Mathew Lippincott’s blog on design and DIY aerospace
December 19th, 2011

1st Transcontinental & 1st Trans-Atlantic Balloon Overflight- California Near Space

I’m not up on my balloon news! posted here for the purpose of completeness.  California Near Space  was already slashdotted four days ago.

Amazing, they beat the White Star team and Robert Rochte, who threwdown on transatlantic ballooning earlier in the year with his SDG-10, which appears to still be grounded.

White Star’s not working with off the shelf balloons though– they’ve got a bigger goal: DIY  tropospheric superpressure balloons.  these will be capable of multi-week flights, if successfully built.  Dan Bowen’s talk– Jump to 3:30 into this talk, and see the superpressure tetroon discussion.  5:40, discussion of Rochte’s designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 22nd, 2011

Public Laboratory wins a grant from the Knight News Challenge!

At the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, of which I’m a co-founder, we’ve just been awarded $500,000 by the Knight Foundation. Congrats to all my co-founders, Jeff, Sara, Shannon, Adam, Liz,Stewart, and to our whole online community, and thanks to the Knight Foundation! This is really going jump-start a lot of work!

Read the announcement  here

Our post about it here

May 9th, 2011

Topographic maps from fled kites

I just started building fled kites, but my fellow Grassroots Mapper Nathan Craig is already doing 3D topographic scans with them. He’s using AgiSoft’s PhotoScan, which is unfortunately not open source, and costs $179.  But as he points out, you just feed it images and it makes a damned good 3D model.

April 2nd, 2011

Amateur Radio Throwdown: Planetary Circumnavigation by Balloon

Mark the date, March 24, 2011- Robert Rochte throws in his hat for circumnavigation of the globe by an autonomous balloon on the Balloon_Sked mailing list.  I’ve covered Rochte’s superpressure balloons here before. In this message, he’s referring to the White Star Balloon’s ongoing attempt at crossing the atlantic, a feat which Rochte has been pursuing as well.

Well, I was going to sneak-launch a competing superpressure balloon

this morning, but alas, the universe had other plans for me today.

If WSB make it across – which I expect they will – then our next great

challenge should be circumnavigation of the planet. I’m officially

throwing my hat in for that one right now!

Best of luck with the flight, guys!

73,

Robert

KC8UCH

March 2nd, 2011

Help Protei! Autonomous, oil-sopping sailbots

This is a project I whole heartedly support. Cesar Harada has put together an incredible team, and with a little money it is going to happen.

“We are developing Protei : a low-cost open-source oil collecting robot that autonomously sails upwind, intercepting oil sheens going downwind. Protei combines conventional technologies in an innovative design that we can implement in the short term to address timely environmental crisis.”

 

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