back to article SPEARS fired up for explosive climax

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project reached a major milestone over the weekend with the completion of the first Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Neil Barnes, who put together LOHAN's silicon heart with the able …

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Anonymous Coward

bookings?

so when will you be selling tickets for the first seats available on a manned version?

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Yeah, I can fly...

"Neil Barnes, who put together LOHAN's silicon heart with the able assistance of Anthony Stirk"

Surely with a project this impressive it should have been Anthony STARK?

;)

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Happy

Women eh!

PARIS was such a simple girl, this LOHAN is such high maintenance. She had better be worth it

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Mushroom

Get on with it!

While I very much enjoy the detailed articles, will you get on and launch the bloody thing!

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Anonymous Coward

LEDs and big toggle switches

heartily approved

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Stop

Re: LEDs and big toggle switches

But why have you left the unnecessary washers and mounting nuts on the switches?

Nothing but dead weight.

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Thumb Up

Re: LEDs and big toggle switches

Good point well made. I'll have a minion remove them immediately. That might save as much as, ooh, five grams.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: LEDs and big toggle switches

Neil - I'll get the work experience lad to do it. I'll also have him shave some of the insulation off the cabling. That'll be another 0.046g saved, by my reckoning.

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Looks suspiciously like a Floggle-Toggle box.

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Stop

Surely you should blast off regardless of turbulence ? Better a delayed messy ejaculation of the craft then no release, the latex popping and crashing to the ground ?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

The plan is to go for two flights if necessary. If the first is an abort, we'll recover the aircraft with the truss. It'll come down under a parachute, so it should be ok.

On the second flight, we'll go for a launch no matter what.

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Anonymous Coward

I never thought I'd see an article with both Lindsay and Britney in the same topic. The question is which one can climax the best?

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Boffin

Code release?

Go on, you know you want to! :-)

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Code release?

Hmmmm. We shall see...

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Re: Code release?

After all the rude things that got said about my last code, without them even seeing it? Meh...

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Holmes

Re: Code release?

You've just discovered there are jackasses on the internet? Rest assured that for every rude comment there will be at least 10 people interested to see it :-) I'm interested in your approach to compensating for drift on the accelerometers for example, having struggled with it over a year or so (on and off anyway!)

Pretty please, with sugar on top?

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sad. i was hoping this was a post about britney.

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WTF?

What does it mean?

SPEARS is programmed to issue the launch command only if the current altitude is above 20,000 metres (to be clear of air traffic) and we achieve the desired launch height.

You said it before, too, but the "and" does not make sense to me. Presuming the desired launch altitude is greater than 20000m, the first part is redundant:

if ((x > 2) ∧ (x > 5))

is equivalent to

if (x > 5)

no?

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Re: What does it mean?

Yes, but...

There's another couple of launch strategies, assuming it doesn't get to the target height.

1) if it falls more than a set height below its maximum altitude, we assume it's on the way down and launch.

2) if it goes into free fall, we assume the balloon burst, and launch.

Both of these require us to be above the safety height; they only run if they're above 20,000 metres.

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Re: What does it mean?

@Neil, well, that makes more sense. Thanks.

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Your NTX2 transmitter seems to be very susceptible to temperature variation - operating range of -10 to +60, and it's likely to die if it drops below -30.

This module is designed to function in lower temperatures,

http://www.rfmodules.com.au/rm/products/tx3h.htm

Though they don't give a storage temperature for it, the operating temperature alone beats the storage temp quoted for the NTX2 here:

http://www.rfmodules.com.au/rm/products/ntx2nrx2.htm

The TX3H is also handily pin compatible with the NTX2, and will push out a considerably more powerful signal (several orders of magnitude), though I'm not sure whether battery life will become an issue. It's on the higher wave band, but it's still unlicensed.

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Previously discussed

I believe there's a lot of safety and redundancy built in now, but you still have a single point of failure that relies on mechanics - the relay.

Are you sure it'll work at altitude?

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What about the accelerometer?

In the sentence about the accelerometer and turbulence, there's an asterisk after `accelerometer', but no Bootnote. I'm dying of curiosity here.

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