back to article Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS

It's with a great degree of relief that we can report today we appear to have cracked our Vulture 2 spaceplane's pesky servo power supply issue. As Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) regulars know, we were having a few issues with juice to our Pixhawk autopilot and servos. We originally had the whole rig powered from …

  1. IHateWearingATie

    Sufficient lift?

    Have been wondering (ever since I donated to the kickstarter - cash sharpens the mind ) whether the wings on LOHAN will produce sufficient lift to glide it, now you've added a load more batteries?

    1. SW10

      Re: Sufficient lift?

      Having made the point myself and subsequently seen a curt reply to another commentard, I think Lester is getting a bit miffed off with this question.

      His answer is along the lines of "plenty enough, and then some."

      1. ukgnome

        Re: Sufficient lift?

        I was actually pondering the same thing myself, and I am sure that this was computed.

        But every time I try and think I remember stratodangle and for some reason that makes me smile, I like the word stratodangle.

        If the worst does happen then just remember that falling is just flying to the ground really quickly.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: Sufficient lift?

          As an old US Marine pilot told me, "When flying try and stay in the air. In particular, avoid the bottom of the air."

      2. IHateWearingATie

        Re: Sufficient lift?

        Fair enough - seems I missed that one from a previous thread.

        Maybe a LOHAN 'stop asking me!' list is needed on the LOHAN summary page :)

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Sufficient lift?

          Well, worst case, we have ascent by helium balloon and descent by, um... lead balloon. I'm sure that won't happen though...

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Sufficient lift?

      The weight is within parameters, so yup, there's enough lift.

  2. leon clarke

    I'm sure this is standard model aircraft terminology...

    but why is the thing that connects the batteries to the servo called a battery eliminator?

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: I'm sure this is standard model aircraft terminology...

      I suspect because it allows you to power a second device off a single set of batteries. It seems to be a simple voltage regulator, but the name probably comes from the fact that it saves you from having to use a second (different voltage) battery pack.

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    So, onward and (hopefully) upward then.

  4. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Successful test?

    Of LOHAN, which is to be launched from America?

    That explains everything then: NASA to Make Major Announcement Today About Astronaut Transport to the International Space Station

    "NASA will make a major announcement today at 4 p.m. EDT regarding the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States. The agency will make the announcement during a news conference from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency's website."

  5. Elmer Phud
    Paris Hilton


    Still so short of money that Vulture2 has to pose with its top off?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope you guys are filming the entire process.. this would make a great documentary. Well, I'd watch it.

    To clarify - I know you have lots of video, but any plans of putting it together for a 1hr documentary that wraps up the whole mission?

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Sounds like an excellent idea for another Kickstarter project in the film/video -> documentary category! Perhaps it would be prudent to wait until after the flight but be sure to get a lot of tabernamque footage for the end of the flick..

    2. VinceH Silver badge

      +1 for the documentary.

      Released on DVD or Blu-Ray, it'd be something else we can purchase to put money in El Reg's piggy bank, so we can watch at our leisure.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


        On that note - if someone does make a film out of it I'd be happy to help with DVD authoring (I forgot more about it than most people, including some "professionals", ever knew).

    3. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      We are indeed filming the whole thing.

  7. The First Dave Silver badge

    IT shouldn't be too hard to measure the current draw of the servo's (and the other loads), measure the internal resistance of the batteries, and therefore calculate the power "lost" ie used to heat up the batteries from inside.

    From there, it is a fairly simple experiment/calculation to determine heat loss / specific heat, etc.

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