Hope is the last thing to lose

After summer holidays we have contacted with Spanish National Aviation Authority (AESA). Mrs. Elsa Solera de Andrés informed us that difficulties, due to European regulation about HAB’s, have not disappeared.
After that our launch was cancelled last June, we decided to apply for a new HAB flight next autumn. Taking last news into account, we are not confident that our launch will happen. However, we are working to improve each detail related to Galasat Project.
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HAB flight has been cancelled

Unfortunately, we have just received an email from Spanish National Aviation Authority that informed  us that our HAB flight has been cancelled because of a upcoming European regulation about HAB’s.
As the saying goes, “Where there is a will there is a way.” We must not give up under any circumstances. So we have decided to apply to a new HAB flight for next Autumn. Anyway, we want to express our gratitude to Mrs. Elsa Solera de Andrés from Spanish National Aviation Authority for her generous support in order to achieve a suitable solution. Thanks for your patience and understanding. We hope that next Autumn will be a perfect season to our HAB flight.

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Finalizing details with URC

Today we have had last meeting, before the launch, with the members of URC (Cordoba Amateur Radio Society) in order to organize the search. Its president Pedro Luque EA7AEB has always shown full availability to collaborate on this project.
According the the prediction (ASTRA High Altitude Balloon Flight Planner), one vehicle will move toward the predicted landing site. This group will have the proper equipment to receive tracking data of our HAB via APRS.

Building a balloon inflator

We need a way to move the helium from our tank into the balloon. A Weather Balloon Inflator allows us to inflate our weather balloon with ease, safety, and confidence.
The balloon inflation tube keeps the balloon neck open and provides a sturdy nozzle to push helium through. Using the inflation tube doesn’t need to be an exact science, especially since it is designed for ease of use.
When you are filling your balloon the best way to know you have got the right amount of gas is to weigh the pull of the balloon. We use a scale to ensure how much lift the balloon will provide.
To read the scale, leave the balloon taped to the inflation tube and let the balloon lift both the tube and one end of the scale. The PVC tube weighs about 0.45 Kg, so we should read the Neck Lift (how much the inflated balloon will lift) as 0.45 Kg plus what the scale indicates. The greatest amount of success for most flights is when the neck lift is plus the weight of the payload.

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Our Launch Day is decided!!!

Taking some factors into account such as better weather conditions, more time availability, more sunlight at this time of year. We have decided to set our Launch Day next 18th June 2015 at 11:00 am.
In spite of  there is so much time until launch day we do not want to run any risk. So that, we have just submitted the form to obtain authorization to launch our High Altitude Balloon from the Spanish National Aviation Authority.
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Provincial government will support our project

All the members of our Galasat Team have moved to Cordoba to explain in detail the aims of our Near Space School Project. We have been received at the offices of the Provincial Government by its second Vice President Mr. Salvador Blanco Fuentes.
We have explained the main aims of Galasat and how our project works. The Vice President have shown a great interest to support our project according to develop abilities related to thinking skills, teamwork and problem solving.
We are grateful for the attention received and hope to get the necessary financial support to carry out our project.

Testing isolated payload

After several days working to make an isolated payload today we are going to check the isolation level. We have asked a well-known chain supermarket permission to develop this test at its frozen food section.
Three hours later, it seems that it has not been a successful test. Anyway, it is time to analyze the data from datalogger.
We are grateful for the attention received. Thanks to Victor’s uncle.

galaSAT project will be supported by the local government.

The coordinator of our team has visited education city councillor, Mr. Jose Miguel Santos Godoy, to explain the aims of our Near Space School Project and how it works. The city councillor has shown a great interest to support our project.
We are grateful for the attention received and hope to get the necessary financial support to carry out our project.

Less than 24 hours later

It was less than 24 hours after we sent our email that we received an answer. Our Chilean mate was ready to have a video conference in order to clear up all our doubts. We are pleasantly surprised by his generous willingness to help us in our project.
We planned to have the meeting, by video conference, today 12.13.2015 at 1:00 pm. After two hours of Skype conversation we have a basic start point to develop a APRS solution to track our HAB.
Mr. Cristian Troncoso Vasquez offered us technical support to carry out tracking of our HAB. We would like to show you our appreciation. Thanks for your prompt response and patience.

Getting in touch with Cristian Troncoso Vasquez

We have read, on The Internet, a report which describes how to use APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System). We hope APRS will allow us to track the high altitude balloon flight in our project. Mr. Cristian Troncoso Vasquez, a Chilean engineer, is the author of this report which was the thesis for his Master’s degree in Networks and Telecommunications Systems.
After reading his detailed report we are really keen on solving several doubts. That is why we have got in touch with him by e-mail. And now we are waiting for a quick answer…
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