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Captain's Log, Stardate: 01/13/2011

posted Jan 14, 2011, 8:17 PM by Seabury Engineering   [ updated Feb 2, 2011, 1:50 PM by Charae Tongg ]
Ever since we have gotten back from Christmas break, our group has found itself faced with a whole new set of challenges. For one, we are in need of money to carry on our later projects, and thus are searching for different grants or sponsorships that would suit our expedition. The two companies that we are heavily pursuing are Toyota ($10,000 grant) and Red Bull ("Red Bull gives you wings"). Another problem our group was faced with was that we had to go back to the drawing board and come up with ideas as to how we can use everything that we have learned in the first semester in our near-space launches. What appears to be the biggest struggle, however, is what the recovery vehicle will be. We had a meeting with Mr. Czar, an expert on gliders, on Monday in order to get a feel of what it is we will be working with and whether we would be willing to assist us with recovering the vehicle on the launch dates (if we go with a glider)

Miles, the leader of our group has been responsible for transferring all of the materials we have used from previous launches, such as the box for the camera and velcro for the arduino, onto our new launch platform. However, most importantly, Miles played an important part of decision making as to what our long term and short term goals are to be. He broke it down step by step, and we set up predetermined launch dates that will test different variables as our goals. Needless to say, everyone helped with this part.

Arta, over the past two weeks, has helped across the board as well. He assisted Miles with the finishing of the new launch platform. He also was responsible for getting in contact with Mr. Czar, introducing him to our project, and setting up the meeting with him. After the meeting, he called Mr. Czar again, setting up a day for a few members of the group to meet him and start to fly gliders (so that we have more familiarity with what we may be working with). Arta has also helped Mr. Killhour edit one of the numerous mission statements that we will be sending to Toyota in the application for the grant.

Sydney was made in charge of contacting brilliant people who have experience and knowledge that would be able and willing to help us. She has contacted Bob, a ham radio specialist, for help with the telemetry aspect of our project. He has agreed to come and meet with the group, familiarizing us with what is involved with telemetry, and hopefully, the best possible way to do this for our project.

Charae, too, was given a similar task. She was busy contacting numerous groups that have already done a similar project to see if they would be able to help us with the problems of telemetry or recovery. Of these groups, the most notable were Stanford and Cambridge University. She also called a man named Kevin, an aerospace engineer, that we were hoping would be able to help us. It should also be said that Charae helped with our group's organization, bringing in a calendar where we could write down our scheduled meetings, blog due dates, and launch dates.

Conner has been a diligent thinker, playing a crucial role in our planning and decision making with the recovery vehicle. He has voiced the problems and issues we would face with a glider, and proposed that we go with a missile design instead, using fins to guide the vehicle back to us. This would help us fall through the wind shear layers more effectively, but poses a problem in terms of safety that we are currently trying to make a decision about. He has also taken the initiative in learning the flight process by flying a remote controlled helicopter that Charae brought in.

Arta signing out..