Hang on a minute - what did I miss?
Aren't the cameras supposed to be in the *plane*, not the balloon? How are you getting the pictures back?
It's all go down at the Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) headquarters ahead of our planned 23 October launch. Earlier this week we wrapped the construction of the main payload box, which contains the vital Vulture 1 aircraft release mechanism, cameras, GPS tracker and radio beacon. There's more on the successful …
The Vulture 1 also has a miniature camera and is tracked and recovered via a GPS/APRS unit. The main payload parachutes down for separate recovery via the GPS tracker. Its radio beacon is a back-up.
If all three cameras work we'll have stills and video from the main payload, and stills from Vulture 1. That's a big if given the expected conditions at altitude, of course...
Are you really sure about the insulation? Seems to me your ascent time is likely to be so long as to defeat any insulation unless you've got a heat source inside the box... And if that's the case then adding a bunch of glass insulation, which is a very notorious clogger up of mechanical systems, might be a tad counter productive.
If one is needed, you could do a lot worse than one of those charcoal burning pocketwarmers that anglers (used to?) use, they're surprisingly toasty, long lasting & suitably anaerobic.
BTW did you fix the release mech since the last qinetic visit, so you can be sure it ain't going it let go at 50k?
Paris, even tho i'm sure her box looked a bit different last time I saw it.
Since I suppose that weight is not really an issue in this box, I'd also suggest to add some sort of heater system. A battery and a resistor, or maybe some resistors, placed near the main components. At low temperature not only the batteries tend to malfunction, but electronics too. The exposed video camera can fail even if its batteries are kept warm. You should at least test it in the coldest environment you can find (industrial freezer cells?).
Maybe I've misunderstood the purpose of these things, but isn't it to reflect the heat that your body radiates back into the space you've enclosed (ie normally wrapped around you).
I wouldn't think that a room temperature (and falling) bunch of electronics will be radiating very much, so the insulative properties of a space blanket will be very poor...
Not enough oxygen available at critical altitude.
Chemical or electical solutions may be better. If you go electrical: LiPo batteries may have problems due to lack of external atmospheric pressure to keep the (vacuum-) pack together and working. Go LiIon with a cylindrical metal shell if you can. Make sure that the battery heats itself as well.
Not impressed with weight of box. Better get someone to sponsor you with low density Rohacell foam. Extremely good insulator as well. Glue it with epoxy or polyurethane and skip the duct tape. .
By including the release mechanism within the payload box - that works on pressure differential - within a sealed box, aren't you in danger of altering the pressure around the release mechanism vs the actual exterior pressure, and hence it won't work as you intend?
Perhaps a further release check with everything boxed up...
Just seen this video of an amateur balloon launch. How stable is the PARIS in the wind?
In that video, they just rely on the balloon going pop at 100,000ft. Camera returned on parachute. Interestingly their batteries kept working until only a couple of mins before landing.
What might be better are air-activated heatpacks with a perforated outer core. They look like big teabags and are frequently used in small animal and fish shipping. They can be taped to things which might be useful to prevent electronics freezing up. Just a thought.
Actually there is a word orientate - and it is theoretically more common in the UK whilst the version orient is more common in the US, and as Lester is in the UK...
The short version is slightly older in usage than the long version, as is often the case with Americanisms.
I already knew this - many of my colleagues wouldn't hesitate to agree to my 'Grammar-Nazi' credentials - but just to be sure, I also followed the principle of JFGI and found a source of info that wasn't the online encyclopaedia El Reg loves to hate!
So Lester - is it all go, down at the PARIS headquarters?
Or is it all go down, at the PARIS headquarters? Which in turn, gives new possibilities to "headquarters"...
If the latter, we need Playmobil! Actually we might not believe the former without Playmobil either, but never mind.
I'm not convinced the extreme insulation to "keep the cold out" (as you put it) is likely to work. You also need to warm the interior. Other similar amateur balloon lift projects have used little chemical heat pads inside their styrofoam electronics containers, to keep the batteries warm. You can probably buy something useful at any drugstore, they're little chem packs, you break the interior vial so the catalyst mixes into the pack, and it stays warm for a few hours.