January 25, 2007
Not quite the Graf Zeppelin...
Hi! I'd like to introduce myself, I'm Jason Dietrich, and I'm the Art and Design student who should be taking most of the blame for keeping Jeff and Sam up nights slaving over hot soldering irons. While Jeff's been working on the electronic and camera tracking components of the project, I've been working on coming up with a chassis to secure those components into the blimps themselves.
Most of the preliminary designs were loosely based on the geometry of the Plantraco microblimp. They were modeled in CAD and cut using the U's CNC laser. They fit the miniature motors/gearboxes we've chosen well, but don't have enough clearance for the final PCB or the propellers, so we're back to the drawing board on that. After consulting with design Prof. Jan-Henrik Andersen we may be taking a very different tact on chassis construction. More on that as it evolves.
Wednesday morning we did get to try out the microblimp with a 52" blimp envelope. We had been using oblong party balloons which inflated to aproximately 28". The new envelope killed our mini helium tank, and we didn't even get it all the way full. But even so, it lifted the microblimp chassis, the 18g battery, the microblimp ballast and about $1.65 in loose change (a quarter weighs about 2.5g). These blimp bags are rated to about 106g, which should be more than we need. The microblimp motors were able to muscle the larger bag around at an adequate speed. We also did some rough tests on the strength of the G05 motors and gear box, with their super trick carbon propellers. These motors are about half the size of the micro blimp motors, but due to their gearing and bigger prop, push more air. Nice.
I'm out of town for the next week, but I'm be trying to think blimp.
Posted by rasputin at January 25, 2007 06:15 PM