NUTS - NTNU Test Satellite, a Norwegian CubeSat Project

The 2016 NUTS balloon campaign at Andøya Space Center, day 1

Written by: Audun Vigdissønn Nytrø
Published: 17.11.16
After quite a bit of planning, lots of preliminary work, and a workshop or two the NUTS team is currently stationed at Andøya Space Center with the main best-case goal of launching a balloon to test the viability of our work-in-progress VHF/UHF radio and ground station setup in combination with our new OBC software.

A more detailed mission plan containing goals for each subsystem and our overall objectives for the excursion may be obtained on request.

At the time of our arrival at Andøya we’d already been through two weekends (and for some, weeks) of late workdays, but were despite this mostly eager to get started again with our first balloon launch window scheduled for Wednesday - the second day of our stay - due to rather severe weather conditions today, our remaining technical issues notwithstanding, which may have come as a relief to some. Winds peaking out at gusts of 29.1 m/s overnight and with a mean of 9 m/s would probably have ended up with the balloon going straight up along the horizontal rather than vertical axis, which would have been less than ideal.

With this in mind we set to work on this rather stormy Tuesday evening, and by the end of the day (or, well, night for many of us, to be strictly accurate) we’d achieved quite a lot. However, multiple modules still required more work, and the system was as such not yet ready for the integration testing required prior to a launch on Wednesday.