EQT1- "allegedly" - May 6, 2018
From: Saint Micheal, MN
Duration: 3 Hours, 32 Minutes
Tracking: APRS(Jack Troshinky's KE0PIM)
EQT1 was the first in the equilibrium test flights it saw the implementation of a slew of new systems for both mechanical and software. The flight computer was based on the PITS board and used APRS to communicate with the ground team. The flight seemed at the time a failure. However, in retrospect, it paved the way for the success of EQT2 with its gathering of bleeding data.
Valve (New this launch)
Alt Equilibrium software (New this launch)
Temp Control Software (New this launch)
PITS and Communications (Upgraded for this launch)
Filling Mechanisms (New this launch)
Failures and points to improve
The comms program APRS.c crashed 20 minutes into the flight preventing the team from getting real-time venting and temp data.
The initial sealing attaching the tube carrying helium to the robotic plug and venting mechanism was ripped off during assembly. Leading to the balloon leaking.
Getdatamain.py failed to handle a GPS data edge case well and started begun the bleeding process when the velocity was to slow this later caused a velocity kill switch.
The team learned a lot in preparing for this flight the monumental amount. The mechanical team learned how to rapidly prototype and iterate on their valve and other designs. While the Software teamed learned how to develop a large program as a group. On the ground, the team learned the need for improved launch procedures and how to better execute some features of the software. But most importantly the team got some venting data helping to understand how the balloon will act.