Global Space Tech Summit
Let’s start with some house keeping. The Global Space Tech Summit 2020 to be held at Adelaide, Australia has been postponed to either later in the year or early next year. Robert Brand was a guest speaker at the three day conference and has agreed to be available for the rescheduled event. Below is the old event details – Stay tuned for new dates.
HABworx and StratoDrone
Now the good news, we have funding to build our StratoDrone to demonstrate Geostationary flight. That is to climb to altitude,motor to position and hold for a long duration before being brought to ground and landed. The timetable is 9 months. This no different than before, but with funding, that is now secure.
Our StratoDrone program has been in place for some time and will initially demonstrate controlled propulsion with weather balloons and controlled landings with steerable parachutes (CASA permitting). CASA is Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority. ThunderStruck has a good association with CASA for balloon flights and has area approval for light balloons.
ADS-B Flight Tracking
We will be flying a 250 watt ADS-B unit on all flights soon. ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS–B). It is a surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked. It is the primary tracking system for Air Traffic Control in Australia and also used for automated collision avoidance.
We will be flying the ADS-B system on all balloons. They are essential for heavy balloons with payloads over 6Kg. We will fly them on light and medium balloons too. Although payloads under 6Kg should be survivable for an aircraft in a mid air collision, we do not want to find our balloons in any collision.
How likely is that? Well, very unlikely, but our last flight ended up close to an aircraft that was visible in a camera with a wide angle lens and on sound recordings. The high fidelity microphones and recorders on our last flight nearly overloaded due to the proximity of the aircraft engines. That was a close call. It’s the closest we know of in over 40 flights. The ASD-B unit will stop that from happening again. Much of our safety is because of our big blue sky not having anything in it. As a commitment to safety we will be flying an ADS-B unit, but it will not arrive before our next flight.
We can also say that although we will be doing plenty of research flights, we remain open for business for all work – making videos for TV, advertising, qualifying satellites for space, art and virtually anything. our payloads can be very large and although we do not guarantee the recovery of any payload we have to date never lost a payload.
While steerable flight is an amazing goal. geostationary flight is a game changer in so many industries and of course Defence. We will report on our progress, but not how we will achieve it. That will be propriety information. We are looking for assistance from someone with high altitude electronic propulsion knowledge to assist, so if you have an interest in contributing, contact us.