highaltitude.log.20070403

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[17:07] <Laurenceb> hi there
[17:09] <Laurenceb> i've put some stuff up on the wiki :-)
[17:10] <phatmonkey> ooh, nice
[17:15] <phatmonkey> Laurenceb, i'd be very interested in helping with the glider
[17:15] <phatmonkey> i made a start, but never really found the time to complete it on my own
[17:16] <phatmonkey> maybe we should start collaboration more with the ukhas glider project
[17:16] <phatmonkey> collaborating rather
[17:16] <phatmonkey> jcoxon, you around?
[17:17] <Laurenceb> yes, I dont have much time at the moment, exams
[17:17] <jcoxon> hello
[17:18] <Laurenceb> but I've done lots of development work on gliders so far
[17:18] <phatmonkey> same really, i have my as levels coming up
[17:18] <Laurenceb> the real problem was spiral diving
[17:18] <phatmonkey> thermopiles and ailerons would solve that
[17:19] <phatmonkey> "#
[17:19] <phatmonkey> Unless the aerodynamics is thoroughly tested, rigid gliders are only reliable with thermopile stabilization. Rogallos and parafoils are c of g stabilized, so more stable in that respect
[17:19] <phatmonkey> "
[17:19] <Laurenceb> if this could be avoided, the tests worked quite well, so i'm sure it would work
[17:19] <Laurenceb> yes, i dont think rogallos and parawings suffer the same problem
[17:20] <phatmonkey> you're absolutely right - art whatshisname, the canadian high altitude glider guy, said that ailerons were the only way to go
[17:20] <phatmonkey> yeah, would be interesting to try that
[17:20] <Laurenceb> yes, he still had spiral dive problems though
[17:20] <phatmonkey> i might try contacting him again actually and see if he's interested in helping
[17:20] <phatmonkey> i exchanged a few emails with him a while back
[17:20] <Laurenceb> but with a two way radio link he could bring it out
[17:21] <Laurenceb> cool that would be good
[17:21] <Laurenceb> there's a lot of work required to make something that works, probably best if we split up the work load
[17:21] <phatmonkey> yeah
[17:22] <phatmonkey> i tried to go through the paparazzi code to see how they handled thermopiles
[17:22] <Laurenceb> I think i've got control loops for adjusting the heading sorted
[17:22] <phatmonkey> i understood some of it, but their code is such a mess and half the variables are named in french
[17:22] <Laurenceb> hmm, i was just reading their site, do they have 6 thermopiles?
[17:23] <phatmonkey> yes
[17:23] <phatmonkey> i have some working thermopile circuits too
[17:23] <Laurenceb> ah, that means you can calibrate it with the vetical thermopile pair
[17:23] <phatmonkey> plus a zagi 60, what i figured to be the perfect aileron ha glider platform
[17:23] <phatmonkey> yes
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[17:23] <Jpantoga> hey
[17:23] <phatmonkey> the calibration will probably change a fair bit on the way up
[17:23] <phatmonkey> hey
[17:23] <Laurenceb> oh cool, I was looking for thermopiles
[17:24] <phatmonkey> i'll get you the site i got them from
[17:24] <phatmonkey> or i could send you mine
[17:24] <Laurenceb> sometimes FMA units go up on ebay
[17:24] <phatmonkey> it'll probably all end up in the same project anyway
[17:24] <Laurenceb> yes
[17:25] <phatmonkey> what we could do actually
[17:25] <phatmonkey> and i was discussing this with the paparazzi guys
[17:25] <Laurenceb> I'll write a guide page on how to tune heading control loops
[17:25] <phatmonkey> is actually use paparazzi on a robostix board or something, or at least a modified version
[17:25] <phatmonkey> then have navigation controlled by a separate board, possibly an attached gumstix
[17:25] <Laurenceb> you mean the paparazzi code?
[17:26] <phatmonkey> yeah
[17:26] <Laurenceb> mhhh, we'd have to understand it fully
[17:26] <phatmonkey> their code is horrifically hard to understand, yeah
[17:26] <Laurenceb> its meant for powered planes
[17:26] <phatmonkey> we'll need a decent C coder to go through it if we're going to do that
[17:26] <phatmonkey> they said it'd work fine with gliders, but it all seems a bit hacky and undocumented to me
[17:27] <Laurenceb> If I can get a C compiler for avrs working I could have something running easily I think
[17:27] <phatmonkey> but their thermopile code seems to work, i just failed to understand it
[17:27] <Laurenceb> it relativly basic really, maths isnt horrific
[17:27] <phatmonkey> it's not much code, just awfully obfuscated with oddly named variables and literally no comments
[17:27] <phatmonkey> yeah
[17:28] <Laurenceb> just PID loops hooked up to the adc input I presume
[17:28] <phatmonkey> i did write some code, but i forget why it didn't work
[17:28] <Laurenceb> I'm thinking of a javelin stamp module actually
[17:29] <phatmonkey> how's your current glider run?
[17:29] <Laurenceb> with a mega8 and bascom avr compiler to do the code
[17:30] <Laurenceb> mega8 module off active robots
[17:31] <phatmonkey> ah cool
[17:31] <Laurenceb> http://www.active-robots.com/products/controllr/atmel-avr.shtml
[17:31] <phatmonkey> very compact
[17:32] <Laurenceb> and http://www.mcselec.com/
[17:33] <Laurenceb> if you can get c for avr working, you might be interested in:
[17:33] <Laurenceb> http://www.mcselec.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=108&Itemid=41
[17:35] <Laurenceb> javelin stamps look good, but thats about the only decent parallax product apart from the hydra
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[17:38] <phatmonkey> hmm, i see paparazzi have a new wiki now
[17:38] <phatmonkey> which explains some of their code
[17:39] <Laurenceb> oh cool
[17:39] <Laurenceb> I think i'll work on "ULTRAHAB" for the time being
[17:40] <Laurenceb> have lots of avr harware to use
[17:40] <Laurenceb> hopefully more if it can be unembedded from a car park in st-neots
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[17:44] <Laurenceb> but I think I've come up with a foolproof way to tune pid loops
[17:45] <Laurenceb> 1- test fly in calm weather with just a P term, 2- tune some basic simcode to reproduce the flight, 3-add an R term to reduce oscillation if there is any lag, 4-test to make sure it works
[17:48] <jcoxon> Laurenceb, looking at ultrahab
[17:48] <jcoxon> like the idea
[17:49] <jcoxon> for the 2 balloons when the first bursts does it just unhook itself?
[17:50] <Laurenceb> yes, took me a while to come up with the hook design
[17:50] <Laurenceb> its made from bent wire
[17:51] <jcoxon> :-)
[17:51] <jcoxon> i especially like hte simplisity
[17:51] <jcoxon> of the whole idea
[17:51] <Laurenceb> the whole flight should last 4 hours
[17:51] <jcoxon> my only input is to wait for the perfect day to launch
[17:51] <jcoxon> don't take any risks
[17:51] <Laurenceb> 3 hours up, 1 hour or less descent
[17:52] <Laurenceb> yes it will need very good weather
[17:52] <Laurenceb> and about 5 m^3 of helium
[17:52] <Laurenceb> but should take some cool photos
[17:52] <jcoxon> definitly
[17:53] <jcoxon> very excited
[17:53] <Laurenceb> will have to have a UV filter on the camera
[17:53] <jcoxon> yeah
[17:53] <jcoxon> perhaps also a polarising filter
[17:54] <Laurenceb> i'll use the mihab3 code, for video and photos
[17:54] <Laurenceb> yes I'll look into how to set up polarizing filters
[17:55] <jcoxon> get a screw on sky lens for a slr camera
[17:56] <Laurenceb> i'll look on ebay
[17:56] <jcoxon> oops
[17:56] <jcoxon> i mean a filter
[17:56] <Laurenceb> okay, hows pegasus5 coming on?
[17:56] <jcoxon> ummm not great
[17:56] <jcoxon> as in i haven't made much progress
[17:56] <jcoxon> haven't been well
[17:57] <jcoxon> but it shouldn't take long to get done
[17:57] <jcoxon> plan to launch something like the 2nd weekend of term
[17:57] <Laurenceb> i see
[17:57] <jcoxon> but i'm going to be careful and go for nice weather
[17:58] <Laurenceb> good plan
[17:58] <Laurenceb> I'd better be off cya all
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[18:09] <mc-> hi jcoxon
[18:10] <mc-> I got another bill from party days today, they are charging for bottle rental? Has it been returned?
[18:12] <jcoxon> hey mc-
[18:12] <jcoxon> yeah
[18:13] <jcoxon> it has been
[18:13] <jcoxon> rocketboy took it back a good month ago
[18:13] <jcoxon> hmmmm
[18:14] <jcoxon> when rocketboy returned it they didn't have my deposit cheque as it was at the warehouse
[18:14] <jcoxon> and they said they would send it to me
[18:14] <jcoxon> (as we returned it to the shop rather then the warehouse)
[18:14] <jcoxon> perhaps they've mixed it up
[18:14] <mc-> could I ask you to contact them? As I'm really busy
[18:15] <jcoxon> no problem - i'll call tomorrow (little late now)
[18:15] <mc-> thanks
[18:15] <jcoxon> will add it to my list (well it'll start my list of jobs for tomorrow :-D)
[18:15] <jcoxon> right will bbl
[18:15] <mc-> cya
[18:16] <mc-> hi phatmonkey, did you find the link to your thermopile supplier ?
[18:17] <mc-> I was thinking of buying some FMA modules from the US?
[18:18] <phatmonkey> oh
[18:18] <phatmonkey> er
[18:19] <phatmonkey> can't remember off hand
[18:19] <mc-> I got some thermoelectric sensors, but I've been told they won't work.
