Saturday, September 15, 2007

Weather Update

The Weather Team took a giant step forward towards being completely prepared for the upcoming race. After a couple of days of work, and a lot of help from some friendly locals, Weather 1 (the primary weather vehicle) is completely outfitted and race ready. We now have an operational mobile weather station that even the National Weather Service would be jealous of. Mounted atop what has now been dubbed "The Thunder Box" we have more instrumentation than any U of M Solar Team has ever had. A few of the things that you will find affixed to this years weather vehicle are the WeatherHawk 510 weather station, the antenna for the IMet-3100 base station, a RM Young anemometer, an egg-beater antenna, an Eppley pyronometer, and a couple of other communications antennas, and storage for AirGas Great Lakes helium tanks and all of the rest of our "toys". It was a lot of fun to put the finishing touches on the car and now we are filled with anticipation and are itching to get on the road with the team and try it all out.
One of the few remaining bugs that we are currently trying to work out is Australia's form of our F.A.A., C.A.S.A.. Flight restrictions are far more strict than what I had anticipated, and so we are running into a little bump in the road with getting clearance to launch the Kaymont weather balloons and radiosondes that we received from InterMet Systems and the UAV that we had planned on using. Everyone that we have talked to thus far seems very open to the idea and are willing to work with us, so we are conservatively optimistic about the situation.
As soon as we receive final clearance from C.A.S.A., we will begin testing and tuning this setup to make sure it will stand up to the rigors of a 3000 kilometer race. If all goes well, we will undoubtedly have a setup that will turn a lot of heads and set the curve as to what will be considered acceptable for a weather vehicle.
I will be sure to keep you updated when we do begin testing, hopefully in just a few short days!



Blogger Furqan Nazeeri said...

Whatever you do, *please* post a photo of the UAV. I've been dying to see this thing since I heard about it at the unveiling...

September 15, 2007 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Nathan Lehman said...

Believe me, as soon as we can get that UAV operational, there will be no shortage of pictures of it. We are still trying to get clearance from CASA to test it, but we may try to get it "test ready" here in the next day or so.
Thanks for the interest!

September 17, 2007 at 6:42 PM  

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