Friday 29 March 2013

Four Day Weekend

Another busy few days at STRATODEAN HQ. We found out last weekend that our CAA application has been accepted with all our requested dates gaining approval. Yey!

We've been trying to make the most of the extra long bank holiday weekend and tick some more jobs off the old to-do list.

We visited our launch site to get a greater idea of how to plan our launch day, just basic things like parking (somewhere where we don't have to drag our helium too far!), where to set up our tarpaulin and equipment etc.

The helium has been purchased! After much umm-ing and ahh-ing he decided to take the hit and order a jumbo-sized canister (BOC cylinder size 'L'). This beast holds 9m³ and weighs 76.5kg. We were hoping the medium-size would be sufficient (BOC size 'T') but our calculations predicted we would require approximately 4m³. Even though this figure was rounded up, the medium's 3.6m³ of helium would have been little too close for comfort. We were hoping to procure the helium from a local company but all those approached required us to have an account with BOC before they would deal with us. In the end we ordered from who seems to be a common HABer's port of call.

Our balloon (plus a spare), parachute and cord have arrived from Random Solutions (thanks Steve!). The latex balloons are tucked away in storage until needed but we took the parachute for a little (highly technical) test run a little earlier...

Still on the to-do list for the weekend ahead:
  • Finish testing Canon camera and CHDK.
  • Make balloon filler.
  • Attach cord to payload and duct tape.
  • Make decision on hand warmers and make necessary payload modifications.
  • Check credit on backup tracker.
  • Check credit on 3G dongle.
  • Write 'night before' list.
  • Write 'on the day' list.
Finally, Happy Easter from the resident STRATODEAN HQ Bunnies.
Summer wishes you a Happy Easter from her cardboard castle.

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