This past weekend, we found a rare quiet 20 minutes in the hackerspace, before the day’s Mission Control simulation started. I took the opportunity to throw together a little video peek for you all, to see how we’re doing. I had no time for retakes, so it’s dirty, but you will get the peek you’ve been waiting for. It’s 10 minutes long, but as Brad said, “I think we’ve done at least ten minutes worth of work in the last month or two!” Take a look. (Read on after the vid)
With such a complicated system, the only we know that everything works together is to test it, all together. Gary made a GPS simulator to act like a real gps to our flight computer, but actually replay a predefined balloon flight. Since the balloon robot makes all it’s decisions based on the GPS and our commands from Mission Control, we can make the balloon perform like it’s really flying.
So for the last two weeks we’ve been doing just that. It’s been a lot of work, and every night we run a full simulated flight, and every night we discover another problem somewhere. They’re all being fixed, but we’re running out of time. Luckily (or unluckily) the jet stream winds are not very good for the next few days, so we’re not missing anything.