MATeF - 4 Flight
On November 3rd the last flight of our MATeF POC programme took place.
The configuration was similar to the last two flights (MATeF-2 and MATeF-3):
- We used the MATeF POC services module, with our UPRA flight computer.
- There wan an additional capsule for an offlilne camera
- And there was an other additional capsule for the Backup GPS Tracker
The camera was set to movie recording mode and it was a cheap action camera (an SJ4000 knock off). The lens of the camera has no infra red filter which led to major discoloration as the probe reached the thin cloud layers.
The flight was kind of successful. We have found most of the payload train. Yeah...most of it...
During ascent the different capsules of the payload train had major rotation issues. There was no resting point and the rotation was continuous as it could be seen on the video feed.
At 12000m (40000ft) of altitude the line between the camera pod and the parachute snapped due to the continuous torsion forces. At this point it is possible we had already lost the Backup GPS tracker too.
The remains of the payload train (Service Module and Camera Pod) reached the surface in free fall in about 7 minutes. During descent the rotation of the payload train probably generated larger forces than 4G since the service module lost GPS signal.
After hard landing all the remaining devices were operational. We had radio signal from our main radio, on board data logging shows that every subsystem was in good health. Only major damage in the service module electronics was the broken APRS antenna connector, which could be avoided with an angled connector instead of straight one.
Currently we are processing the video feed. Due to the rotation we decided to use the data to create still pictures, panoramas and short videos.
We are also processing the on-board and ground station data. So far despite the rotation and line snap incident we are confident that our system is ready to host third party payload. We have plans of minor modifications to prevent dangerous rotation which only affect the payload train harness and not the individual hardware components.
We are also planning that on the next GSBC event we will open our platform for university students to fly their experiments.
And here are some processed image data from the first few minutes of the flight:
We upload the processed images to this facebook album as we proceed.