highaltitude.log.20070308

[05:54] icez (n=icez@ip68-3-56-121.ph.ph.cox.net) left irc: Remote closed the connection
[07:42] jcoxon (n=jcoxon@jac208.caths.cam.ac.uk) joined #highaltitude.
[12:09] flowolf (n=flowolf@host135-224-dynamic.1-87-r.retail.telecomitalia.it) joined #highaltitude.
[13:27] flowolf (n=flowolf@host135-224-dynamic.1-87-r.retail.telecomitalia.it) left irc: "Leaving"
[13:29] flowolf (n=flowolf@host135-224-dynamic.1-87-r.retail.telecomitalia.it) joined #highaltitude.
[13:53] Ebola (n=Ebola@host86-143-156-147.range86-143.btcentralplus.com) joined #highaltitude.
[14:01] flowolf (n=flowolf@host135-224-dynamic.1-87-r.retail.telecomitalia.it) left irc: "Leaving"
[14:07] icez (n=icez@ip68-3-56-121.ph.ph.cox.net) joined #highaltitude.
[15:00] icez (n=icez@ip68-3-56-121.ph.ph.cox.net) left irc: Remote closed the connection
[15:04] phatmonkey (i=nobody@81.2.121.150) left irc: Read error: 113 (No route to host)
[15:51] _defy (n=defy@60-234-174-220.bitstream.orcon.net.nz) left irc: Read error: 110 (Connection timed out)
[16:59] flowolf (n=flowolf@host135-224-dynamic.1-87-r.retail.telecomitalia.it) joined #highaltitude.
[19:03] mc- (i=mc@86.115.18.92) joined #highaltitude.
[19:09] <mc-> hi jcoxon
[19:17] <jcoxon> hey mc-
[19:25] <mc-> how's the parawing going?
[19:25] <jcoxon> just starting work on it
[19:26] <mc-> If you have any drawings, please cc me
[19:26] <jcoxon> had a productive meeting - need to iron out our plans
[19:26] <jcoxon> was actually about to start work on a wiki page
[19:26] <mc-> cool
[19:26] <jcoxon> been playing on a flight sim and starting off very high see what happens
[19:27] <mc-> I saw in the logs you were going to build a kite
[19:27] <mc-> and launch something from the kite?
[19:27] <jcoxon> well just to make a drop platform
[19:28] <jcoxon> literally to get a little more height then dropping stuff from buildings :-p
[19:28] <jcoxon> i got a crappy power kite of ebay
[19:28] <jcoxon> arrived today
[19:28] <mc-> I've done some PIC code which controls a servo over a radio link.
[19:28] <mc-> and I've got a RC radio + receiver
[19:30] <mc-> I bought a few lidl kites
[19:30] <jcoxon> cool
[19:30] <mc-> I was trying to think of a launch mechanism
[19:31] <jcoxon> thats certainly a hurdle we'd need to overcome
[19:31] <mc-> maybe an extra line, which is pulled and unties a knot
[19:32] <jcoxon> thats a good idea
[19:34] <jcoxon> mc-, did you see the nova 4 launch videos?
[19:34] <mc-> or if I use a PIC, I could turn on a transistor to melt a piece of plastic
[19:37] <mc-> I tried to view them, but I'm in Finland, and it didn't seem to work here
[19:37] <mc-> it's downloading now
[19:41] <jcoxon> cool
[19:42] edwardmoore (n=edwardmo@pomegranate.chu.cam.ac.uk) joined #highaltitude.
[19:42] <edwardmoore> hi jcoxon
[19:43] <jcoxon> hey ed
[19:43] <jcoxon> just got your email
[19:43] <jcoxon> like the streamline effect to drop down
[19:43] <jcoxon> pick up a fair bit of speed
[19:44] <edwardmoore> yeah
[19:44] <edwardmoore> well it might help get through the yucky dangerzone
[19:44] <edwardmoore> by which i mean the jetstream
[19:44] <jcoxon> yeah
[19:44] <jcoxon> but then we'd be going fast fast
[19:45] <jcoxon> definitly one to test
[19:45] <edwardmoore> or.......... we aim to upwind of where we want to go in the 10-20k fall in the upper atmosphere, then get carried back downwind towards the landing site
[19:45] <edwardmoore> so kinda using the jetstream to help us
[19:47] <jcoxon> yeah
[19:47] <edwardmoore> i'll rephrase that to something more coherent: use that large vertical distance above the jetstream to try and glide as best we can to upwind of our target, then the jetstream can carry us back
[19:47] <jcoxon> yeah thats a good idea, we can also lose speed by circling
[19:47] <edwardmoore> yep
[19:48] <edwardmoore> or, if we wanna waste time circling, we may aswell increase the descent rate
[19:48] <jcoxon> yeah as long as we don't lose control
[19:49] <edwardmoore> i'm thinking maybe a 30% increase rather than a freefall :)
[19:49] <jcoxon> hehe
[19:49] <edwardmoore> what does the kite look like?
