In this mission, we’ll take to the field to launch our satellites into “orbit”! Using a tethered balloon, we’ll deploy our models to collect information about the local environment, and also create artworks using data and gravity.
To launch cube satellites into the air, we have been using Public Lab’s mylar balloon kit: https://store.publiclab.org/collections/featured-kits/products/mini-balloon-mapping-kit.
Example Schedule + Materials:
For a 90 minute session:
5 minutes - Settling in
10 minutes - Introducing Liftoff day!
Logistics for where launching will happen, safety, when to meet back, setc.
15 minutes - Preparing cube satellites
filling mylar balloons with Helium
attaching cube satellites to the balloons
attaching rope to cube satellites
5 minutes - going outside
30 minutes - Liftoff and collecting data!
5 minutes - coming back inside
20 minutes - Coming back together, saving data, share out, and talking about next session
Helium - we used about 1 tank (14.9 cubic ft) for every cube sat (~3 mylar balloons). Teams could also share mylar balloons if necessary.
Public Lab’s mini-balloon mapping kit per team
extra rubber bands, zip ties, tape for attaching cube satellites to balloons
scissors to cut zip ties, etc.
programmed payloads, computers
IMPORTANT: an open space away from power lines