Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fate of the Blue Ball....

The Blue ball has minimal development value for where I want to go with Urocket.
I was going to donate it to the Xprize to hang in their lobby. I talked to my accountant today and learned that I can't have an increase in basis for a self created asset, that's CPA for I won't get any kind of deduction if I donate it. Its basically intact, it would be 100% ready to fly with less than 8 hours of work so next time I'm out at FAR I will bring it home and fix it. Then I will fly it.

Without doing any paperwork I can fly it to 1199 ft AGL and back. To go higher than that I'll need an FAA waiver. So in the next few days I'll do a detailed model of what it can do and write a waiver request. I'll probably fly it in 60 to 90 days to max altitude (more than 10K less than 30Kft) and back to the pad. If anyone wants to fly an experiment on it when I fly it let me know.

  • less than 5Kg,
  • self powered ,
  • 100% open public results

I'll probably let people on the blog vote for their favorite if I get more than one request.


Anonymous said...

Cool. So you plan to have a soft landing?

Paul Breed said...

Yes we will try for a soft landing, but its a significant envelope expansion so...... I can provide any experiment with limited telemetry to the ground.

snibble said...

So good to see your positive attitude shining back through in the last couple of posts.

Thanks again for everything you have contributed and continue to contribute to the field/industry.

This latest plan seems like a first step that we'll look back on later and say "yeah, Paul was blazing a pretty important trail there."

Henry said...

Hi Paul,
Sounds fun! I am developing an open-source software-defined GPS receiver for high-dynamics applications. It uses inertial measurements to aid the tracking loops, allowing the receiver to keep satellite lock under accelerations that would normally make it fail.

I would love the chance to fly it on the Blue Ball. The data collection hardware would fit in about 500g including batteries. What is the peak acceleration that you expect during flight (not landing transients)?


Henry Hallam
Joby Energy, inc.

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The accelerations will be low, under 3G, I would be very interesting in a
GPS solution that handles large accelerations, I can give it short bursts of 5+G on the helicopter, and if you want more than that I'd be willing to work with you on a small high acceleration rocket vehicle to test with.

Unknown said...

I like your attitude. I am cutting and polishing gemstones, mostly synthetic ones. I am more a collector than a businessman and I would be interested to give some of my gems a story such as a "spaceflight" or more simply a rocket flight. The payload would be a small metal box in the 100 g range, would you accept it?

Anonymous said...

I just e-mailed your rasdoc.com e-mail address with a proposal.


Joe Latrell said...


I have an experiment I'd love to fly. Total mass is 50 grams. It will be open to the public, free and allows for a lot of participation. What email address may I send details to? joe(underscore)latrell(at)yahoo(dot)com


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my E-mail phonetically is

Paul at Romeo Alpha Sierra Delta Oscar Charlie dot com

You will need to respond to my spam filter. (I got Alex's E-mail)

heroineworshipper said...

1 vote for a camera.

Paul Breed said...

Yes a good camera and live video feed are on the list....

Since its not a flight with commercial / money aspects, I can put my 5W 70CM robust ham video link on it for good quality realtime video.

Unknown said...

If you need more unskilled/unpaid labor again let me know. I could learn to help with the fuel. Which reminds me, will the HTP still be good in 90 days?

Joe Stanton

Ian said...

Is it just a one shot deal? No intermediate test flights?

Also, if the Blue Ball touches down softly, will this be the the record for highest VTVL flight?

Unknown said...

I'm sure he is planning on a post-repair tethered flight ... right? Or is the crane already gone home?

Paul Breed said...

Will do a tethered flight at light weight. (5Kg payload rather than 25)
I'm still working out if the blue ball can beat the DC-x altitude and return to base if it can that will be the attempt.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it would be worth it to add an aerodynamic nose cone. That little space invader leaped off the pad so fast it might benefit from some streamlining as it shoots up to altitude.

Anonymous said...

We have a published experiment bus interface (RS422). I can provide power and telemetry for up to 4 experiments. We can also provide up to 4 cameras with the sequenced images coming back as SSTV (Robot-36). They can either have them aimed external to the craft or they can be integrated into the experiment payload.

The board set is a direct derivative of AMSAT's ARISSat-1. We're the ones fitting the board set into a 3U CubeSat form factor. See the announcement on NextGen from the 2009 AMSAT Symposium.

Paul, any though to a 1.2g or 2.4g video system?


Paul Breed said...

The vehicle uses GPS, 900Mhz and 2.4Ghz for telemetry and control.

For video I've had the best luck with 70cm(426Mhz) and 900Mhz (900 is already used by telmetry) So I will use my 5W 70cm tx.

Anonymous said...

What is your estimate on the elapsed time of the mission?


Paul Breed said...

In the next week or so I'll post my notional design for the silver ball follow on vehicle. It is much more suited to altitude than the blue ball. The blue ball flight is intended to be a minimal effort flight, so aero shells lots of testing etc... don't make sense in the broader scheme of things.

I expect total flight duration to be on the order of 90 seconds.
I may add a small drogue for descent

Dan said...

I would love to see one of the power beaming teams try to keep a lock on a target mounted atop the rocket.

Alot of great proposals already though. Sounds like a fun run.

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