 in North America, Apr. 5 in Australia) at the regular time: 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific, 11 am Hawaii, 22.00 European, 8 am Eastern Australia). Daughterboards have now arrived in order to fix voltage supply noise issues with the new photodiode precision amplifier boards (photo in upcoming minutes); plus lots more new updates on AIFCOMSS station-keeping prediction/simulation software; and also we're readying for outdoor drop testing this spring. 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 - 2019-04-03

Hi all!

Apologies for the delay! -- here's a reminder of our telecon in 30 minutes from now, plus a quick progress report on ALTAIR balloon work over the past 2 weeks (+ meeting minutes of our telecon 2 weeks ago, attendees Arnold Gaerner [NRC] & me):

Andrew Macdonald (in the UVic phys & astro electronics shop) found that the precision photodiode amplifier boards that he designed and is testing:

had some noise issues with its onboard voltage supply for its preamplifier, that necessitate replacing that voltage supply with a new much lower-noise proton-pump supply on daughterboards that will mount (basically flush) onto the amplifier boards. Those daughterboards just came in yesterday:

and Andrew is now working on populating them and then installing them into the amp boards and testing them out. That hopefully will be complete within the next week or so. In the meantime, hardware-wise, I need to install four of the new photodiodes (either the Hamamatsu windowless S2386-8K ones:

or the OSI Optoelectronics not-yet-windowless UV-015 ones:

) into the pre- and post-flight cross-check integrating sphere

utilizing the Thorlabs mounting hardware for that that we now have. Firmware-wise, I still need to integrate the SHX144 144 MHz telemetry into the (DNT900 910 MHz, + RFM32BP 440 MHz as alternate) telemetry firmware that is installed in ALTAIR presently.

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 30 minutes from now (see below for Skype instructions).

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


-- jalbert - 2019-04-04

Title Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time
Forum ForumGeneral
Topic attachments
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JPEGjpg ALTAIRPrecisionPDAmpBoardDaughterboardPhoto3Apr2019.JPG r1 manage 1688.0 K 2019-04-04 - 04:27 JustinAlbert One of the new daughterboards that just arrived, to fix voltage supply noise issues with the precision photodiode amplifier boards
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