Here are some photos from the May 17, 2006, Planning Meeting.
The weather was great for an outdoor meeting - a rare thing for Houston. Payload Master Pete KD5ELH was in charge of photos for the meeting. Tom K5SAF and Andy W5ACM get their notes together. We've got a LOT of things to talk about! During our initial planning meetings we always talk about lessons learned and things that we would really prefer not to repeat. However, we also discuss the successes. BLT-21 was AMAZING. All kinds of things Tried to go wrong, but we Fixed them. Yes, there were glitches, but Everything that we wanted to launch went to the Edge of Space, and Everything worked! Now we move forward to make it even BETTER. It's time for BLT-22!
Helium King Charlie K5ENG has lost his 'Joie de la Helium'. He can no longer store mass quantities of highly compressed helium in his kitchen. Has he abdicated? NO! A volunteer has come forth to lend a hand, a pickup, and to handle and love the helium tanks. Darrell KC5JAR has agreed to help Charlie as JAR - The Helium Czar! The TEAM continues!! Wait a minute... Isn't that the same shirt Charlie was wearing during the BLT-22 Flight Tests TEN days ago?!? Hmmmm...
I am Payload Master Mike WA5TWT. What do you want? Why are you taking a picture of me?
The discussion continues. Mike, Tom and Andy cuss and discuss. Decisions are made. Findings are studied. Plans are crafted. Packet data got into the video signal. Why? Fix it. Can we put the cross-band audio on the video subcarrier? Let's find out. Can we improve the earth-station video reception and recording gear? Yes. We can use two separate systems with only quality components. How about recording the cross-band repeater audio? Yes. Set up one of the video systems to collect audio, but also have a typical analog tape recorder for nothing but audio. Why did ALL of the video cameras fog up?? We postponed launch too long and it was a VERY humid and HOT day at the Wharton Intergalactic Space Port. Don't forget stuff. Make lists. Check the lists and follow the lists! Launch on time! We want two onboard cameras, but we must check the switchover operation since there is only one video transmitter. Test and retest. Will we have upgrades to the onboard video gear? Ron AG5RS is working on it. We will review the results on Saturday, June 24, 2006, in the Secret BLT Lab in Katy, Texas.
Payload Master Tony N5RPQ contemplates the exotic. How about a passive gravity gradient boom for BLT-22? That would stabilize the video and provide an opportunity to try something new.
Charlie avoids the camera. He KNOWS that there is helium SOMEWHERE around here! Where is Helium JAR Czar Darrell when you need him?
Andy wants answers. "It's time for a change! North Texas got some Mexican restaurant to sponsor their flights. We went with an Omaha Steak Box. It's been great, but with our gear getting smaller thanks to technology, we should use a smaller box, and save on all that foam we crammed in last time. That's it! Fresh Styrofoam!" Andy always comes through with unique and deep thoughts. Mike and Tony don't know what to think...
Our Construction Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2006, at the Secret BLT Lab (310 Lombardy) in Sugar Land - 8 PM till 10 PM.
Launch is scheduled for 10 AM on September 9, 2006 from the Wharton Regional Airport. Be There!!!