Palestine, Texas Day 11


Status of the hangar to start the day

The 11th day in Palestine, Texas was busy for everyone.  James continued his extensive work with the charge controller and the flight cables, working on his wires through all hours of the day.  Brian finished up his job of setting up open port data throughput to one of the GSEs and one of the black box recorders.  Robert, Pierre-Simon, and Sarah spent their day analyzing data from a ground run of the instrument from the night before.  Once they analyzed the data, they compared the response with the higher trigger 2 pressure.  As expected, the rate of trigger 2 increased as the threshold for the Cherenkov effect decreased.  This means that more particles will create Cherenkov light in the CK tank, especially muons at ground level.

I, on the other hand, had only the most important and science heavy tasks out of everyone.  My first vital task was to reverse the lug nuts on two of the wheels on the shell cart.  Apparently someone, hopefully not me (but definitely me), put them on backwards back in Delaware.  Once my logic heavy chore was complete, I moved on to my next intellectual feat.  I painted the shell.  For hours (Pierre-Simon has informed me that it was only 90 minutes) I applied the extra white, latex-based paint to the shell.  Brian seemed to think the paint had a strong odor. I couldn’t smell anything, though, which probably isn’t very good.  It would have been better to paint outside with better air ventilation, but it was so windy I couldn’t guarantee the whole cart wouldn’t tip over.  I applied one coat, had Sarah do a few small touch ups, and then set it to dry for the night.


Sarah’s first bread

After I finished painting, I went back to my usual work on the website.  The official URL is now, however I would prefer it if everyone reading this would use  It makes it sound more like this blog is actually educational and not simply me rambling about little events during the day.  Sarah also baked bread for the first time.  With Bread Baker Chris’s help, it tasted pretty good.  We waited too long to eat it after it came out of the oven, so it was a tiny bit hard, yet still yummy.  Finally, it turns out one of the tracker boards on our device had a faulty amplification chip.  That simply won’t fly for our project when the balloon takes to the sky.  In order to fix it, the board had to be taken out and replaced with a new one we had as a backup.  Robert was given this precarious duty and completed it without problem.


Robert putting the new tracker board into place


Pierre-Simon failing to cut the first slice of pie

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we had a special treat for lunch.  Some of the CSBF guys had a meeting that was catered by a local restaurant.  They ordered way too much food and sent a portion of the leftovers our way.  Since they told us they only gave us a small fraction of the leftovers, the original meal must have been a feast.   We received enough food for everyone in the building to have seconds and then struggle to swallow a piece of pie.  I didn’t learn exactly where from CSBF they were from, but thanks Brian (not our Brian).

-Matt Collins

Categories: Palestine, Texas

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