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Telecon tomorrow (Thursday) @ 5 pm Eastern time

Hi all!

Telecon tomorrow (Sep. 22 in North America, Sep. 23 in Australia) at the regular time: 5 pm Eastern (2 pm Pacific, 11 am Hawaii, 23.00 European, 7 am Eastern Australia). I've now updated AIFCOMSS to be able to run on recent MacOS versions and to fix some known security vulnerabilities, in preparation for adding station-keeping functionality; and Andrew has made a little bit more progress on the newly-populated ALTAIR photodiode readout / transimpedance amplifier boards and their testing. The ORCASat cubesat is now at Kennedy SC and has been confirmed for launch CRS-26, scheduled for Nov. 18 !: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_CRS-26 and https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/ We also have been told that ORCASat deployment from the ISS should occur within about a week of launch, thus before the end of November. 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 the progress report and photos 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
VII) AOB

Talk to you all tomorrow, thanks!!!
justin

-- Justin Albert - 2022-09-22

Hi all,

My apologies for the delay! -- here's the update on recent ALTAIR balloon work, minutes of the telecon 2 weeks ago on Sep. 8 (attendees Arnold Gaertner [NRC], Liviu Ivanescu [Sherbrooke], and me), and a reminder of the telecon in 20 mins from now (!) :

I've now completed and committed to Github:

https://github.com/ProjectALTAIR/AIFCOMSSwithCUPredictorTest

an update to AIFCOMSS: 1) So that it can finally run on my laptop that I've upgraded to MacOS Monterey (MacOS 12.6) -- previously AIFCOMSS could only run on MacOS versions up to MacOS Mojave (10.14.x) (in addition to its Windows and Linux functionality); and 2) To fix a bunch of security issues that had been caused by usage of old versions of several JavaScript packages. And I've updated the installation instructions in the README.md on the above page as well. These updates were additionally needed so that we can now add station-keeping functionality to AIFCOMSS!

In order to remake Adithi Balaji's nice plots of transimpedance amplifier linearity in order to fix the problems with the reverse-bias plots in them:

Andrew Macdonald is presently fixing noise issues in the second of the populated photodiode readout / TIA boards, which will allow those plots to be re-made. (He will then also populate the third board, as well as half of an analogous ORCASat board, and we will test and make linearity plots with those as well.) I just delivered some spare ORCASat components to him an hour ago so that he can populate that board.

The two 144 MHz Raveon M8S data modem transceivers are still here in my office (together with the LiPoly batteries that power them). I got a chance to do some initial tests of Colton Broughton's most recent code updates for them, which can be found in:

https://particle.phys.uvic.ca/~jalbert/ALTAIR_M8S_Colton8dec21/

(as compared with his older code within https://particle.phys.uvic.ca/~jalbert/ALTAIR_M8S_Colton17nov21/ ), and there were some issues -- I'll be working on those over the next weeks.

Regarding the latest news on our four Radiometrix SHX1 144 MHz transceiver modules that were returned to us from Radiometrix (following their firmware update to fix the BUSY output):

and the problems that Colton found with them (i.e., that of the 12 radio TX to radio RX permutations between those 4 boards, only 3 of the 12 permutations work, 3 of the other permutations give spotty connections -- e.g. only around 1 out of every 5 characters gets successfully transmitted -- as if one is transmitting and the other is receiving on neighbouring channels, but not the same channel..., and the remaining 6 permutations do not successfully receive any transmitted characters) -- we sent an e-mail to Radiometrix to ask about this about 10 months ago. They then sent back an e-mail a week later asking for more information, and Colton replied to them the next day providing the info (just a query about what logic voltages we were using -- we've being using 5V TTL from our Arduino Megas). Radiometrix has not replied to us since that e-mail reply sent to them 9 months ago, and thus I pinged them 8 months ago to follow up, and again 7 months ago -- and Radiometrix hasn't replied to those yet either. I will be pinging Radiometrix on this yet again next week.

Engineering students Josh Gage and Evan Moore found that the "wings" that Josh had found in the laser diode light output distributions:

were due to how the diode was mounted in the heat sink. When the diode is mounted properly and carefully, the wings go away.

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:

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 mins (!) from now -- thanks all!

justin

-- Justin Albert - 2022-09-22

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