Gearing up for S4 Teacher Training, June 13th, 2013

The final payload boards (shown below) are in the last stages of testing. We are having summer students use our draft educator’s guide instructions, the parts, and the tools, to construct and test the payloads.


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This work is in preparation for the S4 Teacher Training which will take place at NASA/Dryden’s Aero Institute in Palmdale, CA from July 8-12, and will be followed by a high-powered rocket launch in partnership with the Rocketry Organization of California on Saturday morning July 13. We are expecting up to 20 educators to participate in the training. Mentors for the training include: Ken Biba, education chair of AeroPAC, Tony Alcocer, AeroPAC club president, Prof. Bob Twiggs from Morehead State University, Steve Kliewer, Director of the Endeavour Institute, and SSU staff (including Prof. Lynn Cominsky, Kevin John, Logan Hill and student Kevin Zack).

On Monday July 8 – Wednesday July 10, the educators will be trained to build their base payloads, design their own sensor-based experiments, acquire, analyze and present experimental data. They will also learn about the basic design consideration to fly the payload on high powered rockets and tethered weather balloons, and fundamentals of both GPS and the WiFi used to acquire the real-time telemetry data from the payloads.

On Thursday morning July 11, we will be performing the first tests of the educators’ payloads by sending them aloft in tethered balloons. The balloons will reach altitudes as high as 1000 feet, producing live streams of data that will be received in real time using commercial 802.11g WiFi. Beginning Thursday afternoon the data will be analyzed, and Friday morning, we will wrap up the training by having the educators present their results.

On Saturday morning July 13, the focus will shift to the launch site at Lucerne Dry Lake where we will launch the payloads on high powered rockets to altitudes of approximately 3000 (depending on the final motor and airframe configurations). Members of the Rocketry Organization of California, and of AeroPac will be providing the launch vehicles.

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