April 2017 Manitoba HAB Schools Report
Manitoba Association of Physics Teachers (MAPT) president, Heidi Werner, hosted the final MB HAB schools meeting prior to the flights planned for Wednesday, April 26th (but weather dependant). Besides St. James Collegiate, the
schools represented were Fort Richmond Collegiate, Garden City Collegiate, River East Collegiate, Sisler High School and West Kildonan Collegiate. Other schools planning to fly this spring but not represented at the meeting are Maples,
Shaftesbury, Carman and HC Avery. Sisler teachers attended the meeting and will be observing the flights. They plan to join the fun in 2018.
St.James Collegiate provided three balloon filling tubes fabricated in their industrial arts shop to three of the new MB HAB schools. The St. James HAB uses a new high visibility painted payload (St. James has developed a special primer
for spray painting foamboard). Their payload includes a new Mobius HD video camera.
A cheaper 1 watt Byonics APRS HAB tracker was shown off by Dean Hallick (VA4ADH) from River East Collegiate as well as a newKenwood D72 hand held dual band APRS transceiver which will be used to track the River East HAB see: https://www.byonics.com/mt-1000
Fort Richmond Collegiate teacher Jennifer Piasecki (VE4JPI) reports that FRC will bring a very large team this year; roughly 30 staff and students. The team will include alumni Pardeep Mathode (VA4PWM) and Jared Kozak (VA4CAN). The payload will include a television transmitter and a handmade glider with the classic Spitfire elliptical wing. FRC will share a T-tank of helium with Shaftesbury so these teams will set up beside each other at the launch site.
Three Seven Oaks School Division schools are participating this year. They will set up in close proximity at the launch site. Garden City Collegiate has a new Yaesu mobile APRS tracking radio (FTM-400XDR) which will be installed in teacher Barb Gajda’s (VE4PAZ) car in the coming days. The Garden City HAB will measure UV intensity and it will include an ozone sensor. The payload will also carry a plasmid genetic damage experiment. Plasmids are short pieces of bacterial DNA. The returned plasmids will undergo gel electrophoresis to determine to what extent the molecules have been fragmented by exposure to high altitude radiation. The new Garden City payload is a sphere. This will hopefully reduce rotation of the payload. GC is attempting to use a Vernier dual-range force probe to measure neck lift accurately. This will involve staking a base to the ground under the tarp and connecting the probe to an eye in the base, with a
cable/string connecting the other end of the sensor to the inflator valve. The output from the probe should give us an accurate measure of lift to within +/- 0.01 Newtons (+/- 1 gram). The classic water jug will still be our back up/test.
Teacher Adrian Deakin (VA4AMD) will be using the school’sKenwood TM-D710A for tracking. The Shaftesbury HAB will include a small homerew glider. The SHARP payload will include an Iridium satellite system provided by Solara Remote Data Delivery of Winnipeg. Students will use the Iridium network to communicate with SHARP-7 Ir in flight. The iridium HAB will send status reports to student Bryce Jenkins (VA4VBC) via email on command and it should reply to certain commands such as releasing the balloon or glider. This appears to be a highly reliable system and will likely replace the SPOT as the backup tracker.
The launch site will be determined 48 hours before the flight but it will likely be at a high school southwest of Winnipeg; Treherne, Morden and Carman are prime candidates. The HABs will be launched at 1 minute intervals starting at 11 AM.
The planned sequence is as follows:
1) Garden City (GopherSpace HAB) - VE4GMK-2
2) West Kildonan (WKC – ICARUS) - VE4GMK-7
3) HC Avery (Eaglenaut) - VE4GMK-6
4) Maples Collegiate (Maraud Air 3) - VA4NGC-6
5) River East – (KASP) - VA4ADH
6) St. James - (Jimmies Space HAB) - VE4SHS-6
7) Fort Richmond - (FRC High Alt Balloon) - VE4JPI
8) Shaftesbury - (Shaftesbury High School HAB-7 Ir) - VA4AMD-8
The balloons will carry the payloads to altitudes of over 30 km in a roughly easterly direction. The landings should be south of Winnipeg and west of the Red River beginning around 1:30 PM. The teams will support each other to the
greatest extent possible with the overall goal of recovering all eight payloads as quickly as possible.
The eight MB HAB Schools planned launch date is April 26th, 2017. It is not practical for us to participate during the August 21st solar eclipse. Schools are on summer break for the months of July and August. In any event we are almost three states north of the path of totality. I plan to be watching from the ground in Rexburg Idaho on the 21st. The photography will be challenging. The sun will be quite high in the sky during totality. A HAB photo of a near the horizon eclipse might be even better. Good luck to all GSBC eclipse teams and best wishes for amazing photos.
Rob Striemer (VE4SHS)