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back to article LOHAN's mighty orb launch live NOW

Today's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) balloon launch is go, and you can follow the ground preparations in Berkshire live right now, right here - courtesy of the chaps at batc.tv There are full details on the mission team and payload here. To summarise, the primary objective is to see whether our Special Project …

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Go for launch :)

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Happy

M0UPU

They really found someone with the callsign "Up U" for the LOHAN tests?

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Unhappy

NO VIDEO :(

Vid feed died just as they opened the rusty gate !

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Splash!

Oops. Flight 1 comes to a soggy end about 3km off the Sussex coast...

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Unhappy

Re: Splash!

In with fishes :-(

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Re: Splash!

But they've hired a boat to try and find it...

We'll just have to wait and see if the tracker is salt water proof!

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I was particularly impressed by the video feed from the chase car.

Since there's no sound on the broadcast, next time there should be someone with a small whiteboard and marker to write commentaries for the camera as the day progresses.

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Crap coverage

I was particularly unimpressed by the the vid-cast or whatever you want to call it. Endless, boring drives down crappy A-roads. AND then a still can of a wing mirror whilst the *crack* el Reg team went off in some dingy or whatever, leaving the cam behind! If it wasn't for the stimulating chat then I would have chewed my own leg off. Surely a good reason to have an el Reg chat page... thanx Corrine, VinceH and many others. BTW I've not been round to see her yet... Will post here later! x

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They failed to find it before it got dark :( No idea what they are going to do now though, apart from hope it comes to shore somewhere

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Hi Corinne

I'm going in... wish me luck. Hi VinceH as well

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Pint

Re: Hi Corinne

We want a full report, presuming you survive.

Was a fun game of working out where the chase car actually was, and as said some good chat. Shame the main event feeds went a bit pear-shaped in significant places, as the others noted.

But overall nice one guys for taking the time and effort to try and include us all, and beer to the guys supplying the feed tech.

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Re: Hi Corinne

The USB GPS receiver in the chase car failed, which is why the car stopped on the map. We stopped, removed/re-inserted it, and even rebooted the PC, but to no avail. It'll get replaced before the next flight.

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Unhappy

Depressing

Commiserations guys.

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Pint

As they say

Shit happens. It's a setback but only temporary and nothing the SPB can't overcome. Now then, to the pub to discuss the next steps and cheers for a valiant effort.

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Pint

Well, I say...

Congrats to all involved and their hard work.

Doesn't look like it went 100% to plan, but a max altitude of over 27k (and down again) is still pretty impressive.

Looking forward to the debrief. Enjoy your pints!

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Beer From Me Too!

Not 100% successful, but it's unreasonable to expect that it would be, this was a test flight after all.

Fingers crossed the payload washes ashore or another boat trip tomorrow hauls our plucky playmonaut from the water.

I guess the A-Team are drowning their sorrows in a south coast pub right now...

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Happy

Re: Beer From Me Too!

To paraphrase the Scientific Method, all tests are successful but they don't necessarily give the expected results.

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Re: Beer From Me Too!

I've heard it said that any experiment that does exactly what you expected it to was a failure, because you learned nothing.

Sounds like an excuse to me... but you can never have enough excuses up your sleeve!

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Bad Planning

I had a quick at the flight map thingy yesterday and all the lauches fron the south of England landed in the briny. Did they not spot the trend here? :-(

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Joke

Re: Bad Planning

I guess it's what happens when the brains of the SPB has to stay back and do her homework ;)

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Re: Bad Planning

We did, of course, use the flight prediction software and we chose an ascent rate, burst altitude and descent rate that gave a dry landing (considerably inland - between Winchester and Petersfield). These parameters are adjustable by choosing the size of balloon, amount of fill, and size of parachute. Our calculations were verified by the actual flight - we aimed for and achieved an ascent rate of 6.5m/s, aimed for a 27km burst and got 27.3km, and aimed for and achieved a 6m/s landing speed. However the wind speeds were higher than the prediction said, meaning of course that the flight travelled further (much further) than the prediction suggested.

Normally the prediction is very good. Probably what happened is that the stronger winds expected for later in the day materialised early.

