Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday night before launch, and once again we start from having no working radio beacons. But unlike last time, we have some seriously impressive looking Sputnik-like payload. One of the major worries from the previous launch was the internal temperature, reported at -21C at one point.

This time, we have a solid block of styrofoam with voids carved into it for individual pieces of equipment, some of which are further wrapped in aluminized mylar for additional insulation; some of which have active heating internally in the form of a power resistor across a 9V battery.

We're optimistic.

Similarly exciting, although we're flying the same APRS tracker as last time, we also have new APRS softmodem code for the Android, meaning that it will alternate transmitting position updates from its internal GPS with the known-working tracker.

That's assuming that we can make it work together sensibly by 10am tomorrow, of course.

Other than that, we have extra cameras, including an IR experiment, and random updated bits and pieces. We may even manage to charge the batteries this time.

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