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Launch and Landing Checklists
Flight Path Prediction
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The project was first considered in May of 2011, but it being the end of the school year, it was decided that it would be undertaken during the 2011 - 2012 school year. In September 2011, Brian McCain, an engineer in central NB completed a similar project and came and spoke to the team.
During the fall of 2011, the project was again put on the "back burner" as the engineering club was busy building Sumo Robots for NBCC's robotics competition. After winning the competition, the team began gathering information and components throughout the winter of 2012.
The Spot Tracker was ordered in December 2011, in order to take advantage of a year-end rebate.
In February 2012, two students from Ontario completed a similar project, launching a "Lego Man" to an altitude of 70 000'. The project received widespread media attention and motivated our team to step up construction. We ordered our balloon and fabricated our parachute in March 2012.
On March 30th, team members completed installation of components that would make up the payload, and participated in a technical test flight. This "dress rehearsal" would unveil some areas where we needed to improve procedures in order to maximize the chances for a successful launch and recovery.
On April 4th, the team held a "drop test" with the help of an Aliant Telephone Co. boom truck. We tested the parachute with a dummy load to both test it and determine the descent rate. The test went well, and we found the descent rate to be approximately 7m/s. This information was then used to more accurately predict landing sites for the payload.
On April 6th, at 9AM the team assembled in Oromocto, NB. After a quick check of tracking, it was determined that the best launch location would be at a vacant speedway in nearby Lincoln, approximately 6 km away.
The team began final preparations of the payload and began filling the balloon at approximately 10 AM. Liftoff occurred at 11:20, and the balloon flew west for a little over an hour and a half before reaching 100 000' and popping. After this, it fell for 24 minutes, landing in a tree at 1:30 PM. The recovery team arrived shortly after, and successfully retrieved the balloon at approximately 2:45 PM.
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