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Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time

Hi all,

Telecon tomorrow (Mar. 5 in North America, Mar. 6 in Australia) at the regular time: 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific, noon Hawaii, 23.00 European, 9 am Eastern Australia). We got our two parafoils back from the tailoring shop a week ago, I tried them out in a couple of drop tests this past weekend, however the tailoring shop made a mistake that they are now correcting (more in the progress report tomorrow). Also, more testing of the new Raveon M8S data modems in the lab -- and finally some important new info from Radiometrix about the BUSY output on their SHX1-144's!, new Hamamatsu and Thorlabs photodiodes are here in Victoria and ready to be tested, and progress 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 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. I'll send a progress report 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 - 2020-03-05

Hi all,

Apologies for the delay! -- here are minutes of our last telecon on Jan. 23 (with attendees Arnold Gaertner [NRC] and me), a quick update on ALTAIR balloon work, and a reminder of the telecon in 5 minutes(!!!) from now:

As mentioned yesterday, we got back our two parafoils from Nahid Tailoring Services last week -- she had sewn belt loops (for spars) on all sides of the new yellow parafoil and belt loops on the vent side of our old red parafoil. However, when I opened up the parafoils to test them out this past weekend, I saw that for some reason she sewed on the belt loops on the vent sides of both the old red and the new yellow parafoils on the wrong side of the fabric (i.e., the other side of the fabric from the side that she sewed the belt loops on all the other sides of each of the two parafoils)! You can see two photos of this (both of the red parafoil) here:

and here:

That was certainly not good, but can be repaired by Nahid Tailoring Services of course. I was able to do drop tests on Sunday with the parafoils in the state that they were (and thus having the spar on the vent side being on the wrong/other side of the fabric from the spars on each of the other sides of the parafoils), and below are the videos. The second video (of the drop test of the new yellow parafoil) is in two parts since I accidentally stopped, and restarted, the video before I did the drop itself -- thus there are 3 short videos here:

On Monday I took the parafoils back to Nahid Tailoring Services to be repaired. She will have them done by Mar. 20, and I'll do more drop testing then.

We've also been doing more connecting up and testing out of our two new 144 MHz Raveon M8S data modem transceivers here in Victoria:

After successfully checking them out with Raveon's Windows-based Radio Manager software, I've started to connect the radios up to Arduino Megas -- in the next few weeks I'm planning to get them talking to one another, and then I'll check out their effective ranges. We also got an interesting message from Radiometrix about there SHX1-144's, and I'll send more about that in our next minutes in 2 weeks from now.

We also have our 10 Hamamatsu S12698-01 photodiodes and 3 Thorlabs FDS100-NOCAN photodiodes (those Thorlabs ones have their windows removed) here in Victoria:

I've given them to Evan (new engineering student) to try out -- he's taking a few weeks to ramp up, and will produce some linearity, etc., plots from them soon.

I'm also working with another undergraduate student on the actual station-keeping algorithm for AIFCOMSS. Presently the "station keeping" code in AIFCOMSS just turns on the propellers in the simulation at full power, and propels the gondola in a single direction until the battery runs out (it's presently most certainly not actual "station keeping"). I added some hooks for adding actual station keeping algorithms into the code, and we're developing the algorithms and will implement them.

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 5 minutes (!) from now (see above for Skype instructions).

Cheers, talk in 5 minutes(!) from now -- thanks all!


-- jalbert - 2020-03-07

Title Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time
Forum ForumGeneral
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIRDropTest1WithVentWrongSideBeltLoopsFrame1Mar20.MOV r1 manage 4713.7 K 2020-03-05 - 22:34 JustinAlbert Drop test of the red parafoil with a full frame with belt loops on the wrong side of the fabric on the vent side
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIRDropTest2aWithVentWrongSideBeltLoopsFrame1Mar20.MOV r1 manage 2537.3 K 2020-03-05 - 22:35 JustinAlbert Part 1 (of 2) of the video of the drop test of the new yellow parafoil with a full frame with belt loops on the wrong side of the fabric on the vent side
Quicktime moviemov ALTAIRDropTest2bWithVentWrongSideBeltLoopsFrame1Mar20.MOV r1 manage 1137.4 K 2020-03-05 - 22:35 JustinAlbert Part 2 (of 2) of the video of the drop test of the new yellow parafoil with a full frame with belt loops on the wrong side of the fabric on the vent side
JPEGjpg ALTAIRParafoilWithVentBeltLoopsWrongSide1.JPG r1 manage 3508.0 K 2020-03-05 - 22:30 JustinAlbert ALTAIR parafoil with the vent-side belt loops sewn on the wrong side of the parafoil fabric
JPEGjpg ALTAIRParafoilWithVentBeltLoopsWrongSide2.JPG r1 manage 4404.9 K 2020-03-05 - 22:30 JustinAlbert ALTAIR parafoil with the vent-side belt loops sewn on the wrong side of the parafoil fabric
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Topic revision: r2 - 2020-03-08 - JustinAlbert
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