Archive for April, 2009

Simulated Flight Plan

flight-plan-042220091450

This is a screenshot of a 3D path of the simulated balloon trajectory had we launched the balloon today. The flight path is visualized with Google Earth and overlaid on the latest Nav Canada aeronautical chart.

In this simulation, we would be launching our payload near Goderich, ON. The payload would travel a lateral distance of 104 km and land a few kilometers north of Hopeville, ON. I’ve added the aeronautical chart to this view to ensure that we’re not crossing any major airways at altitudes that may interfere with commercial air traffic.

During the summer, we will compile a report every morning with a projected path such as the one seen above along with other important information such as local weather and cloud coverage (so we can get awesome pictures). If everything looks good, we’re off to the trucks for the launch!

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Colibri Board Bring-up

The first phase of the Colibri board bring-up has begun!

Just tonight I was able to connect to the board with ActiveSync and Visual Studio 2008 and run a sample application that was pulsing a GPIO every second. With a multimeter I was able to watch the line go from low to high repeatedly.

Also, although I did not need it for this occasion, I did get a chance to verify that the remote debugger works, and it works very well!

Not too much to show, but I’d thought I’d give some update on the progress in the form of a YouTube video ;-) I apologize for the poor quality of the recording:

Now… it’s time to study for exams! More updates as we go!

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Flight Computer

The flight computer arrived a few days ago – and we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Colibri PXA320 System Module Orchid Development Board

The unit on the left is our Colibri PXA320 system module – essentially the “brains” of the entire system. On the right is our development board which will come in handy for early development work.

We’ll throw out a salute to Toradex for making some seriously cool embedded hardware – they’re definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a powerful system-on-module in a convenient SODIMM form factor.

Stay tuned for more pictures, including some shots of our shiny new long-range UHF development kit that just arrived.

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