Thanks for registering for the Perlan CubeSat Flight Experiment. This page contains information to help you and your team get the most out of the contest. The next phase of the project requires your team to submit the experiment design before December 15th. The submission form can be found at: perlan-project-experiment-details.
The final eight (8) experiments will be shipped to the launch sites to fly aboard the Perlan II as it attempts to break the altitude record for a fixed wing glider. The objective is to reach an altitude greater than 27,500 meters (90,000 feet). While the plan is to exceed that number, numerous factors including weather may impact the final altitude.
The first flights are scheduled for March/April of 2016 in Nevada. These are preliminary flight test, sort of a shakedown cruise if you will before the altitude attempt in Argentina. Once these flights are complete, the glider will relocate for the world record attempt. Your experiments will be on these test flights.
The flights in Argentina are scheduled to run this summer for a duration of six weeks. The objective will be to fly the experiments as many times as possible. If you are recording data, make sure that your experiment can have components swapped out easily at the launch site or that data recording can restart when power is applied. This will help during payload preparation.
Each CubeSat is 10 cm x 10 cm x 13.5 cm, the standard as of revision 13 of the specification guide. We stand the CubeSats with the 13.5 cm side as vertical. Your experiment is limited to a mass of one (1) kilogram. The frame and support gear for the CubeSat weighs approximately 100 grams. The final package weight should not exceed 1.1 kilograms (1100 grams). The CubeSats are placed into a specialized container so no part of the experiment may exceed the frame’s edges.
The payload section is located behind the pressure bulkhead for the pilots. It will be exposed directly to the ambient environment via an inlet port. An exit port is also provided for experiments that may need to disperse aerosols. Small sapphire glass windows approximately 25 mm (1 inch) in size are available via fiber optic line for UV experiments.
There are no photographic windows on the glider in the payload bay. The Perlan II glider is equipped with multiple cameras. Video from the camera as well as environmental data recorded by the glider’s instruments will be available to you to augment your experimental data.
The experiments will be switched on by personnel on the ground, just before flight. If you need, you can design your experiment to be self activating.
Experiment Kit Contents
Teachers in Space will be providing the winning teams a basic set of electronics including the CubeSat frame and support platforms. Any gear needed for your experiment beyond this setup is your responsibility. The complete list of equipment includes:
- CubeSat Frame (4 pieces)
- Battery Mount
- Arduino Mount
- Sensor Mount
- Standoff Package (for mounting platforms)
- Arduino Uno
- SD Card Shield
- Lithium Battery and Cable
- Luminosity Sensor
- Temperature Sensor
- Ultra Violet Light Sensor
- Infrared Thermopile
- LEDs (3 red, 3 green, 3 blue)
- Jumper Wires (3 yellow, 3 green, 3 blue, 3 red, 3 black)
- Resistors (10 100 Ohm, 10 220 Ohm, 10 1,000 Ohm, 10 10,000 Ohm)
- USB Cable
- Power Switch
The Perlan glider does not provide power for your experiment. We have included a litium battery in the kit for you to use should you need power for electronics, etc.
Adding a Camera
If you are wanting to install cameras on your experiment, there is a great tutorial at the Adafruit website that shows what you need and how to setup the camera. it includes source code and an additional parts list.
While an SD Card Arduino shield is provided, Teachers in Space does not provide the SD card. Your experiment will determine the type of card you need. For some, a 2GB card is more than enough. If you are recording video, you may need a 64GB or larger. Due to the multiple flight opportunities, we recommend having at least three SD cards ready for your experiment.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Joe Latrell at email@example.com.