PARIS goes to 60,000 feet, without leaving the ground
Hypobaric tests are go
The Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) team took a day trip to QinetiQ in Farnborough yesterday in order to use a hypobaric chamber to test the plane's release mechanism.
The chamber is a pleasingly old-school lump of iron which is controlled not with some la-di-dah user interface but with large, red-painted wheels. Perfect for testing our equally old-school Boyle's Law-based release switch.
We'll be giving you a full report with pics and video shortly. But suffice to say the day was an emotional rollercoaster of success and failure in what must qualify as one of the world's best sheds.
QinetiQ's Chas Taylor and Tim D'Oyly were generous with their time, their large sciencey brains and the contents of their cupboards. We salute you.
Stay tuned for the GPS tests which should be happening this afternoon. ®
A heater is an interesting concept but I still wonder if the isothermal approach is the best. It might be better to try an adiabatic (isentropic) pressure calculation that doesn't consume precious battery power on a nichrome wire.
Returning the favour
Nice to see PARIS getting the air sucked out of her...
and even better
This one has a couple of technical chaps involved, so one of them might hold the camera in a nice steady manner.