Sci Station Canada

Sunday, May 02, 2004

da Vinci close but ...

In the latest X Prize Newsletter - available from the subscription link on the X prize home page - they expanded on the situation as regards the da Vinci Launch licence ...

Brian Feeney, of the da Vinci Project, indicated that his X PRIZE Team's launch license under the Canadian CLSO, their AST-equivalent governmental launch office, is anticipated soon. da Vinci has completed its required application process and is well into the task of coordinating ground and air operations for their launches at Kindersley, the Saskatchewan site chosen for Canada's first manned space launch.

So last weeks quote was a slip of the tongue! ... but they're not far off! They go on to say ...

The Canadian da Vinci Project is pressing forward with the building and testing of its X PRIZE entry "Wild Fire MK VI" vehicle. Recent activities include sub-assembly installations inside the capsule. The project's flight simulator became operational about six months ago, and da Vinci is in the process of adding refinements to the trendicators that will aid in determining role, pitch and yaw rates, as well as to the pilot's flat screen display.

The Global Star satellite network is being used on the Wild Fire vehicle as the primary tracking data and audio link to the spacecraft and balloon. The tracking data shows up on a moving map display based on precise airborne GPS and INS equipment. Mission control receives the primary feed from the network's hub while mobile satellite receivers used by ground recovery teams have a direct tie into portable PC's. The result is real-time tracking in remote locations, ensuring that the recovery teams are directed to the spacecraft hardware as soon as it lands. Global Star satellite transmitters and receivers are undergoing system bench testing at the da Vinci facility in Toronto prior to installation in the spacecraft.


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