Author Topic: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist  (Read 4342 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« on: March 18, 2009, 11:50:18 PM »
Supposedly they used a helium balloon to send their sensors and a camera into space:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5005022/Teens-capture-images-of-space-with-56-camera-and-balloon.html

I don't quite understand how the data was retrieved. This doesn't quite make sense to me:
Quote
"At over 100,000ft the balloon lost its inflation and the equipment was returned to the earth.

"We travelled 10km to find the sensors and photographic card, which was still emitting its signal, even though it had been exposed to the most extreme conditions."

I'm guessing it crashed back to earth without a parachute, and the memory cards weren't damaged . . .

More images of the project here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/meteotek08/sets/72157614847488964/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/meteotek08/




edit: small corrections made
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 05:08:44 AM by Admin »

Offline SmAsH

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 04:34:02 AM »
wow...that just goes to show, you dont need money for everything. i say good on em!
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Offline Asellith

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 09:34:08 AM »
This brings up a question about advanced physics and gravitational forces.

Obviously a balloon can't get into space as nothing is there to displace so the buoyancy doesn't provide enough force.

here is where the question comes in. Could we use a small rocket and a BIG balloon to lower the costs of putting the first SOR satellite in space :) Does it requeire the same velocity to break orbit from a platform close to space as it does from the ground? Or is the balloon traveling at a different relative velocity to the ground that the difference between the escape velocity and the balloon velocity small enough to allow a small rocket to put a payload into orbit?
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Offline pomprocker

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2009, 10:16:24 AM »
I think the heavy duty latex balloon just lost some air due to all the pressure causing it to descend like a hot air balloon.

Offline paulstreats

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2009, 10:33:38 AM »
maybe the google lunarX prize for first civilian robot on the moon isnt that far out of grasp after all.... ::)

Offline SmAsH

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2009, 01:47:06 PM »
i think pomprocker is right on this one, it would be really amazing if that thing survived a fall that big although still possible :o
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Offline paulstreats

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2009, 03:40:41 PM »
Yes, its filled with helium. the higher it gets the less pressure there is on the balloon causing the helium to expand. The balloon expands with the helium and tiny micropores open where helium escapes. when the helium escapes the balloon shrinks and starts to drop again. Not all helium will escape in such a short time so it should help guide it back to the ground at a slower rate than freefall.

normal helium balloons do this too, helium eventually permeates through the balloon causing them to deflate

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 10:00:31 AM »
paulstreats, they mentioned that the balloon exploded. Plus, it would have drifted way more than 10km if it 'floated' back down to Earth. ;D

Offline cooldog

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 10:17:34 AM »
the aliens shot it
robot will rule the world and i will be building them
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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 10:47:03 AM »
Not sure if its the same group or not, but its been done again:
http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-328198

The article goes into a bit more of technical details . . .

They used a GPS-enabled phone to text message the GPS location back.

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 03:51:02 PM »
Their project kind of worries me, the GPS stopped working at 2500 feet so for the vast majority of the journey they did not know where it was.

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 05:07:14 PM »
Quote
Their project kind of worries me, the GPS stopped working at 2500 feet so for the vast majority of the journey they did not know where it was.

interpolation :P

Anyway, I emailed them for clarification. He didn't really provide much more information, so I assume it was mostly ad-hoc. My email:
Quote
I was particularly interested in recovery. Which GPS-enabled phone did you use, where did it land, and how was it physically recovered?

Also, are there any resources you can link me to about space-proofing electronics enclosures?

his response:
Quote
Sorry for the slow reply time. We have been swamped with emails and classes just kicked off, so we have only just gotten a chance to reply.

The specifications for the phone are on the website: http://space.1337arts.com in the table. We used a Motorola i290 ("Boost Mobile") with accutracking. The camera was physically recovered by driving the site where it landed (it reports it GPS location by text message ever so often).

