back to article Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight

The matter of whether our Vulture 2 spaceplane's servos will freeze at altitude will be resolved on Saturday by our US allies at Edge Research Lab, when they send a complete spaceplane autopilot/battery/servo rig stratowards. Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) regulars will be aware we've been fretting about our …

So what are they carrying? Batteries and some servos, or some of your great tracking gear? Just wondering what to expect to see on their tracking page tomorrow morning.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

They're using their own tracking gear. This is a test of our servos and batteries only.

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Any results yet?

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Just written a summary piece, should be up shortly. Initial results excellent.

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I hope the testing all goes well and the everything works. I'd hate to hear that you have rip LOHAN's electronic guts out and re-engineer them.

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Also trialling...

I shall be watching the tracking action appropriately adorned in a rather fine T-shirt that arrived in the post not 24 hours ago - Cheers!

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Happy

What nice friends LOHAN has

I do hope the playmonaut is being equally well {ahem} escorted.

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Good luck!

Hope all goes well. Apropos of Spaceport America, though, there was a successful launch yesterday and one payload on the rocket was yeast for Ninkasi Brewery (Oregon-based, excellent brewery). They'll be making a space beer, though technically it's a sub-orbital beer (maybe Sub-Orbit-Ale?)

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Enclosure insulation

How is the rig insulated from the outside environment in this test flight? Will the heat transfer from the rig to the environment be comparable to the actual LOHAN flight? (Too much insulation now might give a false positive result. Too little could give a false negative)

Lets just hope we don't get any of that -->

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Re: Enclosure insulation

Regards heat, or lack of. Temp goes down to about 20km altitude, then it goes up again.

http://www.redbullstratos.com/science/the-atmosphere/

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Re: Enclosure insulation

"heat" at altitude is a bit weird. Because of the rarified atmosphere heat transfer starts to rely much more on radiance and much less on convection. Meaning that the air outside the craft could be at -100C and electronics inside the enclosure still melting down from overheating.

Apart from that, even if they make it to 40 km it'll still be a nippy -25C outside the craft.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Re: Enclosure insulation

The possible overheating issue is exactly what we're keeping an eye out for. The BEC is our main concern - it gets pretty warm on the ground when everything's fired up.

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Roswell

That google guy set a new parachute altitude record from Roswell NM. Hopefully you can get the LOHAN as high as he went. BTW, nothing really cool to see in Roswell, or at least there wasn't when I was in the area 25 years ago. Close to Alamogordo is Carslbad Caverns, which is great, and up the road from Roswell, around the sleepy town of Portales is where the original Clovis Man was found.

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Down at about 17:30Z

I thought it had lost telemetry, cos altitude was still showing 1700 m, and then I realized that that's ground level in those parts!

Handily within 50 metres of the roadside: recovery should be a breeze, and I'll be interested to know how the servos fared.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Down at about 17:30Z

Good job by Edge. Results forthcoming...

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Re: Down at about 17:30Z

Go Edge! Very nice

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Brilliant!

Enjoyed the video interview too..

Onward and upward Folk

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environmental chamber....

"There are doubts the Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries, which power the whole shebang, will deliver sufficient juice as the temperature drops."

This would be an afternoon wheeze in a suitable environmental chamber.

If you asked nicely I'm sure one of the UK's university space science labs would oblige (partial pressure, plus bright sunlight, plus low temperature atmosphere....), but otherwise it's something which can be knocked up with a suitable vacuum pump, spotlights and liquid nitrogen cooling loop.

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