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.

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




A christmas greeting from the SQUID team

We would like to take the opportunity to share our warmest christmas greeting to all you readers out there, check out the greeting by following the link.

Christmas card

Screenshot from the christmas card

KTH catalogue

So yesterday  I finally found the next KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) catalogue which contains information about the different programs that are available on KTH. In the catalogue where also an interview made with me and Jiangwei earlier this fall. The interview is well worth reading (however it is in swedish) even if it contains some wrong facts about the project. So check it out at page 17-18 in  Utbildningskatalog 2011/2012 (2,9 MB).

Picturea of Gustav and Jiangwei from the KTH catalogue 2011-2012

Busy night before EAR

So today has been busy as always. The day started of with that I (Gustav), Jacob and Amer (from the RAIN team) visited Bergtorpskolan, just north of Stockholm. There we held two lectures which where really well visited. During the first one we had 33 pupils listening and during the second one we had as many as 47 pupils listening on how our project works. This was actually some kind of record for us, we’ve never had as many pupils listening to us during a school visit and of course we loved it! The pupils where all very quiet, seemed interested and asked plenty of question so it was a rather success.

However the main thing about this blog post is not the school visit but instead the much more worrying Experiment Acceptence Review which will be taking place here at KTH tomorrow. The whole team is really fighting to get everything to work in time, and as it looks right now most things will actually work tomorrow. Something which however seems to be a huge problem is the reliability of the SCALE. In the future we hope to be able to deal with it by using more standard parts but since some of the has yet to be delivered they have been custom made in the inhouse workshop. This has led to that the two different SCALE systems really seems to have different personalities and most of the times at least one of them have problems when being run. When it comes to the rest of the mechanical parts they however seems to be on place, and the electronics and software also seems to be in a working stage.

So to end this blog post I beg you all to wish us good luck for tomorrows challenge!

Busy friday

Last friday was an incredibly busy day for the team. Directly after lunch an outreach activity, a presentation for the Rocket Science at KTH course to be specific, was planned and immediately after that the team was supposed to demonstrate the functionality of the main electronics in the system as well as the software controlling it. However the day turned out well and in the end at least some of us got to celebrate in the usual way (with beers at the Rocket PUB). A more detailed story from the two events follows below.

The presentation for the Rocket Science course has become a tradition, for the second year in row a team from REXUS presented their project at a lecture for the Rocket Science course. Last years presentation, done by LAPLander, led to the recruiting of a number of members  to the current SQUID team. The presentation for this year where mainly based on the presentation given to a number of schools earlier in the spring but does now feature a number of videos which has been recorded during the project (many of which are available on youtube). There where about 60 students audience who listened to the presentation which where given by Me (Gustav), David, Mario and Mikko. The presentation where rounded of by a short desciption of the intended experiment for next years REXUS campaign (see earlier post). We where very glad to see such an interested audience and also that so many students seemed interested in taking part of the mentioned experiment for next year.

The second event for the day was the demonstration of electronics and software for the project. Mikael Inga form Swedish Space Corporation was visiting us to see the progress of the system. The team had been preparing for this for a long time and was looking forward to show the features of the system. A more detailed blog post featuring the different parts shown will be posted later on by Monica. I my self was very satisfied to see that everything worked as planned and also that Mikael seemed satisfied with the progress.

To round of one could say that we had a hectic but successful friday afternoon to bad i did not have time to participate at the Rocket PUB my self…

Drop test video first extended version

In preparation for our guest presentation tomorrow, friday, at the rocket science course we made a new version of the drop test video. It now includes some preparing tests and also a last surprise. Check it out!

Call for students to take part of REXUS 11/12

So for all of you out there who have been fallowing us during the year and now fell yearned to take on a REXUS project of your own now is your chance. As cited from the call for students poster:

The Division of Space and Plasma Physics at School of Electrical Engineering KTH now aims to put together a team of students to propose an experiment for the REXUS sounding rocket program for university students. If selected the experiment will fly on the REXUS 11/12 sounding rocket from ESRANGE in March 2012.

The experiment in mind is a multipoint measurement of mesospheric parameters with a fleet of small subpayloads deployed from the main rocket.

The team will consist of 6-8 students and should combine skills in electronics, hardware programming, mechanical design and implementation, signal analysis, system level testing. The first stage is preparation of the proposal to ESA. If selected, the team will work on a detailed design in the winter 2011, and build the payload in spring-summer of 2011.

For more information check out the call for students. Also check out the REXUSBEXUS homepage for more information about the REXUS programme. You’re of course also welcome to contact anyone of the SQUID team (or event the LAPLander team) to get more info about what you can anticipate of the programme.

Model rocket launches at Barnens Ö

Jacob writes

Back in April, David and me from SQUID and Johan and Erik from LAPLander headed out to Barnens Ö with Nickolay. It’s an island some distance from Stockholm, and in the summer it hosts camps for kids from the city. This time however, it hosted a camp for kids interested in astronomy held by the Egna Vingar foundation. We went there to talk about our projects, while Nickolay talked a bit about space weather. We got a lot of appreciation, and were even asked if we could come present more in the future. 😀 We also met a fellow space-blogger, Frida. Visit her blog at Frida och Stjärnorna (in Swedish)!

Erik had built two model rockets for the event, and we saw it as a great opportunity to try out our little shock-proof HD-camera. I’ve had the video for a while, but I thought it was high time I uploaded it!

The second rocket has an absolutely huge motor, and it was a pity it was so foggy. Erik estimated it might’ve reached an altitude of a 1000 meters!

I wanted to do the launches in slow-motion, but Windows is woefully ill-equipped for video editing and I didn’t have time to hunt around for better programs. 😦

SQUID visits schools!

Jacob writes

Last week it was finally time to head out to some schools to tell the students about our experiment and student life at KTH.

The first stop was Naturvetargymnasiet in Södertälje, my old school. On Thursday David, Gustav, Jiangwei and me
carried our heavy bags packed with plasma experiments and accompanying transformers all the way there.

The students seemed really interested in what what we were doing, and for me it was pretty fun to meet my old teachers. At this first visit we presented for the International Baccalaureate class, so we held the presentation in English. Tomorrow we will have two further presentations in Swedish.

The presentation itself took about 50 minutes and afterwards we had some experiments set up for the students to try. The plasma ball and Jacob’s Ladder from KTH öppet hus were there, but this time we also had a wooden model of the FFU and model of the SCALE system. There was also a computer simulation, where the students could try minimizing the swinging of the wire booms at the end of deployment by controlling the deployment speed. Overall it seems both we and the students enjoyed it, and we’re looking forward to returning next week for two more presentations.

On Friday we headed to Stockholm Observatory in Saltsjöbaden, where Kunskapsgymnasiet for astronomy is housed. It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate place for a space presentation, and the students here were even more interested, asking me, David and Gustav many difficult questions during the presentation. We were quite proud to have been able to answer at least some of them. 😉

Afterwards we got to see more of the building, which is located at the top of a tall hill in Saltsjöbaden. The hill is littered with domes, for various telescopes, and the centerpiece is a 20-or-so-inch refractor (lens) telescope.