As many of the readers of our site have aptly pointed out (and as the subtitle "pictures from Near-space" on our website implies), we didn't go into "space". So to "high-altitude proof" (the upper stratosphere is basically the limit of how high the balloon will go) your balloon, you need to keep your electronics warm (meteors and EM radiation don't become a real problem until the Mesosphere, which anyone reproducing our experiment will most likely never get to.) We used Coleman Handwarmers pressed up close against our electronics. I'm sure there are many other ways to do this, but that's jut the way that we thought of.

Hope this helps,

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 04:32:59 PM »
Someone did it with video, and posted details, too:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=9153.0

Offline Joker94

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 04:45:15 AM »
I read the comment aout the loop hole in the system which lets them launch a helium powered vehical under 4 pouns without FAA approval and i couldn't believe it.

Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 07:32:18 AM »
I read the comment aout the loop hole in the system which lets them launch a helium powered vehical under 4 pouns without FAA approval and i couldn't believe it.

I really like this without FAA approval 8)

It's cool after all.... :-P
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Offline chelmi

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2009, 09:04:49 AM »
I read the comment aout the loop hole in the system which lets them launch a helium powered vehical under 4 pouns without FAA approval and i couldn't believe it.

Why would they need FAA approval to launch from Canada ? ;)

Chelmi.

Offline Joker94

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2009, 05:55:19 PM »
kd4ttc-http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-328198
Quote
They previously had stated that FAA rules did not apply to balloons under 4 pounds.


then i read on furth down the page and found this from the same person
Quote
One of my comments was that there is an FAA rule about prohibiting balloons that present a hazard to persons or property. Now their website states contact the FAA even if the balloon is under 4 pounds.


Offline chelmi

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2009, 07:45:00 AM »
kd4ttc-http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-328198
Quote
They previously had stated that FAA rules did not apply to balloons under 4 pounds.


then i read on furth down the page and found this from the same person
Quote
One of my comments was that there is an FAA rule about prohibiting balloons that present a hazard to persons or property. Now their website states contact the FAA even if the balloon is under 4 pounds.




Oops, I thought you were talking about the balloon+video camera project, sorry.
Many similar projects: one from MIT, one from a Spanish school and one from a bunch of guys in the Canadian prairies.

Offline frank26080115

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2009, 11:36:04 PM »
hey i just wanted to chime in this, $8000 personal satellite
http://interorbital.com/TubeSat_1.htm

Offline SmAsH

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2009, 04:50:53 PM »
hey i just wanted to chime in this, $8000 personal satellite
http://interorbital.com/TubeSat_1.htm
wait, so your project would get burned up after a few months?
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Offline frank26080115

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2009, 05:36:27 PM »
hey i just wanted to chime in this, $8000 personal satellite
http://interorbital.com/TubeSat_1.htm
wait, so your project would get burned up after a few months?


yes

but say your university had a club that have some money to send up a camera or something, this is a great opportunity

or, another option, carve some random "alien" symbols onto tungsten and cause some panic when it lands somewhere and some idiot discovers it

Offline SmAsH

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2009, 11:09:58 PM »
yes

but say your university had a club that have some money to send up a camera or something, this is a great opportunity
Yes, but for most hobbyists who are poor probably would want to spend 8k plus the price of their project which they sunk hours into just to see it burn up after a few months... i wish the projects could survive :-\

or, another option, carve some random "alien" symbols onto tungsten and cause some panic when it lands somewhere and some idiot discovers it
LOL, i could imagine someone doing that...
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Offline madchimp

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Re: how to send your robot to space, for the hobbyist
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2009, 04:52:36 AM »
yes

but say your university had a club that have some money to send up a camera or something, this is a great opportunity
Yes, but for most hobbyists who are poor probably would want to spend 8k plus the price of their project which they sunk hours into just to see it burn up after a few months... i wish the projects could survive :-\
It's good they fall we already have to much debris floating in orbit. As far as trying to survive reentry i don't think a bunch of amateur space craft landing all over the place is really a good idea. The experts don't get it right all the time and i really wouldn't be happy if some amateur space craft fell on my car or house or me for that matter.

 


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