Our task was to modify the digital camera to enable it to take photos during
the flight. We had to work out the frequency of the circuit and, through
working with the chemical and mechanical engineers, used the information
from them to help us with our calculations.
At the beginning of the course, we were off to a slow start compared to the other groups due to many technical setbacks, including Z getting lost. Due to our amazing electronic prowess, we soon caught up and, by the end of the first session, we had completed much of the task and identified and solved many of the problems in our design.
Our thoughts of this project initially were that the task at hand was very daunting but due to our excellent team work, we managed to work through each section methodically and our collective knowledge helped us to conquer the mission that was imposed upon us.
We immediately adapted to our surroundings, despite having never been in that context and soon enough we were engrossed in our task. We were able to focus entirely on the task in hand and, even before meeting with the other members of our team, weíre able to manipulate all of our formulae in order to make the process of merging the teamís data to produce the required results as quickly and efficiently as possible.
After the well-executed first day, we were optimistic about the second and
were confident of our ability to complete the objective in good time. This
proved to be a perfect example of sodís law, as everything that could go
wrong did go wrong. Upon arriving at the room, we discovered that the
computer program we had been using had vanished from our computer. We
combated this, however, by using our back-up copy of the files from CD and
moving to a different computer.
After sorting the computer out, we turned to our camera and the remaining wiring to be completed. We progressed through this with the many setbacks we faced, including wires melting inexplicably and soldering coming apart at the slightest touch. We were, at this point, suitably stressed and the caffeine levels in our bodies from breakfast were fast diminishing.
We battled through the rest of this task and finally reached the stage at which we were able to test our camera and make any final adjustments. This proved easier said than done, as most of our components seemed to break one after the other, in a seemingly random pattern of the complete annihilation of the past dayís work.
The first thing to go was our microchip, an essential component in the circuit we had created. This was overcome fairly easily and it did not need to be replaced. We were thankful for this, as removing any of the many components would mean a lot of added time and work for everybody involved.
After this, we managed to somehow destroy our LED and even the camera itself. Both of these did have to be replaced, and we were nearly half an hour late completing the testing process.
We rushed to the testing site, praying that our wiring would hold together long enough for the photos to be taken. Upon reaching the balloon, we hastily connected the camera and could, at last, relax. Despite all the adversity we had faced during the course, our flight was spectacular, staying in the air more than long enough for all our photos to be taken. Through a magnificent mix of teamwork, knowledge and perseverance, we managed to pull through in the end, leaving our whole team with a great feeling of accomplishment.