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National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Balloon Program. 2009 Bridging the Gap to Space The Micro-Instrumentation Package: A Solution for Lightweight Ballooning. Created by Jill Juneau Presented by Dwayne Orr. Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Balloon Program

2009 Bridging the Gap to Space The Micro-Instrumentation Package: A Solution for Lightweight Ballooning

Created by Jill Juneau

Presented by Dwayne Orr

Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility

consolidated instrumentation package cip
Consolidated Instrumentation Package (CIP)
  • Used for systems in range of Line of Sight (LOS) lasting hours up to a few days
  • Battery powered, lasting up to several days
  • TM Uplink
    • 1200 Baud UHF Uplink
    • 77 Discrete Relay Drivers
    • 16 Bit Parallel Data Word
  • TM Downlinks
    • VCO’s IRIG 7, 8, 9, B, E, HH
    • GPS Position / Pressure Altitude
    • FAA Transponder
    • L/S Band Transmitters
      • NTSC Video
      • Up to 1Mbit Bi-phase Science Data
  • ≈ 100 pounds with the termination system
support instrumentation package sip
Support Instrumentation Package (SIP)
  • Used for Long Duration flights needing Over the Horizon Communications
  • Line Of Sight Communications
        • Telemetry Transmitter up to 1 Mbps
  • Over the Horizon Communications
        • NASA’s TDRSS – 6 kbps Omni Antenna
        • NASA’s TDRSS – 92 kbps High Gain Antenna
        • Iridium – 2kbps through dialup
  • Solar Panel Power System and Backup Batteries
  • ≈ 400 lbs with solar panel and termination system
what is the mip
What is the MIP?
  • The MIP is a lightweight Over the Horizon telemetry and termination system that in its full up configuration can provide safe operation of a balloon flight including data downlink/uplink, termination, parachute cutaway, and ballasting
benefits of a lightweight cost effective telemetry system
Benefits of a Lightweight Cost Effective Telemetry System
  • The Micro Instrumentation Package (MIP) is great for scientists who:
    • Want to use a lightweight payload on small balloons for lower costs and/or disposable flights
    • Want to use a lightweight payload on a large balloon for higher altitudes
    • Need a NASA approved Over the Horizon lightweight telemetry system to safely operate the balloon flight
  • The MIP does have very limited data rates compared with CSBF’s other telemetry systems - the trade off is weight and cost
history of the mip development and test flights
History of the MIP development and test flights
  • Early 2006 - First electronic development started
  • During summer and fall of 2007 – 3 piggyback flights on CSBF flights and 7 test flights conducted using 3000 gram balloons that burst at 100k feet
  • Spring 2008 - Two full up test flights with full flight trains
  • After the 2 successful full up test flights, the MIP was qualified as a NASA flight system
microcontroller pcb the central unit of the mip
Microcontroller PCB – The central unit of the MIP
  • Designed by CSBF
  • Uses Microchip Pic18F8722
  • Programmed in C
  • Features located on board
    • 22 Analog inputs
    • 16 digital inputs
    • 30 digital outputs
    • 6 serial ports
      • Line Of Sight port
      • Iridium port
      • GPS port
      • Cross over commanding or external stack input
      • Diagnostics port
      • Science data port
microcontroller pcb the central unit of the mip1
Microcontroller PCB – The central unit of the MIP
  • Advantages of microcontroller board
    • Inexpensive parts (microcontroller costs $10)
    • Low power – 120 mA at 9 V with GPS unit running
    • Board footprint is small (4.25” x 4.25”)
    • Can be used for many different CSBF applications
    • Many timers and parameters are programmable during flight
    • Operates over wide range of temperatures and performs well in a vacuum environment
mip configurations antarctica pathfinder
MIP Configurations – Antarctica Pathfinder
  • Used to verify satellite derived wind data acting as an Over the Horizon sonde
  • Provides basic GPS information and temperature data
  • Consists of CSBF Microcontroller PCB, Iridium SBD modem 9601, and battery
  • System has been used successfully the last 2 seasons in Antarctica
mip configurations antarctica pathfinder1
MIP Configurations – Antarctica Pathfinder
  • Steady State power = 1.2 Watts
  • The 9601 Iridium modem uses Short Burst Data only
  • To save power Iridium modem is put into power standby when not used
  • In Previous flights the system weighed 4 pounds and lasted for 5 days with once every 30 minute transmission
  • New configuration will weigh less than 5 pounds and provide for 10 days of flight with once every 30 minute transmission rates
mip configurations backup navigation system
MIP Configurations – Backup Navigation System
  • Used as the third redundant GPS system on long duration flights with a Support Instrumentation Package (SIP)
  • Provides basic GPS information and SIP critical housekeeping parameters
  • Consists of CSBF Microcontroller PCB, Iridium SBD modem, DC/DC Converter and is powered from the SIP
mip configurations full up system functions
MIP Configurations – Full Up System Functions
  • Redundant Microcontroller Boards with crossover commanding
  • Redundant LOS Transceivers
  • Redundant SBD Iridium Units
  • Dial-Up capability on one modem
  • Redundant GPS receivers
  • Redundant DC/DC converter Boards
  • 3 MKS Pressure Sensors
    • 1 for each range
  • 2 Science Interface Ports
mip configurations full up system functions1
MIP Configurations – Full Up System Functions
  • Burst Detect and Minimum Altitude Circuits
  • Ballast Valve Circuit controlled independent of software
  • Each microcontroller board redundantly monitors termination, parachute cutaway, and valve information
  • Redundant termination firing circuits and Helium Valve
  • Parachute Cutaway System
mip data rates
MIP Data Rates