[19:50] <jcoxon> its not that big
[19:50] <jcoxon> http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=019&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&viewitem=&item=290090052869&rd=1&rd=1
[19:50] <edwardmoore> will be good to fire it up
[19:53] <edwardmoore> do you know anyone who flies model helicopters?
[19:53] <jcoxon> nope
[19:53] <jcoxon> why?
[19:54] <mc-> I know someone
[19:54] <edwardmoore> a platform to drop stuff from- maybe at a greater height than the kite can reach
[19:55] <jcoxon> true
[19:55] <mc-> how about a tethered balloon?
[19:55] <jcoxon> i guess we'll have to see how high we can get the kite
[19:55] <jcoxon> mc-, the CAA get abit upset with tethered balloons
[19:55] <edwardmoore> balloons always take me by suprise by how eratically they behave
[19:55] <mc-> oh, ok
[19:56] <edwardmoore> when tethered, anyway
[19:56] <jcoxon> we need a nasa helicopeter
[19:56] <edwardmoore> or failing that, a model one :)
[19:58] Action: jcoxon thinks that some of the national space budget should be given to us
[19:58] <edwardmoore> we could finish off nasa's work for them :)
[19:58] <jcoxon> to buy a helicopter + a ground control camper van with lcd screens
[19:59] <jcoxon> got a email today from someone who represents gpsboomerang (NZ glider guy)
[19:59] <jcoxon> wanted to know how to get permission to launch in the UK
[19:59] <edwardmoore> awesome
[19:59] <edwardmoore> tell him there's a nice launch site in cambridge
[20:00] <jcoxon> well i said that the CAA usually require descent by parachute so i guess he would have to talk directly to them
[20:00] <jcoxon> but he said that he would keep me informed of how it went
[20:01] <jcoxon> gave him our contacts email address in the CAA
[20:01] <edwardmoore> parachute = thing that provides drag
[20:01] <jcoxon> perhaps
[20:01] <edwardmoore> glider = parachute (just... a bad one)
[20:05] <mc-> would the CAA complain if a tethered balloon was winched up and then down again once the test was done?
[20:06] <jcoxon> mc-, i'm not sure
[20:07] <mc-> I know RC planes can fly up to 400ft (or 400m?) without any restriction
[20:08] <mc-> I've seen websites of high altitude kites in the US several km up
[20:14] <jcoxon> http://wiki.ukhas.org.uk/parawing
[20:18] <mc-> just read it, looks good
[20:19] <mc-> a comment, the parawing won't know if it's going into wind, since it's travelling with the wind
[20:20] <mc-> perhaps you meant that it won't make any headway if going into wind?
[20:20] <edwardmoore> not sure how accurate a claim that is either
[20:21] <edwardmoore> the critical info is what can we do in terms of heading into the wind
[20:21] <mc-> another comment, the drive shaft in the pic might end up rotating the payload rather than the chute.
[20:22] <jcoxon> :-) - put these comments on the page
[20:22] <jcoxon> i like feedback
[20:22] <edwardmoore> that's why we lower the cg!
[20:24] <mc-> you'll need a payload with the cg much lower than the pivot point of the drive shaft.
[20:24] <jcoxon> i prefer our winch idea (not drawn yet)
[20:25] <edwardmoore> yes- the current (not wiki- am working on it) idea has the payload much lower than the control arms
[20:25] <mc-> i liked your original idea of a rudder
[20:25] <mc-> since you don't need to change direction very fast
[20:26] <jcoxon> mc-, i'm just not sure how much control you'll get out of that especially at higher altitudes
[20:26] <jcoxon> by turning the parawing its a much larger area etc
[20:27] <edwardmoore> need to dash- will probably be back later
[20:27] Action: edwardmoore is away
[20:28] <mc-> I'm thinking it's like turning a ship, you only need a small input held for a long time
[20:29] <jcoxon> of course but cause the low air pressure etc you'd need to turn it alot more or for it to be a lot bigger
[20:32] <jcoxon> will see how testing goes
[20:33] <mc-> at 30kft, it's only half sea level pressure (I think), it's going to fall very quickly from 90kft
[20:34] <mc-> so I'm not sure if it matters if the steering isn't very effective
[20:48] <mc-> I've added some comments to the wiki, gotta go now
[20:48] mc- (i=mc@86.115.18.92) left irc:
[21:07] <Jpantoga> Hello?
