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RUNNING HEAD: PROJECT DANTE PROGRESS REPORT 7 1

Project Zephyr

Progress Report 7

Vallabi Vallaban

Kelly Crocker

Noah Wong

February 9, 2017

Objective:

The focus of this time was finishing the support diagram and designing the payload container

while receiving and cataloguing new materials.

Previous Objective:

This time was spent designing the payload container, planning out the connections between

electrical components, exploring the carbon monoxide sensor, and researching black carbon as a

possible additional focus of the research project.


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Materials and Methods

Figure 1: This shows the layout of the support system for the blimp.

The support system for the blimp has been in question for some time now due to issues

with Inventor and design changes. Despite these setbacks, the team believes they have decided

on a final design. It will follow the basic model shown in Figure 1, though it will be extrapolated

at both ends to form points. The frame will be constructed from foam core and bonded with glue

and epoxy. The radial supports shown in the Figure, however, will actually be shafts connecting

to a central support.
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Figure 2: This is an image of the calculations regarding the pressure in the helium pocket as

related to the tensile strength of Mylar

The team calculated the pressure of the helium within the air pocket of the blimp at STP

and related that number, as shown in the above Figure 2, to the tensile strength of of a single

sheet of Mylar. They wanted to test whether a single sheet of Mylar would withstand the force

exerted by the helium in the air pocket, and the calculations indicated that it would at STP.

However, knowing that testing and operating conditions will never be optimal, the team plans to

reinforce critical points, such as seams with extra layers of Mylar.


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Figure 3: This figure details the motor distribution throughout the blimp

Figure 3 details the decisions made about the locations of the motors on the blimp. The

motors need to assist with altitudinal propulsion, forward propulsion, and steering. The team

decided to mount two motors beneath the payload container to facilitate altitudinal propulsion

with three motors on the back of the payload container for forward propulsion. The remaining

motor will be attached to the rudder on the back of the blimp for steering purposes.

The team tested the motors and the batteries to make sure they were all in working

condition and that the batteries arrived charged. The team did this by connecting the batteries to
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the motors using 9V to lead converters. The simple test determined that the batteries were

charged and that the motors were in working order.

Figure 4: The contents of the supply order are displayed in this image

The most recent supply order was received during this time and the contents were used to

determine the necessary layout of the payload container. The order consisted of a breadboard, a

12V to 5V step down converter, 9V to lead converters, M/M jumper wires, 10K ohm Axial

Resistors, and 100K ohm Axial Resistors. The majority of these supplies will be used to transfer

information from the sensors to the Raspberry Pi via the breadboard. The 12V to 5V converter

will be inserted between the charge controller and Raspberry Pi.


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Figure 5: This diagram shows the initial idea for the payload container

Figure 6: A diagram detailing the payload container dimensions in relation to the support system

for the blimp was created


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Figure 7: This Inventor sketch shows the configuration of the payload container to house the

electronic components of the blimp

The payload container was designed in Inventor to house the Raspberry Pi, breadboard,

batteries, charge controller, and the various connections between them. The leftmost chamber of

the container will have the Raspberry Pi mounted to the outside wall and the breadboard located

on the other. The middle chamber will contain the charge controller. Channels between the two

chambers will allow wires to get from one to the other. The rightmost chamber will house the

batteries and a hole in the wall between the middle and rightmost chambers will facilitate the

routing of power between the batteries and the charge controller. The bottom (shown on the side

in the above sketch) will be removable to allow the insertion of the electronics because the top

needs to be airtight to prevent helium from escaping the air pocket.


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Data and Results

There were no data or results recovered during this time as the focus of the team was on

designing the payload container.


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Resources

Mylar Film and Sheet Properties. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2017, from

http://www.grafixplastics.com/mylar_prop.asp.