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Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time

Hi all,

We'll have a brief telecon tomorrow (July 4 in North America, July 5 in Australia), even though it is of course a U.S. holiday (here in Canada we had our holiday the day before yesterday) at the regular time: 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific, 11 am Hawaii, 23.00 European, 7 am Eastern Australia). Lots of updates on drop testing, on testing of the OSI and Hamamatsu photodiodes with the new amplifier boards, and on new updates on AIFCOMSS station-keeping prediction/simulation software. 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 - 2019-07-03

Hi all!

Apologies for the delay! -- here's a quick update on ALTAIR balloon work over the past 2 weeks, minutes of the meeting 2 weeks ago (attendees Arnold Gaertner [NRC] and me), and a reminder of the telecon in 20 minutes(!) from now:

It seems like the first outdoor drop test using the drop testing pole that we did on June 12 was only beginner's luck, since we have now had a succession of 5 unsuccessful drop tests (in which the parafoil didn't open properly), with 4 of those drop tests on June 20 and one yesterday on July 3. Here are the videos of each of those 5 unsuccessful drop tests:

and, for comparison, here was the successful one back on June 12:

This is (slow) progress though, since I think we're starting to figure out what causes the parafoil to open vs. not open properly and quickly upon cutdown. We need to do many more drop tests to figure that out well, though. This afternoon we will be installing a pulley system so that I can raise and lower the drop testing pole itself, myself, with a winch, because I got a notice that I am violating a local bylaw by having a structure (the drop testing pole) that is higher than 3.75 meters (12.3 feet) in my backyard. Hopefully having the pole down less than a meter off the ground most of the time, and me only raising it up with a winch when we do a drop test (or when I mow my lawn) will satisfy the local authorities!

Andrew Macdonald in the phys & astro electronics shop here will be handing off the new precision photodiode amplifier boards, and the responsibility for the continued testing of them and the photodiodes, to me and to our new MITACS Globalink summer student Zejia Xu, next week when he returns to town. He (and the electronics shop) are swamped with other work for the department, so they'll be handing off the testing to us. We're hoping to have a lot more testing done with them in two weeks from now.

Summer students Afif and Logan are additionally working on AIFCOMSS flight path prediction at present.

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.

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

Our next telecon is in 20 minutes(!) from now (see below for Skype instructions).

Cheers, talk in 20 minutes! -- thanks all!


-- jalbert - 2019-07-04

Title Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time
Forum ForumGeneral
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIR20jun19UnsuccessfulDummyOutdoorDropTest1.MOV r1 manage 4643.4 K 2019-07-04 - 22:10 JustinAlbert Unsuccessful outdoor dummy-payload drop test #1, using the outdoor drop testing pole setup -- June 20, 2019
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIR20jun19UnsuccessfulDummyOutdoorDropTest2.MOV r1 manage 9586.1 K 2019-07-04 - 22:11 JustinAlbert Unsuccessful outdoor dummy-payload drop test #2, using the outdoor drop testing pole setup -- June 20, 2019
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIR20jun19UnsuccessfulDummyOutdoorDropTest3.MOV r1 manage 6228.8 K 2019-07-04 - 22:11 JustinAlbert Unsuccessful outdoor dummy-payload drop test #3, using the outdoor drop testing pole setup -- June 20, 2019
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIR20jun19UnsuccessfulDummyOutdoorDropTest4.MOV r1 manage 8813.5 K 2019-07-04 - 22:11 JustinAlbert Unsuccessful outdoor dummy-payload drop test #4, using the outdoor drop testing pole setup -- June 20, 2019
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIR3jul19UnsuccessfulDummyOutdoorDropTest.mov r1 manage 4865.2 K 2019-07-04 - 22:12 JustinAlbert Unsuccessful outdoor dummy-payload drop test using the outdoor drop testing pole setup -- July 3, 2019
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Topic revision: r2 - 2019-07-04 - JustinAlbert
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