[21:13] <jcoxon> hey Jpantoga
[21:22] <Jpantoga> I just figured I'd stop in to see if this IRC was active or not
[21:22] <Jpantoga> I'm considering doing aerial photography as a research project for school
[21:23] <Jpantoga> Im trying to decide whether it's a viable project idea
[21:23] <jcoxon> ooo cool
[21:23] <Jpantoga> yeah
[21:23] <Jpantoga> my highschool has a great independent research program for seniors
[21:23] <jcoxon> its pretty easy to put together a simple payload to take pictures
[21:24] <Jpantoga> so it seems
[21:24] <Jpantoga> but I do not have a radio license
[21:24] <jcoxon> nor do I :-)
[21:24] <jcoxon> are in in the USA?
[21:24] <Jpantoga> yes
[21:24] <Jpantoga> Chicago
[21:25] <jcoxon> well radio licence helps
[21:25] <jcoxon> but you can get away without one - use a low power in a licence exempt freq
[21:26] <Jpantoga> is that what you did?
[21:26] <jcoxon> well i use a cellphone for once its landed
[21:26] <jcoxon> and then 434mhz 10mW
[21:26] <jcoxon> thats less power then a LED
[21:27] <jcoxon> but can get over 200km range with it
[21:28] <jcoxon> my site is http://www.pegasushabproject.org.uk
[21:38] <Jpantoga> I see
[21:38] <Jpantoga> so you're based in englad?
[21:38] <Jpantoga> england*
[21:38] <jcoxon> yup
[21:38] <jcoxon> quite a few people on her are
[21:39] <Jpantoga> oh, you used a gumstix mainboard platform?
[21:39] <jcoxon> yup
[21:39] <Jpantoga> interesting
[21:39] <Jpantoga> Im not too familiar with linux
[21:39] <jcoxon> its a nice platform to work with
[21:40] <Jpantoga> however embedded programming is somewhat familiar to me
[21:40] <jcoxon> easier then programming a pic
[21:40] <jcoxon> the do that
[21:40] <Jpantoga> really?
[21:40] <Jpantoga> Im somewhat familiar with pic's
[21:40] <Jpantoga> never done anything somewhat complicated
[21:40] <jcoxon> if you can you might as well do a pic
[21:40] <Jpantoga> well to what extent did you use the gumstix platform?
[21:40] <jcoxon> i find it easy for example i use a simple perl script to parse my gps
[21:40] <jcoxon> and lots of the software is already written - its a matter of adapting it
[21:41] <jcoxon> i use a lot of the functions but mainly serial ports and gpios
[21:41] <Jpantoga> hmm
[21:41] <jcoxon> but now i use i2c for my digital compass
[21:41] <Jpantoga> see I will be starting from relatively zero knowledge
[21:41] <jcoxon> and A/D for accelerometers
[21:41] <jcoxon> hmm PIC is a good idea
[21:42] <Jpantoga> really
[21:42] <jcoxon> quite a few people use them
[21:42] <jcoxon> check out wiki.ukhas.org.uk
[21:43] <Jpantoga> oh
[21:43] <jcoxon> ummm and www.cuspaceflight.co.uk
[21:43] <Jpantoga> ok thanks
[21:43] <jcoxon> they use pics for their avionics
[21:43] <Jpantoga> how complicated is the programming though?
[21:44] <jcoxon> for hte pic?
[21:44] <Jpantoga> yes
[21:45] <jcoxon> i guess its quite hard
[21:45] <jcoxon> i've never done it
[21:46] <Jpantoga> haha, well in that case, I don't expect to pick it up in a year
[21:47] <Jpantoga> how complicated was it to program the waysmall?
[21:48] <jcoxon> well the system is already there
[21:48] <jcoxon> its just a matter of setting it up
[21:48] <Jpantoga> really?
