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.