Information on this blog is raw and sometimes unverified reporting straight from the road by teams. The event will issue a media release for any events requiring an official notification.

Note that links in blog entries are not maintained, so while a link may be verified to work on the day of publishing, this is not guaranteed beyond that day.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Michigan: Weather Update

The Weather Team took a giant step forward towards being completely prepared for the upcoming race. After a couple of days of work, and a lot of help from some friendly locals, Weather 1 (the primary weather vehicle) is completely outfitted and race ready. We now have an operational mobile weather station that even the National Weather Service would be jealous of. Mounted atop what has now been dubbed "The Thunder Box" we have more instrumentation than any U of M Solar Team has ever had. A few of the things that you will find affixed to this years weather vehicle are the WeatherHawk 510 weather station, the antenna for the IMet-3100 base station, a RM Young anemometer, an egg-beater antenna, an Eppley pyronometer, and a couple of other communications antennas, and storage for AirGas Great Lakes helium tanks and all of the rest of our "toys". It was a lot of fun to put the finishing touches on the car and now we are filled with anticipation and are itching to get on the road with the team and try it all out.
One of the few remaining bugs that we are currently trying to work out is Australia's form of our F.A.A., C.A.S.A.. Flight restrictions are far more strict than what I had anticipated, and so we are running into a little bump in the road with getting clearance to launch the Kaymont weather balloons and radiosondes that we received from InterMet Systems and the UAV that we had planned on using. Everyone that we have talked to thus far seems very open to the idea and are willing to work with us, so we are conservatively optimistic about the situation.
As soon as we receive final clearance from C.A.S.A., we will begin testing and tuning this setup to make sure it will stand up to the rigors of a 3000 kilometer race. If all goes well, we will undoubtedly have a setup that will turn a lot of heads and set the curve as to what will be considered acceptable for a weather vehicle.
I will be sure to keep you updated when we do begin testing, hopefully in just a few short days!

--Nathan Lehman