[21:48] <jcoxon> well its an embedded os
[21:48] <Jpantoga> yeah
[21:48] <jcoxon> so for example for gps its just a matter of connecting a gps
[21:48] <jcoxon> and at its most basic running the command:
[21:48] <jcoxon> cat /dev/ttyS2
[21:49] <jcoxon> and out will stream gps data
[21:49] <Jpantoga> which is stored....mmc?
[21:49] <jcoxon> well i have the 16mb version so store it on the flash itself
[21:49] <Jpantoga> oh
[21:49] <Jpantoga> and so what role does the 5110 play?
[21:49] <jcoxon> but yeah onto mmc
[21:49] <jcoxon> i use the 5110 to send a text when it lands
[21:50] <Jpantoga> ohh
[21:50] <Jpantoga> from which you use a laptop/google earth/whatever to find it?
[21:50] <jcoxon> as often radio reception goes
[21:50] <jcoxon> yeah
[21:50] <jcoxon> i originally just used the 5110
[21:50] <jcoxon> radio is a more recent addition
[21:50] <jcoxon> it does mean you have a comms blackout for hte flight :-p
[21:51] <Jpantoga> true
[21:51] <Jpantoga> for the radio, does it just transmit coordinates periodically throughout the flight?
[21:51] <Jpantoga> from which I assume you can begin to track the package while it is still in the air?
[21:51] <jcoxon> well my first payload with a radio just beeped - allowing you to track it with a yagi antenna
[21:52] <jcoxon> but now i'm toggleing a GPIO pin off the gumstix in morse code the coords
[21:52] <jcoxon> and then sending it as a serial data stream
[21:52] <jcoxon> and then loop back to morse code
[21:52] <jcoxon> so it would transmit all the time
[21:52] <Jpantoga> but there is still a blackout period correct?
[21:53] <jcoxon> no black out with the radio
[21:53] <Jpantoga> hmm
[21:53] <jcoxon> as long as its in range
[21:53] <jcoxon> and it pretty much always is
[21:53] <Jpantoga> how far have you found that the package travels from its release point
[21:54] <jcoxon> hmm depends on the winds
[21:54] <jcoxon> but up to 100km
[21:54] <Jpantoga> oh wow
[21:54] <jcoxon> even more (but for us it then ends up in the sea)
[21:55] <jcoxon> however if you are clever about hte winds then it can be a lot less
[21:55] <jcoxon> say 10miles
[21:55] <Jpantoga> oh
[21:55] <Jpantoga> so not so bad I guess, on a calm day
[21:55] <jcoxon> yeah
[21:55] <jcoxon> in the UK we don't have those days very often so we launch in a bit more extreme
[21:56] <jcoxon> also we have a cutdown device to release the payload and parachute if it goes to far
[21:56] <Jpantoga> interesting
[21:56] <Jpantoga> but for a simple first launch
[21:57] <Jpantoga> perhaps using only a few measuring devices
[21:57] <Jpantoga> and a camera
[21:57] <Jpantoga> it doesnt seem like the instrumentation has to be that complicated
[21:58] <Jpantoga> the only problem I find would be retrieving the package
[21:58] <jcoxon> oh it can be very easy
[21:58] <Jpantoga> due to my limited radio/gps knowledge
[21:58] <jcoxon> there are some good guides online
[21:59] <jcoxon> depending on what flight computer you use
[21:59] <jcoxon> and i'm sure they are people around who would help
[21:59] <jcoxon> e,g, have you seen the Make balloon launch?
[21:59] <Jpantoga> yes I have actually
[22:00] <Jpantoga> I was featured in a newspaper article regarding make ;)
[22:00] <jcoxon> FireRabbit, is part of the team
[22:00] <Jpantoga> http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0702050193feb05,1,7370822.story?page=1&coll=chi-techtopheds-hed
[22:00] <Jpantoga> oh wow, that's cool
[22:01] <Jpantoga> the support community is definitely existent
[22:01] <Jpantoga> so I'm sure that I would not be embarking on a project like this without some assistance
[22:02] <Jpantoga> did you control the camera electronically with gumstix as well?
[22:02] <jcoxon> i actually just hacked it up and soldered some wires to the switch
[22:02] <jcoxon> then used a gpio off the gumstix to turn it on and off
[22:03] <jcoxon> a shell script slept for 60 secs, activated the gpio the turned it off and looped
[22:03] <Jpantoga> haha nice
[22:04] <jcoxon> nice and easy
[22:05] <Jpantoga> the camera control is the least of my worries, however
[22:05] <Jpantoga> haha
[22:05] <Jpantoga> for it can be done a number of ways fairly simply
[22:05] <jcoxon> i reckon the simplest system that in my head i would use would be
[22:05] <jcoxon> gumstix + GPSstix -> radio off a gpio doing morse code
[22:06] <jcoxon> + camera off another gpio
[22:06] <Jpantoga> GPSstix?
