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Launch and Landing Checklists
Flight Path Prediction
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The capsule used was a styrofoam cooler, painted orange, with holes cut for the cameras to peer out of. Cameras and tracking devices were fastened inside using velcro and secured using cable ties.
The balloon was a
model. Using this size of balloon gave us some flexibility in choosing components for our payload as we were not limited quite as strictly as we would have been by choosing a smaller balloon.
The 4' diameter parachute was constructed from nylon using the pattern found
. In theory, this should bring our payload down at a controlled rate of 6.1 m/s.
The balloon was attached quite close to the payload, while the parachute was put on a fairly long line. It was hoped that this would reduce the spin of the payload on the way up and also minimize the risk of the parachute becoming entangled in the remnants of the balloon on the way down. A side benefit of this configuration is that, if the 'chute gets caught in a tall tree, the payload should drop closer to the ground and hopefully lead to easier recovery.
Video analysis of the payload during descent showed that the 'chute did in fact stay mostly clear of the balloon fragments. However, spin still plagued the capsule during the ascent phase.
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