Palestine, Texas Day(s) 19-22

Hello, world. If you could have guessed from the gaps in the blog’s publication, Matt is now gone, and I am taking over. As a memento, he left us a couple of beers, and about a thousand Q-tips… You shall be missed Matthew. Oh, and Paul also left.

The past week has been spent getting ready for the thermal vac. test, which could happen imminently, John keeps on assuring me. The half-shell now sits on the gondola, along with the MIP (Micro Instrument Package) that CSBF engineers have been integrating, which will allow for the science to communicate to ground, sending commands data up and down.


Our gondola consolidating…

Our efforts this week were focused on mundane yet necessary work on calibrating the instrument’s PHA and barometers to check for linearity in their response (they are).

Pierre-Simon and myself tested the accuracy of the two barometer’s readout, comparing the pressure value given by the software with the Paroscientific barometer we have


T3 scintillator PHA calibration

I also carried out more pressure leak rate test on all the connections (altimeter 1, altimeter 2, check valve, shell feed through): the idea  to get an estimate on how long our shell could sustain a inside pressure of 1 atm (14.7 psi)  without much leakage (1 psi lost over a 5 day flight would be a concerning scenario).


Looks reasonable to me…

The individual component check serves as a diagnosis on their level of potential damage. They seem to be alright…per my rough estimate, we can fly for 302 days before the pressure in our shell would drop by 1 mmHg (1 atm = 760 mmHg, are you getting lost with all these units? I am.)

Some officials from NASA Wallops paid us a visit (including Debbie Fairbrother, head of the Balloon Programs), and thus we were kindly ask to clean up our hangar. I felt like a young kid at school, with the principal coming to our classroom. It feels great to spend 12 hours in a clean lab now. Check out the time lapse to convince yourself how efficient the carrot-and-the-stick method can be.


Categories: Palestine, Texas

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