Madcap Project – LOHAN
LOHAN is a madcap project involving using a high-altitude balloon to launch a glider to the edge of space then have it released from the balloon and navigate itself down to a designated landing spot.
The team needed a way to communicate if/when the LOHAN travelled out of GPRS coverage. Additionally the authorities required an emergency balloon cut-down in the event that LOHAN wandered off course.
Enter the RockBLOCK. As well as transmitting GPS data when the unit was out of range of standard mobile networks, the RockBLOCK was also used to receive commands from the ground. If they wished to abort the mission, a message sent to the RockBLOCK using our API, would be received on-board the spacecraft and activate the self-destruct mechanism.
The Initial Spec
Based on the Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) concept of having the aircraft attached to a main payload box:
- Single helium balloon, lift capability 1,000 feet per minute.
- Main payload box with onboard video and stills cameras.
- Main payload to contain both a) launch trigger electronics and b) Vulture 2 onboard systems enabling electronics.
- Launch of Vulture 2 programmed for before balloon burst.
- Main payload to descend by rocket recovery parachute.
- Main payload recovery systems to include GPS radio beacon
Built with Ground Control
If you'd like to get in touch with the team either to discuss a challenge similar to that of the one above, or something completely different our team of experts will be happy to provide objective advice.