This week Alex and I were finally able to fly some of our balloons. The first part of the week was spent mostly on setting up our balloon system including the solenoid valve, Arduino, and Zigbee. We also did some tests to estimate the volume of the balloon and see how much helium the solenoid valve releases in a given amount of time by blowing the helium into a full water bottle until it emptied. On Thursday we flew our balloon and were able to get it to hover at different heights by releasing helium wirelessly via the Zigbee which was exciting. Today we have been modifying our circuit so we can simplify it some and so we can attach the Nimbus sensor to our balloon to be able to get the air pressure data of the balloon while it is flying. This has been a bit difficult since we’ve been having trouble getting data from one of the Nimbus sensors and the other has some glitches that cause the air pressure data we receive to jump randomly. Currently, I’m working on writing some code to be able to filter out these jumps so they won’t trigger the solenoid valve.
We didn’t have any Wednesday meeting this week, but we did meet with Dr. Detweiler to discuss research progress and graduate school. Also this week , I went to see Yesterday at the movie theatre downtown and on Thursday there was a tour for the REU students of Memorial Stadium.