LOS

  • LOS transceiver UHF frequency
  • MIP packet once every 15 seconds
  • Science packet up to 255 bytes once every 30 seconds
  • Commands can be received at any time
  • Science can add LOS telemetry transmitter (up to 1 Mbps) with tradeoff of more batteries

OTH

  • Iridium Short Burst Data
  • MIP packet once a minute
  • Commands received when packet is sent
  • Science packet up to 255 bytes once every few minutes
  • Future capability to have dial up available for science data
mip power consumption and weight
MIP Power Consumption and Weight
  • MIP Enclosure steady state power 28V@.5A = 14W
  • When transmitting LOS Current spikes shortly above 1A
  • When Dialed up Iridium current spikes up to .75A
  • Can achieve lower power consumption depending on the configuration
  • Can operate on batteries or solar panel system
  • The MIP electronic enclosure weighs 20 pounds without batteries
  • A 10 lb. 30 amp hour battery pack will last approximately 2 days
  • 6 day flight – 50 lbs. of electronics and batteries
success with the full up mip system summer 2008
Success with the Full Up MIP System - Summer 2008
  • Super Pressure Balloon Test Flight
  • Launched in Ft. Sumner, New Mexico
  • 2 million cubic feet balloon
  • MIP provided telemetry of the balloon location and termination of the flight
success with the full up mip system summer 20081
Success with the Full Up MIP System - Summer 2008
  • Flight from Sweden to Canada lasting 4 days 9 hours
  • 11 million cubic feet balloon
  • MIP operated termination and parachute cutaway
  • System powered from batteries
  • Science Interface used to transmit science payload charge controller information
success with the full up mip system winter 2008 2009
Success with the Full Up MIP System - Winter 2008 - 2009
  • Super Pressure Balloon Test Flight
    • Launched from McMurdo Station, Antarctica
    • Flight Duration: over 54 days
    • 7 million cubic feet balloon
    • MIP powered by small solar panel system
    • MIP operated flight including flight termination and parachute cutaway
success with the full up mip system summer 2009
Success with the Full Up MIP System - Summer 2009
  • Flight from Sweden to Canada lasting 4 days 11 hours
  • 39 million cubic feet balloon
  • MIP operated termination and parachute cutaway
  • System powered from batteries
  • Science Interface used to transmit science payload charge controller information
upcoming campaigns antarctica 2009 2010
Upcoming campaigns Antarctica 2009-2010
  • BARREL
    • MIP Pathfinder with terminate firing circuit used as a redundant method of balloon communication and cut down
    • 5 Test flights using .3 million cubic feet size balloon
    • Total payload weight 70 lbs.
    • MIP powered from BARREL solar panel system and backup battery
    • Hand launch system
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Thank you for your attendance

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