Sunday, December 23, 2012

UnB Hybrid Propulsion Team

"Currently the Hybrid Team and it’s members are working in several research lines like; bio rocket fuel, ceramic coated nozzles, autonomous aircraft, electric propulsion, trajectory prediction and optimization, aerodynamic simulation and multidisciplinary rocket design optimization. The UnB’s Hybrid Team in the contest of the Aerospace Initiative is working in the development of skilled manpower for several Brazilian space related initiatives such the Brazilian-Ucranian joint venture Alcantara Cyclone Space and the Formosa Rocket Launch Field. Currently 10 engineer are being trained to by the Hybrid Team and The LARA laboratory to work for ACS in a aerospace an masters program. Those professionals will be among the first technical staff of the new company and will directly work in the 2012 Cyclone-4 launch in Alcantara-MA. Professionals trained in the Hybrid Team of the are occupying positions in the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Ministry of Education (MEC), University of Brasilia and ENSMA."

Hybrid Team.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WikiSat Balloon Launch 13b

"In this balloon release we validated the u-blox NEO6M GPS (50,000 m) and a small balloon of only one meter. Also we tested a videolink based on the analog transmitter TX5823 of 200 milliwatts of power transmitting in the 5.8 GHz band with only 3.3 volts. The camera is a MC901A also with 3.3 volts. The Saturday launch was aborted due to problems with the launching ramp. In the Sunday's attempt we saw the rocket leaving the launching ramp but we do not know if it worked or not because the camera movement was somehow chaotic. Also we were able to put only one camera (GoPro Her2) instead of five cameras as expected. The RD120CAM cameras were jamming the IRIDIUM signal. The balloon was recovered in the village of Naval (Huesca) in the mountains."

I love the work that this team does with high altitude balloons and tiny little satellites including the 17 gram gem above that transmits video!

At the same time, I am really perplexed by their rocket work with small rocket engines and soda cans.  It is unclear what these rocket stages will look like in the end, or how they will achieve sufficient delta v to get a payload into orbit.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

N Prize extended once again for a year

I have mixed feelings about extending a competition so many times, but there has been a change; no new teams will be allowed to join after September of this year.  I had planned on making a final post about this competition, covering all of the progress  made by teams (if any) but instead, come back for future posts about progress that the teams have made.

Monday, August 20, 2012

One month left!

There is now less than one month left in the (already extended) N Prize competition, and it is pretty clear that no team is ready to even come close to an attempt.

I plan to wait the month out, and then do one final post as a wrap-up to the competition. It is worth running down the teams one more time, and showing that though no serious attempts were ever made, there has been some good to come out of the N Prize.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What is Team Prometheus up to?

I was able to find this really neat little rocket payload section. Team Prometheus has been, and remains the most active of N prize teams. They have clearly expanded out to many other areas in addition to this competition. This nice little payload section seems to have a camera and other electronics in it. What can be done with such a small rocket? Well if it is launched from a rockoon, even with a tiny motor such as a J, it can possibly fly to space.

"A current project is the Rockoon or Rocket launched from a high altitude balloon project. This project is about to happen with a ground launch test and then the high altitude launch. One aspect of this launch that we were hoping to use the APM along with a guided parachute to make recovery a lot easier of the payload. Anyone interested in this project should contact me immediately."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Heinz Wolff interviews Paul Dear

"With one year to go, the N-Prize founder Paul Dear talks to Heinz Wolff about the competition and why he started it."

It is interesting to hear Dear talk about rockoons. The video also includes a review of several teams. Note that there are now about 190 days left in the competition.