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Old 09-12-2008, 09:20 AM   #1
Lunar_Lander
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Default Experiments you would send aloft on XAP

Hi everybody !

Donald Piccard suggested me an experiment that could be done on his XAP flight to the mesosphere and he suggesed me to give you an description of it for examination.

His idea was to take some readings of objects sliding down an inclined plane both on the ground and in the mesosphere. Up there, the gravity will be a minute amount lower than on the ground, which will change the Normal force and of course also the coefficient of friction.

In the paper I wrote about the flight (downloadable on www.mesasphere.com) I suggesed a gravity meter based on a mercurial barometer (this had been proposed for an Italian North Pole experdition in 1928).

So, what do you think about that experiment and are there more experiments for gravity determination?

Cheers,
Lunar_Lander


-----Posted Added-----


Addendum:

My physics teacher told me yesterday, that taking measurements on an inclined plane would be too coarse compared to the small changes of g.

He said it would be better to have a weight hanging on a piezo crystal and then you would have to measure the voltage which the crystal produces.

Last edited by Lunar_Lander; 09-24-2008 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:26 AM   #2
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Default Topic expanded

Hi everybody,

I decided to expand the topic to the question: What experiment would you send up on XAP? Suggestions are welcome!

Cheers,
Lunar_Lander
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:14 PM   #3
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I suggest attaching a mirror to the downside to measure light absorbtion and indirectly so particle/aerosol densities via shooting at it with a laser. Having an on board system to measure those values localy would be interesting too.

To my knowledge such measures have only been done in fast moving objects, a slow moving craft might reveal hidden structures or patterns.

EDIT: My knowledge needs to get shot. How stupid would humanity be if we didn't already do that?!
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:34 AM   #4
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Default What this thread is for

Hi everybody,

just a little explaination what this thread is for. I'm cooperating with Mr. Donald Piccard who invented XAP and the new hybrid balloon system that will be used for it.

The flight will eventually reach about 150,000 feet altitude, but the most important thing is, that there should be as many scientific instruments and experiments on board. There will be some kind of "workbench" outside, where experiments by students are exposed to the conditions outside, and which are remote controlled from the inside of the cabin.

The float at the highest altitudes should last 24 hours (to have one day-night cycle). Future flights could be of two-/three- or four-/five-day duration.

And now you are welcome to participate in this mission here by your suggestions (as TSPengiun already did) !
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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What are the constraints regarding size and mass of the payload?
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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And after describing what this is all about, I have one suggestion also: There was an Italian Airship expedition to the North Pole in 1928 by Umberto Nobile in the Airship Italia.

One of the scientific objectives was to measure the gravity in different places in the Arcitc. Usually this is done with pendulums, but due to the long time which is taken up by such a measurement, another method was devised, and this was to obtain gravity readings with a mercurial barometer. This instrument was to be used on the ice and on board the airship (when the engines were shut down).

I don't have the description of the instrument here right now, but it shows that this mercurial barometer was able to measure g.
As the balloon doesn't have engines and will be quite stable during the float, this could make a good experiment.

-----Posted Added-----


@simonpro: I'll ask Donald Piccard about the mass, for the size we think about a spherical capsule which is 9 feet in diameter, and will have enogh space in the middle for two seats and a table which is the instrument panel. So all the space on the walls can be used for instruments (and of course the "balcony")
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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I may have a few experiments that may be suitable for such a flight. Can't promise anything as they're student experiments from my uni, so it's up to them to decide. Give me as much info as possible and I'll pass it on.
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:39 AM   #8
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That sounds great! At this time, there is not much info about the things you requested:

The weight of the payload will be variable, because XAP is a modular vehicle in which the number of helium gas cells can be varied. So for more payload more gas cells are attached.

I think the figure I gave (9 ft diameter capsule) could be used as a preliminary size, maybe one instrument could range form very small up to the size of an office bin (I think that's a good value to start, maybe there can be bigger instruments in the future).


-----Posted Added-----


@simonpro: How big and how heavy would the single experiments be? Are my data bits useful at the moment?


-----Posted Added-----


Hi everybody,

I wanted to expand my description I gave by the areas your experiments could be in:

Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Meteorology, Astronomy and Biology

Also you could say, whether you experiment is for all three flight classes, or only either for the 24 hour flight, the three-day flight or the five-day flight.
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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Just to say I haven't forgotten this thread, just got a lot else to do just now.
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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How about letting paper planes fly?
If they are marked and could be sent back or reported online it would be great.
Scientificaly it is not of a great value but I can see no harm in it either way.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:23 PM   #11
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Default Peanuts and paper aeroplanes

Jay Fiondella owns a restaurant in Santa Monica, California on the U.S, west coast. It has a floor littered with peanut shells as he serves copius peanuts in the shell. One of his patrons carried a peanut to the Moon and back, which Jay keeps on display.

If you could design a paper aeroplane which could maintain a course, instaed of spiralling randomly, it would be interesting to observe the glide ratio at the diferent altitudes on its descent.

Could it have a bimetal rudder control that would keep it oriented by sunlight, like a steering sail on a sailboat uses the relative wind to mantain a course?


-----Posted Added-----


For a "Paper airplane that doesn't track, see "By Request: The Drop Sonde" part way down the site at www.N6US.com. That device has bi-axial dihedral so that it stabilizes in two dimensions as it falls in the third.

That has been used by balloon pilots to visually ascertain the wind currents below them. If it was used in conjunction with a geometrically oriented glider it might serve as a base line reference.

What do you think? Could you observe and calibrate this from 50 km away? How?
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:37 PM   #12
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Yes, such a bimetallic rudder control should work, but there should be a device that would control whether heating the bimetal causes a turn to the right or to the left (or pitch up/down), I think.
When the bimetal cools, the rudder should return into it's "zero" position.

If the drop sonde needs visual contact, some kind of magnifying mechanism is required. But a better solution could be some kind of radar tracking (either from the balloon or from the ground, but I think a ground radar would be better). For this, the surface of the paper planes must be made of metal partially of course.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:11 PM   #13
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There's a variety of things to choose from the basic stuff like temperature, pressure, air density,... to some more stuff like air composition, various radiation levels and if a particle detector is small enough...

I looked through the site and I couldn't find a list of what's already included... now, given that not even basic variables are known right now, I'd think a list hasn't yet been made, but as soon as there is one, please let us know to see what you've got on it.

This looks like a very interesting missing. I hope it succeeds 100%!
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:55 AM   #14
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@RisingFury: Thanks for the wishes !

At the website you'll find three Mediafire links, which contain a little scientific paper written by me. This is only a proposal and there you can find a list of instruments I would take aboard.
An official list is of course not yet ready, but maybe my list halps for the moment.

(or did you already find these PDF files?)
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:03 PM   #15
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Default Drop sonde

Lunar: The idea of radar observation is great. The drop sonde could just as well be made of aluminum foil. Then it should be a 90 degree corner so that it reflects perfectly. Will a corner section fall as stably as the wedge shpwn?
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