Thursday, March 30, 2017


The folks at HASP challenged us to prove that our sensors would get enough air flow in the thin stratospheric conditions. We knew the fan we modeled our design around would need testing. We knew that the other teams who were using it just sidestepped the issue by not trying to run the fan during float. We really want to try to run our sensors during float so we had to get serious about figuring out what to use. We've looked at fans, blowers, pumps, compressors, diaphragm pumps, piston pumps and magic.

I've titled this photo, "Strippers and blow."

Tonight we had a huge testing push to put our favorite pump through an obstacle course.

Handsome Dan built our prototype BABI. We're not allowed to have a pressure vessel but we need a way to contain the air long enough for the sensors to get a reading. So we've designed something that will gently release pressure once it hits a certain threshold. We call it the Bernoulli Air Bath Intensifier (BABI). It kinda works! (We did the math and it checks out.)

We're going to need even MORE testing in order to be conclusive but that's kind of the point of this whole project. The team always seems to enjoy the build and testing process and it's a relief to be doing science and engineering with hands on materials. The photo below was taken at 11:00 pm on a Wednesday so it's safe to say that this cheery group is having a good time. 

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