Arrival to Hyères France

Since this is the first blog post for quite a while I´ll just take some time to mention what we have been doing over the spring. As most of you already know we came home from launch late february and immediately started with the data analysis. Since most of us had some catch up to do in  different courses and thesis works there have not been as much time for SQUID as there used to be. But we have been on a few outreach event (I´ll attach some pictures) and I and david were also at the RAIN team´s tow/drop test to help out.

So with that said, lets continue with what we are up to now.  Early yesterday morning I, Gustav, and David took took us out to Arlanda airport to catch the plane towards Paris leaving at 6:50. Well in Paris, standing at the baggage belt, we hear a familiar voice, it turns out to be Paggy from the RAIN team who are also going to Hyères for the symposium.

Next task was to take us from Charles de Gaulle to Orly which turned out to be not as easy as it may sound. It ended up with tus waiting for one hour for the bus to take us there which makes us realize why you need so much time in order to get in between the airports. Well at Orly, after a short lunch, the travel continued to Hyères/Toulon where the sun and palm trees greeted us. To bad though that we once again ended up waiting one hour in order to take the bus from the aiport to the center of Hyères, if we just had know the beach was just around further down the street the waiting would have been much more pleasant.

The bus took us in to the center where the next adventure was to try to find the way to the hotel, after asking around and trying to understand the french (okay i admit I should know french after living in Belgium for six years but I don´t) we actually did find our way. After some rest we met up with Peggy again for dinner, well in town we met up with the SSC and SNSB personell who first took us to a plaza in old town for beers and then to a nice restaurant for dinner.

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EXPLORE rocket video

I know that the blog during the last week have been very poorly updated and I´m deeply sorry for this. Some more detailed posts about the data processing are on their way but in the mean time I just wanted to tip you about the EXPLORE team´s video which they recorded during the launch of REXUS 9 which where launched the day before our rocket. The video is recorded from a camera which where mounted on the side of the payload so they have managed to capture some great shots of the launch.

Due to copyright issues on the music the above clip may not be available everywhere so for those of you who can´t see it there is another clip without music.

The other experiments of REXUS 9/10

I´d like to devote this post to the other experiments of REXUS 9/10. All the experiments have devoted huge amounts of time in order to be a part of the launches of the REXUS 9/10 rockets. It is therefore definitely worth the time to visit their respective team site and there read more about the respective experiment. Please see the links below

REXUS9

http://spaceresearch.dit.ie/telescobe/

http://sites.google.com/site/spongeteamrexus9/home

http://www.explore-rexus.de/

http://www.remos-stuttgart.de/

REXUS10

http://www.gaga-in-space.de/

http://www.mbeam.at/

http://sites.google.com/site/focusrexus/

 

Celebrating a successful campaign

As the case is for the end of most hectic periods in life one of course needs to end them by a great party. During a launch campaign this is done at the campaign party. Originally the idea was that is should have taken place during thursday night but since REXUS10 was successfully launched already by wednesday this plan was changed because as Olle said “everyone will celebrate during Wednesday night anyhow so we can just as well have the party by then as well”. The deal for the party was that Esrange would arrange food and beverage while the teams had to arrange the entertainment. Our idea was to arrange a bloopers video which David edited during the last hours before the party with some help from the rest of the team. At seven o clock all teams gathered outside the canteen where Olle explained the idea for the night which was that we would use standing tables in order to get more circulation in between the different teams. Thereafter we all went in to the canteen to get some food, the Esrange cooks had prepared a great meal based on beef which had been grilled on the outside in the cold during the afternoon. The food was in deed great! During the dinner the entertainment started. The contributions from the different teams were of great variation. The Explore team had for example made a great video which had been recorded by their camera on the side of the REXUS9 rocket, while Sponge had arranged a art display where different people characterized known art pieces, Telescobe had written a great song about the failing door of their experiment. During the night Olle also handed out two prices to the teams. The prices were for the friendliest team and for the most technical advanced / scientific experiment and the winners had been decided by voting among all teams. The price for the friendliest team went to Telescobe with their great Irish spirit. When the second price was given Olle said that he had never seen such a clear majority in the voting and asked if the audience could guess who the winner was. I was much surprised by hearing how the whole audience at once shouted SQUID SQUID SQUID SQUID! We could not have been more proud then we were then! The last event of the official part of the night was to hand out diplomas to all participants this was conducted by captain Australia who came flying in to the canteen in is shiny blue suit. What happened after the official part of the night will stay among the teams but I can tell you this, the night was not over by far and I´m quite sure that everyone had quite an hangover the day after, at least so did I.

 

Leaving Esrange

After two amazing weeks the time have come to leave Esrange. The team is currently in the car and we left Esrange for about two hours ago. Even if this marks the end of the launch campaign this does not mean that the project is finished. We will have plenty of work to do in order to evaluate the results of the project. This will end up in a number of documents. We also hope to be able to go to the 20th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research. Which will take place in Hyéres, France, between the 22nd and 26th of may. The final report of the project will be the last version of the SED which will be handed in at the end of June. Under this period we will try our best to keep the blog updated!

The SQUIDMOBILE at the gate of Esrange

SQUID in space video recording part 2

The flight

So yesterday was the day we all had been waiting for and the outcome could not have been better. It first started of quite early with a pre flight meeting at 7:15. During the meeting it stood clear that the rocket was not fully ready yet and that the launch crew would need at least half an hour to prepare it so the decision to delay the countdown with thirty minutes to 8:30 were taken. This half hour where soon prolonged to an hour but suddenly it was time to initiate the countdown. The countdown procedure that was used lasts for two hours and at about T-1h30m we had the chance to check the communication with our experiment. Since we had seen quite some trouble with this earlier we were very happy to see that everything checked out fine for us. After the experiment checkout the experiments were powered down again until T-10 m. At this point we sent the mission mode command to the experiment and received the so called SOE signal which in our case switches on the internal batteries. Everything worked out fine but during the whole procedure we were only waiting for the hold which we all thought would come but suddenly it was time for the so well known 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 and suddenly we could all see though the windows of the science centre how the rocket accelerated up n to the sky. At T+72.7s we lost contact with the experiment which meant that the FFU had been ejected from the rocket. Now everything we could do was to sit and wait until we would receive any messages either on the beacon receiver or on the website were we check for received messages from the satellite  transmitter. After about five aver full minutes we finally started to receive blank messages. This at least meant that the parachute had opened as planed and a little while later we started to receive the position. We were all excited over the success in deed everything worked as planned so when the helicopter went to recover the FFU it found the FFU lying just at the position of the final coordinates. At this point we were sitting extremely nervous in the operation room to hear any news from the helicopter which were behind a mountain which meant that we did not have any radio contact with it. So when we finally reached them and they told us that they had the FFU in the helicopter we all screamed of happiness!