Gearing up for Launch

The last few weeks have been getting exciting over here at Misson Control. We’ve been performing lots of tests on our equipment and are preparing for a dress rehearsal this upcoming weekend (April 9/10) down in the sunny fields outside of Mantorville, MN. We’re hoping for decent weather, so we can send a smaller version of our payload up on some fishing line, to test the ground control radio communication equipment from multiple distances. You can see for miles down there, so the ground control antenna communication tests should go smoothly.

As for everything else, we’re coming along nicely. Last week we successfully hacked our Canon PowerShot SD1400is with an unofficial beta version of the CHDK. This was a bit of a task, considering the SD1400is isn’t officially supported by the CHDK, but we made it work and ran some duration tests. We should be able to get around 3 hours of photos comfortably. We’ve also been roaming around town with our Yaesu VX-8GR pointed out the window to test the APRS tracking, too. You can see our lunch route the other day. We’ll also have our trusty Droid Eris in there for Loopt based tracking as a 3rd backup. No new surprises there.

So, this weekend is testing. End of April/Early May we’ll be sending our first live Bespin launch, granted all goes well. A few pics of the payload and contents for your viewing pleasure.