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Re: Bad Planning

Tough luck guys. Looks like Murphy hitched a ride on this one.

Better luck next time.

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Re: Re: Bad Planning

So, apart from the unfortunate splash down due to unpredicted high winds, a first rate success! Congrats to the team. The unpredictable nature of high altitude winds over the UK at this time of year have led even groups of piloted planes to disaster (http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/the-morlaix-show.html).

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To Whom It May Concern

Well.

I've just got back. No staying the night/weekend. Which is good. No bruises/cuts/scratches...

Disappointed Ashley didn't win. But check this out...

Relax beast (not my real name obviously), sit back make yourself comfortable...

Do you like this? Her top comes off...

Waiting for the I'm a Celeb result...

Never mind that...

Her own Bushtucker trial commenced... Imagine I'm Ashley she says... cool

Charlie wins.

Bushtucker trial succesful! 1 star!

Cup of tea.

Kiss then home.

Jobs a good 'un!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To Whom It May Concern

Whatever happened to 'a gentleman doesn't tell"? :)

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Windows

(Snort) "We'll let you know how we got on as soon as the dust has settled."

You surely mean, as soon as the pub closes....Nice one, SPB!

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Joke

On the bright side...

You do appear to have gotten the kit into geostationary orbit.

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Next time

Maybe next time the launch should be from the SPB HQ in Spain - more land down there to land on.

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Boffin

Doesn't really matter where we go...

Even Baikonur's only a hundred miles from the Aral Sea and four or five hundred from the Caspian!

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Mushroom

Hydrogen-filled orb?

Way to go for Lohan! No?

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Boffin

Re: Hydrogen-filled orb?

ha ha! love it..

So what brought about the change of mind?

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Anonymous Coward

Erm.. did the nerves get to him? or has he sat on something damp?

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FAIL

Always "Late Delivery" !!

No much good reading of this (regrettably) epic fail - THIS copy of the reg e'Zine - as ever - arrived on MONDAY morning here in China.

Well, unfortunately, it is Par for the course. Always delayed!!!

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Pint

Re: Always "Late Delivery" !!

I wouldn't call it an "epic fail" by any means, arguably not even a fail of any kind. The launch worked (albeit a little delayed), and the worst that happened was some glitches in the web feed coverage and it ended up going a bit further than planned and getting a dunking.

But the primary items under test (the launching and SPEARS itself if I understood everything correctly) worked fine, and the other bits are fairly cosmetic. Plus of course by "failing" now rather than during the launch proper, there is time for review, improvement and adjustment.

Overall knowing what the 3G signal strength is in the area they were running around in, I was most impressed by how smooth the video-feed actually was (albeit not quite as nice as some views from the balloon itself would have been, but I guess that's a bit of an ask given the height involved).

And in the end it wasn't as if there was any obligation to do any kind of live-feed at all - par for the course would have been just some pics and canned video of the launch (which I guess we may get anyway as I think I saw Lester running around with a video camera on the feed) and a write-up (which I hope we also get soon).

So again a big well done to the whole team, and here's to an even better flight (and recovery) at the next stage.

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Re: Always "Late Delivery" !!

Whilst waiting for Lester to distil the events into a Reg article, there's a write up here...

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/ukhas/Rfx1Jnv9hZU

and pictures here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveake/sets/72157632136764003/

and a video here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jcnJmj0l9I&feature=g-upl

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Happy

Re: Always "Late Delivery" !!

"No much good reading of this (regrettably) epic fail....." Who knew the University of Southern Indiana had a department in China!

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Re: Always "Late Delivery" !!

@Phil,

Nice one that man - good to fill in the gap and actually see the launch itself at last.

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Re: Always "Late Delivery" !!

No problem Custard, it was annoying when the live stream went down just as they got the gate open wasn't it...

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Re: Always "Late Delivery" !!

My chase car has a mag-mount 3G aerial which does reduce the dropouts somewhat.

As for a live feed from the balloon, I have done that before (google "pi in the sky balloon") and may well do it for the next LOHAN flight. It's stills only - we don't have the bandwidth for live video.

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