We’re just a hair away from completing our main goal for this semester: Launching tethered balloons for the projects flying on the high altitude balloon. We’ve managed to gather everything needed for this objective, and are now awaiting on mother nature to let us fly. We’ve acquired the helium tanks, the balloon, the lines for […]Read more "Tethered Launch Rig Complete – Now, We Wait."
The Balloon Payload Program started out about one year ago in the spring semester of 2014. This was because two growing school projects, Project HERMES and Project TRAPSat, wanted to launch on high altitude balloons. Well, those projects are going beyond the balloon. Thats right. They’re going orbital. NASA had a call for applications for […]Read more "CTU is Going Orbital"
After designing and constructing our cutdown device prototype we like to call the ‘Funbox’, it has come time for us to test! Since we still haven’t set up our tethered balloon system, we’ve decided to test from the spot we’ve done all of our previous tests from – the balcony. In our test video, we […]Read more "Testing the ‘Funbox’"
This semester, we’ve been trying to figure out alternative ways to cutdown the payload on our tethered balloon launches. The pull pin test worked well occasionally, but proved to have quite a few flaws. Many times, the pin got stuck due to friction from the hanger and the rope itself. Other times, there was an […]Read more "Back to the Drawing Board!"
Hi everyone! Myself (Jeff Williams) and my partner Ben Serano are back in action here at the Aerospace Research Lab at Capitol Technology University in Laurel, MD. We had an extremely successful high altitude balloon flight back in November, 2014 with the Maryland Space Grant Consortium. One of two Capitol Projects, Project TRAPSat, flew on the […]Read more "CTU BPP Back in Session!"
Being as though we had to start developing our low-altitude balloon launches practically from scratch, we had to also create our own release pin that allows for the dropping of a payload and parachute deployment mid-flight. Thus, we bent, cut, and shaped a wire coat hanger into a sort of rudimentary cotter pin. After multiple […]Read more "Pull Pin Testing"
Here is some cool footage that we recorded back in February of 2014, when Capitol’s Balloon Payload Program was first created. The following is a playlist of our initial tests of the parachute we have to be used for the tethered launches to be conducted at CTU. Test 1 – Standard Parachute Deployment Test 2 […]Read more "Initial Parachute Testing"