[22:06] _defy (n=defy@60-234-174-220.bitstream.orcon.net.nz) joined #highaltitude.
[22:07] <Jpantoga> I would like to avoid radio if at all possible, however it sounds as if it might not be
[22:07] <jcoxon> GPSstix is a daughterboard for the gumstix with onboard gps
[22:07] <jcoxon> makes life easier
[22:07] <_defy> hey guys
[22:08] <jcoxon> depends on the cellphone coverage - in hte UK its very good therefore you can just use a phone
[22:08] <_defy> heh speaking of gumstix, i got a free robostix this morning
[22:08] <jcoxon> right i'm going to have to dash
[22:08] <jcoxon> sorry guys
[22:08] <Jpantoga> ok
[22:08] <jcoxon> might bbl
[22:08] jcoxon (n=jcoxon@jac208.caths.cam.ac.uk) left irc: "Leaving"
[22:08] <Jpantoga> I'll be back
[23:01] rocketboy (n=steve@host86-132-31-226.range86-132.btcentralplus.com) joined #highaltitude.
[23:01] <edwardmoore> hi steve
[23:03] <rocketboy> hi ed - I just sent 2 emails with some ideas
[23:03] <edwardmoore> just reading them :)
[23:04] <rocketboy> spiffing
[23:04] <edwardmoore> Yeah I basically agree
[23:04] <edwardmoore> I think the biggest thing to find out is how well it can attack into the wind
[23:05] <edwardmoore> they say the flexible chutes aren't as good into the wind as ribbed ones
[23:05] <edwardmoore> but i can't find any more qualitative or quantitative info
[23:05] <edwardmoore> but if we can go into the wind then yeah i agree just keeping it pointed to the landing site would get us there
[23:08] <rocketboy> I guess goining into the wind is all about drop rate and pitch
[23:09] <edwardmoore> yeah, although the old nasa papers talk about the nose collapsing on the flexible ones when they pitch in too much
[23:09] <edwardmoore> and that 'too much' wasn't necessarily all that much
[23:10] <rocketboy> huum - i notice that the smaller NPWs have a ribbed nose
[23:10] <edwardmoore> yeah.
[23:11] <edwardmoore> it's the jet-stream that's the biggie i guess
[23:11] <_defy> what are these parawings originally made for?
[23:11] <edwardmoore> i was thinking you could try and aim the thing upwind of where you want to be so that the jet-stream carries it back. equally the jetstream may be no big deal and we have more than enough height to make it back to where we want once we break through
[23:12] <edwardmoore> they were invented my a nasa engineer, looked at for re-entry, dropped, and then paragliders and kiters took them over
[23:12] <_defy> cool
[23:14] <rocketboy> ed - seems like a plan - not sure about the jetstream as a big deal - I would have thought the faster descent rate in the thin atmosphere might give more forward motion?
[23:16] <edwardmoore> well we have about 15km of thin atmosphere above the jetstream, and i guess we could get some distance over the ground at that stage. How much though I've no idea.
[23:18] <rocketboy> Ah well I guess the best way is to try it
[23:19] <edwardmoore> :)
[23:20] <edwardmoore> I might have a word with one of the beardy fellows who I know would love this kind of thing. He's an aerodynamicist of the post-war-space-flight generation
[23:20] <edwardmoore> he think he'd like nothing more than for me to go at him with a load of nasa papers from the 60s
[23:21] <rocketboy> Its probably all in ther somewhere
[23:22] <edwardmoore> there's a wealth of info in their archives. just with i spoke enough engineering to understand half of it
[23:23] <edwardmoore> wish*
[23:26] flowolf (n=flowolf@host135-224-dynamic.1-87-r.retail.telecomitalia.it) left irc: "Leaving"
[23:26] <rocketboy> yeah
[23:27] <rocketboy> ah well I'm off - CU
[23:27] <edwardmoore> ok, cya
[23:28] rocketboy (n=steve@host86-132-31-226.range86-132.btcentralplus.com) left irc: "Leaving"
[23:45] edwardmoore (n=edwardmo@pomegranate.chu.cam.ac.uk) left irc:
[00:00] --- Fri Mar 9 2007