The goal of the project is to construct an atmospheric probe and equip it with different sensors. The probe will be mounted on a meteorological balloon, and lifted to approximately 35 000 m (115 000 ft). The ascent and descent will be recorded with two on-board GoPro cameras, and the probe will be tracked via GPS. The projects name is VIC GOES TO SPACE - all the students attend the VIC HIGH SCHOOL (VIC is pronounced EXACTLEY like witch :) )
This project requires a somewhat bigger group of students - around 30. It is best suited for older high school students, with a preference for natural studies (physics, chemistry and biology), and love for technical skills.
At the beginning of students were divided into teams, and each of them was assigned a specific tasks: adaptation of specific sensors, design of the probe, design of the parachute, adaptation of the data acquisition device (DAQ) and GPS device, preparation of the biological samples. During the building stage the groups had to communicate with each other in order to get optimal sensor results. Each team had to keep a work journal and make a detailed work report at the end (will be added).
Students used the VERNER sensors and DAQ – Vernier supplies most of the equipment to our school, so it was the most convenient choice for us. But you can use any kind of DAQ, sensors and GPS system you can get.
NOTE: Due to the current weather situation in Slovenija the launch date is somewhere in the beginning of march, but we published all of the test launches. The flight movie will be updated ASAP, so be sure to follow us :)
This instructable was written (except the intro) and edited by the students.
STUDENTS WILL RESEARCH THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS
- atmospheric pressure
- UVA and UVB radiation
- ideal gas law, lift
- atmospheric gas composition
- Verner sensors datasheets
- living organisms in extreme conditions (extremophiles)
- electric current, Joule heat
- heat conductivity, thermal conduction
- GPS positioning systems
- air drag
- By disassembling the sensors, making adjustments and building the probe, the students will learn to handle hand tools, power tools, how to solder and use appropriate safety measures.
- Students will develop creative problem solving skills as they will have to deal with a number of technical issues. They will develop team communication, and will learn to constructively interacts with team members and other teams in order to reach the goal.
- By building a hot wire foam lathe students will learn about the practical use of Joule heating, Joules First Law, electric conductivity and effects of high temperature on different materials (pvc, Styrofoam, etc...)
- By designing and building a parachute the students will learn about air drag, terminal velocity and will learn to handle a sewing machine.
- By examining the microorganism the students will learn about the living conditions of the extremophiles and will be able to predict their survival rate in extreme conditions.
Step 1: Description of work/components
For the probe the following equipment must be provided:
- probe casing
- carbon dioxide sensor
- oxygen sensor
- pressure sensor
- temperature sensor
- bacteria (yeast and Cryptococcus)
- light sensor UVA and UVB
- pressure chamber
- GPS tracking unit
- data collection unit
We used the Vernier sensors, and modified them. They can be found at: