Today, we tested out the payload under freezing conditions over the period of 2 hours. All devices were running as if it were the real launch. The results are plotted in the graph below:

As you can see, I took temperature readings every 15 minutes of the 2 hours and it provided some encouraging results. This is what the payload contained and how it performed:

  • Two cameras, one of which was placed outside the payload as this is where it will be on the gymbal modification. This camera recorded a good amount of footage before running out but may be susceptible to the harsh weather conditions.
    The Creative Vado HD performed brilliantly, giving us 2 hours of good footage.

    – I am very likely going to buy another Creative Vado to put in….just as an extra backup….

  • The GPS tracking device which did the job of staying on perfectly but did not send us location messages due to our local 3G service being disrupted. We have another back up tracking device that uses radio waves to send and receive messages.

    –  I will possibly test the GPS again in the week to check that it will work in its intended way.

  •  A hand warmer, possibly the most important part for this test, did just the job. As you can see from the graph, 7 degrees was the coldest it got in the two hours….and that’s with constant -18 degrees centigrade exposure!!

    – I was really impressed with the hand warmer….it’s still warm now nearly 7 hours after being used! If we can, I will use another one just for good measure on the actual launch.

The pressure is building up to the big day. This time next week, we could have launched and hopefully retrieved the balloon! We intend to do some more building mid-week, just to finish it off and then we can get some more pics up for you guys before the launch!
I feel like I have so much to tell you but not sure if I have covered it or not!? If you want to know anything, just leave a comment below.
And before I go, can you check for me where the predictor reckons the balloon would land?

Go to this link:

And use the following information to find your prediction:
– Launch site: EARS
– Launch time: Your choice between 9am and 2pm.
– Launch date: Either the 1st or 2nd of October 2011.
Now click where it says ‘Use Burst Calculator’ and payload mass = 1000g, balloon mass = 800g and target ascent rate = 5.5. Then click ‘Use Values’.
– Now click the button at the bottom saying ‘Run Prediction’, wait for it to load and hope for it to be inland and close to the launch site!

As we’re only at the beginning of the design and build process, we may encounter problems or decide to change the design based on other factors. We’ll try to keep everyone updated on the changes and will explain why we have done so.
Please leave a comment or if I have missed any vital information, let me know and I’ll edit it!


3 Responses

  1. Thanks! It certainly was! Although my freezer must have wondered what on Earth was going on….
    Should be plenty of testing with my new project so watch this Space.
    Excuse the puns. 🙂

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