This group is for AstroWhale Mission 1!

The plan is to launch AstroWhale Mission 1 from Jamestown, NY.

Misson Design

13 replies, 3 voices Last updated by Profile photo of Sam Ferguson Sam Ferguson 1 year, 11 months ago
Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #965
    Profile photo of Conor McGibboney
    Conor McGibboney
    Keymaster
    @conormcgibboney

    This is where we discuss the design of the payload, as well as balloon and parachute configuration.

    #936
    Profile photo of Sam Ferguson
    Sam Ferguson
    Participant
    @SamIAm

    You have a GPS tracker on it, right?

    #953
    Profile photo of Conor McGibboney
    Conor McGibboney
    Keymaster
    @conormcgibboney

    Yes, that is the idea. We are still deciding what type of GPS tracker will be using. Any suggestions?

    #980
    Profile photo of Sam Ferguson
    Sam Ferguson
    Participant
    @SamIAm

    I’m not really sure what types there are. Although, I imagine you could get a burner phone, and use the GPS on that.

    #1074
    Profile photo of Conor McGibboney
    Conor McGibboney
    Keymaster
    @conormcgibboney

    It is actually illegal to use a cell phone to track a balloon.

    §22.925 Prohibition on airborne operation of cellular telephones.

    Cellular telephones installed in or carried aboard airplanes, balloons or any other type of aircraft must not be operated while such aircraft are airborne (not touching the ground). When any aircraft leaves the ground, all cellular telephones on board that aircraft must be turned off. The following notice must be posted on or near each cellular telephone installed in any aircraft:

    “The use of cellular telephones while this aircraft is airborne is prohibited by FCC rules, and the violation of this rule could result in suspension of service and/or a fine. The use of cellular telephones while this aircraft is on the ground is subject to FAA regulations.”

    Link to FCC Regulation here -> FCC 22.925

    #1077
    Profile photo of Conor McGibboney
    Conor McGibboney
    Keymaster
    @conormcgibboney

    So the “SPOT TRACE” seems like a pretty good option for a GPS tracker. The price is $50.00 USD and there is a $99.00 a year service charge as well.

    SPECIFICATIONS
    HEIGHT 2.69″ (8.72 cm)
    WIDTH 2.02″ (5.13 cm)
    THICKNESS 0.95″ (2.14 cm)
    WEIGHT 3.1 oz (87.9g)
    OPERATING TEMP -22F to 140F (-30C to 60C)
    OPERATING ALTITUDE -328ft to +21,320ft (-100m to +6,500m)
    HUMIDITY RATED MIL-STD-810F, Method 507.3, 95% to 100% cond.
    VIBRATION RATED Per SAE J1455
    WATERPROOF RATED IPX7 (1 m for up to 30 Minutes)
    POWER OPTIONS

    4 AAA Energizer Ultimate Lithium 8x batteries (L92)-Installed
    4 AAA Energizer® NiMH rechargeable batteries (NH12)-Sold Seperately
    Line power with a 5v USB connection (Not Waterproof) – Included
    Waterproof DC power cable – Sold Separately

    INCLUDED MOUNTING OPTIONS
    Reversible mounting bracket; Industrial strength double-sided tape; Adhesive grip pad; Adhesive hook and loop tape

    Purchase Link here ->SPOT TRACE

    #1090
    Profile photo of Sam Ferguson
    Sam Ferguson
    Participant
    @SamIAm

    Ouch.

    I’m pretty sure there are handheld GPS systems that don’t require paying a service charge in addition to the unit itself. My uncle got one like, 10 years ago, and gave it to me and I’ve never had to worry about getting service. IIRC it’s in storage right now.

    #1092
    Profile photo of Sam Ferguson
    Sam Ferguson
    Participant
    @SamIAm

    It’s definitely bigger and heavier than the spot tracker, though, but not so much that it would totally blow the weight budget. I mean, if there’s a bunch of other stuff on the balloon, it would, but by itself, or with other components that are lightweight, it should work. For weather resistance, you could simply seal it up inside a ziploc.

    #1137
    Profile photo of Binaya Bajgain
    Binaya Bajgain
    Participant
    @binaya

    There are ways we can assemble one GPS tracker using arduino but I haven’t looked into detail about the pricing. https://ukhas.org.uk/guides:linkingarduinotontx2

    And other option can be buying APRS radio transmitter which requires to have an amateur radio license. This product cost $200 and license cost $15 though.

    #1138
    Profile photo of Binaya Bajgain
    Binaya Bajgain
    Participant
    @binaya

    I have a query regarding the sensors we might use to measure the pressure and temperature. How does it work with spot trace or spot gen 3 product. I mean they only have the range of 22000 feet.

    And can we discuss about the radar reflector and camera too?
    I have here the links to make your own radar reflector, I am going to try to make one with cardboard, can anyone try using cd’s and them we compare both.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Lightweight-Radar-Reflector/?ALLSTEPS

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Really-Lightweight-Radar-Reflector-built-with-CDs/?ALLSTEPS

    #1163
    Profile photo of Conor McGibboney
    Conor McGibboney
    Keymaster
    @conormcgibboney

    Well we would not be able to use the GPS trackers to measure the altitude the payload travels to because of the operational limits of GPS technology. However, with an Arduino, RasberyPI, or any Microcontroller we can store the data on the device and determine the the maximum altitude, along with pressure and temperature during the flight, once it is recovered. Or try to configure the system to start transmitting the data once the GPS tracker is at the legal operational altitude.

    As for the cameras I am still looking into different models and prices. A GoPro Hero 4 was recommended and I have been pricing used ones, so far I am seeing deals around $200.00 USD. I know there are cheaper models and we want to test two cameras on the first mission. We will have to leverage price versus quality, but in the used camera market place, we might get lucky.

    I will make one with CD’s, but we will need to find a way to test them. I will put note this in the “General Tasks” topic.

    #1164
    Profile photo of Conor McGibboney
    Conor McGibboney
    Keymaster
    @conormcgibboney

    As far as testing the efficiency of the radar reflectors. According the the US Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5&node=14:2.0.1.3.15#se14.2.101_135

    “3) The balloon envelope is equipped with a radar reflective device(s) or material that will present an echo to surface radar operating in the 200 MHz to 2700 MHz frequency range.”

    #1184
    Profile photo of Sam Ferguson
    Sam Ferguson
    Participant
    @SamIAm

    According to wiki, that frequency range sits right in the middle of typical cordless phone frequencies, so I imagine you could test the reflectivity by jerry-rigging a cordless phone.

    #1185
    Profile photo of Sam Ferguson
    Sam Ferguson
    Participant
    @SamIAm

    Wiki also says 2.4Ghz is the typical operating frequency of a microwave (which makes sense, given that microwaves were developed from radar), so you could use that if you wanted to.

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