Below are the rules and links you'll need to create and use your BalloonSat. This project is very open-ended, therefore you will not find complete, step-by-step directions. However, there is enough here to get you started.
The dissertation email group is on Yahoo Groups, under BalloonSat_Research. Please subscribe (along with your students) so we can communicate and share questions and answers. The BalloonSat project begins Monday, January 9th and ends on Friday, Febuary 19th. Please have the BalloonSats in the mail by Febuary 20th. I will fly them by the end of spring break and have them in the mail by the close of March. Your students will have two weeks to download and analyze the data. Please have them write their report as a webpage so I can make a copy of all of them for future study.
It is critical that your students fill out the TOSRA before beginning opening the BalloonSat kit. Also remember that they must fill out a second TOSRA at the completion of their webpage-based report.
Please feel free to ask for help from mentors. Robotics clubs, amateur radio clubs, and electronic technicians or engineers will make great mentors. However, your students must be the ones assemblying and testing the BalloonSat.
Download the PICAXE Editor at this link. The software is free.
Rules of the Study
- Each student in the study must have a completed parent permission slip and TOSRA before beginning
- Design, build, and test must be completed within six weeks
- You may use parts not included in the kit, but limit expenses to $10 per BalloonSat
- Living organisms may not be used as near space experiments
- The BalloonSat cannot be designed to release components
- The BalloonSat hatch must be closed with a rubber band that is easy to access
- Each BalloonSat must have three or four plastic tubes for the link lines
- BalloonSats must be powered up quickly when it is time to turn them on
- Each BalloonSat must be tested for function, drop, and shake. Other tests are optional
- Student teams have two weeks to complete their data analysis and mission report
- The mission report must be webpage based
- All students in the study must complete a second TOSRA for the end of the study
- Some notes on tools and soldering
- Some notes about electronic components
- Building the BalloonSat Flight Computer
- Building the BalloonSat's Sensor Arrays
- A short note about the camera
- Building BalloonSat Airframes
- Testing your BalloonSat