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SHARP 3 Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics

Page history last edited by Robert Striemer 9 years, 10 months ago



SHARP-3 was to be launched from the Elkhorn Resort on October 23rd, 2012 using a 3000 gram helium filled balloon. The weather conditions were very unfavorable. The predicted landing area was a poorly accessible part of the Manitoba's Interlake region, between Lake Manitoba and Dog Lake. Late on October 22nd, the team decided to move the launch site to Killarney Manitoba. This should result in the payload coming to Earth near the Portage la Prairie APRS repeater. 


The SHARP 3 payload was the most involved effort to date with many science and engineering experiments. Unfortunately, seconds before the balloon was to be released, a gust of wind snapped the Dacron kite line and the balloon was lost. No damage was done to the payload, its four cameras, the Geiger counter or the numerous sensors in the payload.  


This effort is now known to the team as SHARP 3.0 to distinguish it from its successor SHARP 3.1 which is slated to fly in the fall of 2013. SHARP 3.1 has similar mission goals to the aborted SHARP 3.0.


The Flight Data 

Unfortunately there is no flight data of significance for SHARP 3.0. Students did some research on the breaking strength of knotted kite line after the aborted mission. They discovered that some knots may reduce the breaking strength of Dacron kite line by as much as 50%. Other students are investigating the rate of effusion of helium from latex weather balloons (Graham's Law). A quantitative investigation of the amount of gas used and the rate of loss of lift due to effusion could make a good MSSS project for a SHARP student and is an area that SHARP will need to understood well if a long duration flight is to be attempted such as those done by the California Near Space Project (CNSP). Meanwhile work continues on amateur radio, the new SHARP 3.1 cutdown circuit, RC aircraft testing, data logging using the Arduino microcontroller and the ARISS telebridge at Shaftesbury project (station callsign VE4ISS). 


CNSP link


December 2012


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