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We will be launching the IRIS II capsule shortly after noon today. It’s too hard to arrange to have everyone to drive out on such short notice, but we’ll definitely be making a post-mission post! Stay tuned! :o)

Edit: Launch was canceled today


Design Project Symposium

The 10th annual ECE Design Project Symposium is coming up this Wednesday in the Davis Centre at University of  Waterloo from 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM. The Project IRIS team will be there to demonstrate our capsule to the public. In addition to Project IRIS, there will also be many other innovative ECE student projects this year, such as a multi-touch screen, 3D drawing technology, a CVT bike and many many more!

Come look for us in the main lobby area in front of the DC library on Wednesday; you can’t miss us! ;)


Mechanical Construction

A Photosynth of the Atmospheric Reconnaissance Capsule prior to the final application of radiation-reflecting Mylar material. (Click on image to view in 3D)

Physical construction

It is kind of difficult to have an idea of what is going on with all those pieces glued in, but we conveniently have a CAD drawing showing how the main body pieces together to provide a rigid lifting platform. :)




Showing off the guts

As of Friday afternoon, all of the components have finally made it to the Project IRIS team after hunting down on some MIA packages with Canada Post and UPS. So here’s a small collection of photos that we have taken over the past few weeks of some of our components.

(Click on thumbnail to open; use arrow keys to navigate)
Custom power adapter for cameraTrimble GPS moduleSCP1000 Barometric Pressure SensorDigi XTend UHF RS232 moduleTelit GSM moduleRadar reflectorOur baby, the Project IRIS Spaceflight Instrumentation ModuleLots of room to place our componentsOur PCB lines up perfectly with the Colibri board :) Just needs the connectors in now

More to come…

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Antenna Testing

It’s been a while since we posted anything on the website because we’ve been working hard to put all of our components together. Here’s a video of us testing our parabolic dipole antenna that we are going to be mounting aboard the first assembly! This design gave us about a 9 dB gain when we tested over a more reasonable distance on campus. :)

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Simulated Flight Plan


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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Proposal Presentation

FYDP Proposal Presentation

Our fourth-year design project proposal presentation was an overall success today even taken into consideration of a few scheduling and technology mishaps. We are posting the presentation slides here for those who couldn’t make it out today. To reduce the file size, I have taken out our very inspiring multimedia presentations, which I’d like to think of as value-added bonus for those who were in the audience this morning.

Proposal Presentation – [PDF]

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System Requirements Specification

Project IRIS Project SpecificationThe long awaited Project IRIS System Requirements Specification has been delivered electronically today. We have worked diligently in elicitating the requirements and constraints of the enormous project that we are about to take on.

This 58-page long document will tell you more than you need to know about the project along with some guidelines for students who wish to repeat this endeavor and to improve upon this project in the future.

Project IRIS SyRS – [PDF download]

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IRIS I Concept Preview


Here’s a small preview to our IRIS I assembly, which is the payload that will be traveling up to the lower stratosphere with our electronics components.

If you want to see the full design, you’ll have to come to our FYDP proposal presentation in RCH 105 at 8:30 AM on March 23rd, 2009!


WEEF Presentation

Our team have just made a presentation to the WEEF funding committee earlier this evening. We are hoping to include WEEF to our growing portfolio of sponsoring corporations and organizations to fund our pricey project. :o)

You can view a copy of slides at the link below.

WEEF Funding Proposal – PowerPoint Presentation

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