Project Horus High altitude balloon project

10May/111

A look inside the Project Horus workshop(s)

Whilst we've not seen any Horus launches in the last few weeks, the team have still been busily working away on a few projects in our time off.

Nodepony launch:

One project that's been on the drawing board for a little while now is the planned launch of Nodepony to near space. I'm hoping to get our brave little volunteer off the ground soon, but not before a bit of modification. :o

Nodepony ready to go under the knife

Expect some more details on this one soon... in the meantime the ponies are in my workshop playing with telemetry payloads... none of them have been harmed (yet!) ;)

Neiigghhhh!

Horus 15 flight video:

Grant's managed to put together a great video from the Horus 15 flight footage - no mean feat given the difficult conditions on the day! With very overexposed footage Grant had to do some aggressive colour correction, but the results are a testament to Grant's editing!

Remote RX site:

Another idea we came up with some time ago was to setup an automated remote receive site and have it strategically located in our flight path. The site could then receive telemetry during flights & relay this information via the internet, and when there are no Horus flights the remote receiver could always be used for things like decoding BOM weather balloons or listening in general.

I recently purchased a Funcube Dongle (a low cost, wideband USB SDR) and have put together a low power remote receive machine.

The remote receiver

The machine is built around a VIA EPIA mainboard, and should consume only a few watts when running - this is important as it'll be running off a solar array when installed. The system is currently pictured with a 240V AC PSU, but this will be replaced with a DC PSU very soon.

The remote receiver

The remote receiver runs Linux & GNU Radio, giving us the ability to demodulate just about anything that fits within the Funcube Dongle's ~80KHz of bandwidth, or (assuming internet bandwidth permits) send the raw I/Q data back to another site.

Mini-Nut:

Mark has been busy working on a miniaturized SMD version of my Nut telemetry board, something which is a bit overdue!

Mark's Mini-Nut

Mark's managed to squeeze a pressure sensor and miniSD socket onto the board as well - for the full details check out his blog post.

RDF antennas:

Asides from working on Mini-Nut, Mark's been busy working with Adrian & Matt on an array of new direction finding antennas & systems for Adrian's & Matt's trucks.

Adrian in the workshop

Adrian has put together a couple of excellent blog posts detailing some of the work they've done.

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