[18:21] <phatmonkey> http://www.uavs.net/
[18:21] <phatmonkey> and can't find the link to the place i bought them
[18:21] <phatmonkey> er
[18:21] <phatmonkey> http://scalerobotics.com/store/catalog/
[18:22] <phatmonkey> tjat was it, but can't see them there
[18:22] <phatmonkey> email walter@scalerobotics.com
[18:22] <phatmonkey> need to go, cya guys
[18:22] <mc-> thanks
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[18:30] <Jpantoga> jocoxon
[18:30] <Jpantoga> have you done anything with gumstix besides the Pegasus project?
[18:31] <Jpantoga> I just reveieved my board
[18:31] <Jpantoga> and want to see what I can do with it without any of the expansions
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[21:59] <jcoxon> hey all
[21:59] <jcoxon> got some interesting links
[21:59] <jcoxon> http://www.utarc.org/wiki/index.php/Icarus_II_Status
[22:00] <jcoxon> they made a home made zero pressure balloon
[22:00] <jcoxon> planning to make a balloon to cross the atlantic
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[22:43] <Laurenceb> Hi all
[22:43] <Laurenceb> I've made a prototype hook for ultrahab
[22:44] <Laurenceb> I'll do a test tomorrow with weights and film it
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[22:55] <Laurenceb> I'm thinking of using a javelin stamp module on future gliders http://www.parallax.com/dl/docs/prod/javelin/javelinstampman1-0.pdf
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[23:10] <Laurenceb> rocketboy, I've spoken with the guy who found the glider
[23:10] <rocketboy> OK
[23:10] <Laurenceb> and I'm going to send him a box to put it in
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[23:11] <Laurenceb> and then get parcelforce to collect it, it works out quite cheap
[23:12] <Laurenceb> I'll take out the radio and post it to you
[23:13] <Laurenceb> I've just realised that you can use the earths E field to find the attitude of a glider
[23:14] <rocketboy> what sort of accuracy?
[23:14] <Laurenceb> well its very constant between surface and ionosphere
[23:14] <Laurenceb> but its a bit hard to measure, I've made a few field mills in the past
[23:15] <rocketboy> humm - just a matter of potentila difference across a given distance?
[23:15] <Laurenceb> good news is it will work anywhere apart from thunderstorms
[23:15] <Laurenceb> yes, but DC coupling is the problem
[23:16] <rocketboy> if its constant wont the difference be constant?
[23:16] <Laurenceb> a field mill means you only have to have ac coupling
[23:16] <Laurenceb> well you basically have plates that act like capacitors
[23:17] <rocketboy> yep
[23:17] <Laurenceb> and the input impedance of the amplifier means its ac coupled
[23:17] <rocketboy> yep
[23:18] <Laurenceb> I hade a system with a 20cm plate and instrumentation amp that would work down to around 0.1hz
[23:18] <Laurenceb> it made a cool burglar alarm
[23:18] <Laurenceb> with mini motors you could make a mini 3 axis field mill
[23:19] <Laurenceb> say around 4cm across
[23:20] <Laurenceb> http://hypertextbook.com/physics/electricity/field/
[23:21] <Laurenceb> but it might be best to use the ac coupling to pick up the polarization of vlf radio
[23:21] <rocketboy> yeah - but if its constant (V/m) then what reference are you going to use in a balloon
[23:22] <Laurenceb> well its a vertical vector, perfect for pitch + roll
[23:23] <Laurenceb> a 3 axis mini field mill will give you the vector relative to the glider
[23:23] <rocketboy> ok - but no way to tell altitude
[23:23] <Laurenceb> use gps?
[23:24] <Laurenceb> this is for pitch roll control
[23:24] <rocketboy> ah sorry I though you originally said altititude - when actually you said attitude - sorry for being argumentative
[23:25] <Laurenceb> okay, I'm looking into vlf polarization now
[23:25] <Laurenceb> http://www.vlf.it/
[23:26] <Laurenceb> I've made quite a few vlf radios before, you can pick up russian submarine transmissions
[23:26] <Laurenceb> or use the timemark signals
[23:27] <Laurenceb> or even the 50hz power signal
[23:34] <Laurenceb> http://www.vlf.it/FSR/submarinecomparison.gif could this be recieved on a glider?
[23:35] <Laurenceb> problem is its only 5mHz bandwidth, so respons time is too slow
[23:37] <rocketboy> dosn't that mean the symbol rate is increadablty low
[23:37] <rocketboy> so thats 82Hz +/- 2.5mHz
[23:38] <Laurenceb> yes, i tried decoding some of the messages, but it uses one time coding
[23:38] <Laurenceb> iven, launch the missiles!
[23:38] <rocketboy> well you won't be having any luck then (unless you cave a copy of the code book)
[23:39] <rocketboy> yeah but the the time they have sent the message they have been blown up
[23:39] <Laurenceb> its probably just timemark signals and russian military status ie equivalent to defcon
[23:40] <Laurenceb> rather a mad way of controlling planes but its worth a thought I think
[23:40] <rocketboy> ah well - gotta go
[23:40] <Laurenceb> cya then
[23:40] <rocketboy> yeah worth a try cya
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[00:00] --- Wed Apr 4 2007