In order to get used to setting up and managing the instrumentation package, several tests were performed before the flights.
March 21, 2006: Indoor test
This test was performed indoors at Unis. The equipment was transported to the third floor and was mounted to look out of the window towards the power plant. The webcamera, Fuji S2Pro SLR camera and the spectrometer was used together with the GPS and gyro. A spectral video was recorded by manually rotating the spectrometer. The image below is an image generated from the spectral video recorded. It shows the view towards the powerplant in the wavelength 650 nm, that is close to red. All the way to the left and right in the images we see that the spectrometer has not been rotated. We also see signs of unsteady rotation in parts of the image.
Image of the view towards west from 3rd floor Unis. The image is generated from the 650 nm spectral movie.
The same view captured by the Fuji S2Pro SLR camera.
March 23, 2006: Car test 1 - Spectrometer
For the second test of the system, the instruments were mounted in a car and driven to Vestpynten where the power plant was to be our target. Due to too much vibrations for getting useful spectrometer data while the car is in motion, the spectral movie was recorded while manually rotating the spectrometer when the car was standing still. On this particular day, the weather was not optimal for such a test. It was cloudy and quite a lot of fog.
The view towards the power plant from the East seen in wavelength 693 nm.
Parts of the same view as above, but captured by the webcamera.
March 29, 2006: Car test 2 - GPSCam Iridium
The purpose of this test was to test the GPSCam Iridium system. It consists of capturing an image with some kind of digital camera, tagging it with GPS and gyro information, compressing and transferring it to a computer and then sending it to a recipient via an Iridium satellite phone. Three different ways of transferring the image is included in the SvalView II software (developed by Fred Sigernes at Unis): 1) FTP, 2) SCP and 3) e-mail. The team drove up to the top of the Gruve 7 mountain and took a snapshot of the Eiscat Svalbard Radars. Both SCP and e-mail went well, but took some time (minutes). The conclusion was that the SCP was the most secure way, as it did not disconnect even when the Iridium connection was lost. It simply paused and continued as the connection was restored. The image shows the 42m dish at Eiscat and should ideally have been rotated 90 degrees.
An image of the 42m dish of the Eiscat Svalbard radar tagged with GPS and gyro information (date, time, latitude, longitude, pitch, roll, yaw).