Balloon Group Minutes 8/08/95

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EOSS Meeting - 8 Aug. 1995 - HP Facility at Inverness Business Park
15 people present, including all officers.
Meeting called to order at 7:30 pm.
July Mtg. minutes read by Andy Kellett (N0SIS), accepted as read except that
the Central States VHF Society has only promised $200 for their flight -
actual cash has not been received yet.
Treasurer's Report (Chip Bisbee, KA0BMU) - As of 31 July EOSS has $2,082.48
in checking and $1009.57 in savings. A lot of people signed up as EOSS
members at the Central States VHF Society meeting in Colo. Sprgs. (our last
balloon launch was part of that event). Refreshment sales at the launch did
not cover refreshment expenses.
No education report.
Technical committee report (Mike Manes, W5VSI) - ATV seemed to be back to the
quality we had before switching to the color camera. There was no fog until
we lost the signal. The replacement antenna BNC came unlatched and fell off
because the tape we used didn't hold. We normally use "space tape" but we ran
out before the flight.
Merle says he noticed the cords jerking the package. He thought this was
because the heaviest package was not at the bottom of the balloon train.
Mike says the wireless cutdown mechanism didn't cut the string. Its antenna
was also missing. The string under the cutdown wire looked slightly brown,
but there is no way to tell if the mechanism really fired. Mike says he will
alter the software in the Basic Stamp that controls the mechanism so that it
makes a log of the number of commands it receives.
Merle says the camera worked, but the pictures are smudged.
Jack Crabtree (AA0P) says there were no GPS dropouts.
Tracking & Recovery report (Greg Burnett, K0ELM) - Another successful launch
and recovery! Lonny  (N0PCZ) ran the WB3JZV triangulation software. The
current RDF method is working well - RDF fixes are within a few miles of the
GPS fixes. However, GPS works better, so the T&R team will have a meeting
next Tuesday (15 August) to talk about a new tracking and recovery process
that will probably rely more on GPS. Jot down ideas and bring them to the
meeting.
Jack notes that GPS worked well during the last flight, but only after many
failures in past flights, and he recommends keeping radio direction finding
in the tracking and recovery process. Jack also announced that he is retiring
from chasing balloons (just chasing, he'll still do other stuff).
Ground Station Report (Andy Kellett, N0SIS) - The ground station situation is
stable, but we could use a computer to run APRS at the ground station.
Jack says we should consider getting a low-end computer at one of the
warehouse electronics stores to fulfil that purpose.
New Business -
Preston Prunty  says the balloon-launched rocket (ballrock or rockoon) will
be ready in three weeks. The rocket uses four motors - three H motors and one
I motor. The rocket will carry a tracking transmitter and a camera. There is
discussion of tracking and recovery issues including how will T&R know where
and when the rocket begins its decent? Jack Crabtree asks what the launch
weight will be. Preston says the rocket with everything on board will weigh
about 2.25 pounds. Greg Burnett asks how we will document altitude and
performance? Mike Manes says we can use Doppler shift of transmitted signal
to get altitude. Jack suggests asking Navsys if they would let us fly one of
their Tidgets to track the rocket. Mike Manes suggests somebody volunteer to
be the principal investigator for the project. Larry Cerney volunteers. Chip
Bisbee suggests a test launch from a tethered balloon. Bob Ragain (WB4ETT)
suggests tracking altitude by measuring the delay introduced by a repeater on
!
the ro
cket.
Preston shows his video of past rocket launches.
Jack suggests we take six weeks to put a proposal together for the Rockoon
project and give a formal presentation that gives all the details of the
flight.
Guest of Greg Burnett, Ted Slack, KE4SEM, shows a video demonstrating the new
type
of rocket his company makes. It uses Nitrous Oxide and plastic as oxidizer
and fuel in a rocket motor.
Viewed video of EOSS-24.
Meeting adjourned.

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last edit 02-Nov-95
maintained by Rick von Glahn, <webmaster@eoss.org>