Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Photos from the lab

As I stated earlier, we've had a visitor to the lab! It's been so nice to have him around and I'm sure that he's going to have a ton of fun down on the ice this next Jan and Feb! Yesterday I forgot my camera, and I did today as well, but thankfully my phone was charged and also happens to be a camera.

Tomorrow we are going to be doing a hang test. It is just what it sounds like, we hang the payload. We make sure that it is hanging level and then also weigh the payload and flight train. This gives us an idea of how much helium we need for it to fly at a specific altitude, a useful thing to know. The hang tests are always fun, lots of down time, but fun.

You can see our payload sitting there. That big black wire is the iridium cable. It goes out the window on the left and up to the roof top where we have some antennas.  We make sure to test the modem and our ability to be able to talk with the payload. This last winter we also used the antennas to talk with the payloads down on the ice and get our data back from them. 

You can almost see my office (the observatory) in the background there. You can also see all the styrofoam boxes which we enclose the payloads in. This helps us regulate (a bit) the temperatures. Instead of a black box, we have a white box! 

In the front of the payload you can see a cylindrical bit of foam, our magnetometer hides out in there. Once everything is attached, we put the magnetometer on a boom (stick) which sits a ways away from all the other electronics. This helps limit, but does not remove all, magnetic signals due to the electronics from the payload.