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DREAMS-21 (Orange) DREAMS-22 (Blue)
Launch Day: July 23rd, 2014
DREAMS-21 recovery in progress (see below for details) --
Ground view of launch
DREAMS-22a Not enough lift gas
DREAMS-22 Secondary APRS and GoPro Hero3 camera flown and recovered (visually!)
Ground view of launch
Bringing the edge of space to the classroom door
July 21-July 25th
Columbus High School
Astrobiology -- Detecting Microbial life in the Stratosphere
Measuring Impact of Solar Activity through the Troposphere and lower Stratosphere
Atmospheric Absorption measured by Multi-wavelength Measurements
Temperature Profiles of the DREAMS payload system on the way to 100,000 feet
Using Vernier sensors to probe the edge of space
from NASA Ames
Iridium Solar Tracker & Altitude Based Video (joint project with DREAMS) from Quest for Stars
Thermodynamic Experiment from Clark Atlanta University
Blue Subaru --
AR 1 --
AR 2 --
WT 1 -- 4
WT 2 -- 5
WT 3R -- 6
WT 4 -- 4
Flight Programs for Arduinos
15 "Best" Places to Eat in Columbus, GA
(there are more of course!)
**Path and Surface Weather Predictions**
DREAMS-21 Extended Recovery
D-21 suffered a Dead-Box event where all 3 radios ceased operation. Data taken from the flight led to a predicted landing area. The extended recovery effort included a ground and air search as described in the Day-2 search section.
GPS data from Primary APRS worked flawlessly until 45,138 feet where GPS data lost fix. A sharp 90 wind shear condition existed at 45-47k feet which can result in extreme payload box spinning and a temporary loss of GPS. Ten minutes after GPS loss, the primary APRS stopped transmitting. This is most likely due to a power loss to the TNC since the Kenwood radio operated on independent power. Back-up power would normally have operated the TNC and GPS with a primary lithium battery for over 24 hours, but must not have been installed correctly.
This small radio and TNC/GPS system was confirmed to work on the ground and before liftoff. The student integration team had installed the GPS via a cable that did not have enough slack. The GPS signal plug was probably pulled out slightly at liftoff due to the dropping event. This radio did send temperature data and sent data for 30 minutes longer than the Primary APRS system. The loss of signal from the Secondary APRS system was either due to loss of power or falling below an altitude where it could be received. The temperature data showed the internal temperature of the Primary box reach -19 deg C for 7 minutes and then begin to get warmer. The two possibilities are that D21 crossed the tropopause where temperatures are coolest, burst, and then started falling OR crossed the tropopause and continued to rise into the stratosphere. Option 1 is most likely since the internal temperatures rose to -5 deg C where a rising balloon would have still been much colder. Using the nearly linear rise rate measured on ascent taken by Primary APRS of 1260 ft/minute, the max altitude was estimated to be 65k to 80k feet. These estimates were used with the wind data taken by the previous two balloons to predict a landing area.
This commercial unit was turned on so that its two LEDS were blinking indicating the unit was in track mode. The GPS location was confirmed, but the trackinig was not confirmed before release. Previous testing had shown this behavior and the company help desk concluded that it needed a battery removal and restart to work correctly since it has been stored for over a year. The unit was tested a week before launch and worked correctly, but apparently re-entered this faulty state. Removing the batteries and restarting the unit would have probably fixed it for flight, although a newer version should have replaced it.
Day-2 Search Effort
The map below shows the predicted landing area of the D21 in the blue ellipse and the tracks of the Civil Air Patrol flight and ground tracks of the Ground search team. The conclusion was that the D21 entered a patch of trees or landed to the east or west of the search area. It is possible that D21 landed north or south but more unlikely given its weight and typical descent rate.
D21 has a phone number and email on it and the team is waiting a few weeks to see if farmers or hunters come across the boxes.
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