Samsung NX3000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix S6900 Panasonic Lumix ZS40 Canon PowerShot SX700 Sony CyberShot HX400V
Samsung NX3000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix S6900 Panasonic Lumix ZS40 Canon PowerShot SX700 Sony CyberShot HX400V
  News Headlines Apple Canon Casio Fujifilm HTC LG Nikon Nokia Olympus Panasonic Pentax Ricoh Rollei Samsung Sony  
Lets Go Digital
Powered by True
Counted by
SanDisk flash memory card survive Pacific Ocean
Dennis Hissink : July 7th 2005 - 15:17 CET
Digital Camera Review Test Appareil Photo Numerique Prueba camara digital Digitale Camera Test Dijital Kamera Incelemeleri Digitalkamera Test Digitalkamera
SanDiskSanDisk flash memory card survive Pacific Ocean : Engineers at SanDisk have salvaged valuable data from a high-flying atmospheric research balloon that plunged into the Pacific Ocean after it was launched by a team of university students. As a result, astronomical observatories that benefit from the project now have information that will help them focus more clearly on objects in outer space, and the students have been awarded special honors for their effort. This remarkable chain of events began when the students, all engineering seniors at the University of California-Santa Cruz, released a helium-filled balloon with instruments that included atmosphere probes, a transmitter, a digital camera and a custom-built data recorder.
SanDisk flash memory card survive Pacific OceanSanDisk - Capture valuable data
Both the camera and the recorder used SanDisk SD flash memory cards to capture images and continuous telemetry readings. Calling themselves Team BAT (for Balloon Atmospheric Telemetry), the students launched their balloon in early March from a softball field in Watsonville, a coastal agricultural community south of Santa Cruz. Their intent was for it to rise 75,000 feet and continually record information on turbulence including wind velocity, temperature, humidity, pressure, altitude, longitude and latitude.

Team BAT - Expect the unexpected
These are parameters that help astronomers to measure light distortion in the atmosphere and adjust their telescopes for the clearest image. With a GPS device giving the balloon's position, the students were able to track its flight path for about two hours. They were expecting it to reach maximum elevation before deploying a parachute and settling gently back to earth. But things suddenly went haywire. A sudden shift in the wind pushed the balloon and its payload of electronics over the ocean, where it ultimately ruptured and splashed into the waves about two miles offshore from Pajaro Dunes, presumably never to be seen again. Team BAT was ready to scratch the mission as a failure after gleaning only erratic bits of data from the transmitter.

SanDisk 1GB Secure Digital card - Soaked by saltwater
But fortune prevailed. Five days after the balloon disappeared, a beachgoer found the apparatus washed ashore about 20 miles north of where it had dropped into the ocean, and called the university. When the students arrived, they saw that the small padded lunch bag containing the circuit board for the telemetry equipment, and a SanDisk 1GB standard Secure Digital card, were thoroughly soaked by saltwater. Nearby were the shattered remains of the digital camera, which had been separated from the bag. Amazingly, the memory card, a SanDisk 128MB standard SD card, was among the rubble.

UC-Santa Cruz lab - Unreadable SD card
Back at the UC-Santa Cruz lab, the excited students dried out the card from the camera, slipped it into a card reader on a PC, and observed a string of breathtaking, high-elevation photos, the last one shot at 40,000 feet. Not a single image was lost. But the SanDisk SD card from the data recording device was completely unreadable. So Dave Van Unen, engineering lab staff for the university's Jack Baskin School of Engineering, sent the card to SanDisk as a last resort.

SanDisk - Engineering lab succeed in rescue data
After a week of repeatedly scanning the card with a special reading device and getting intermittent errors, Ysabel Tran, a technician in SanDisk's engineering lab, was finally able to extract all of the data on the card. She transferred it to another SD card, which was immediately relayed to Team BAT. UCSC engineering student Roberto Menchaca said that although his group estimated a peak altitude of 60,000 feet for the balloon, in fact the card data recovered by SanDisk showed a maximum of 81,863 feet, far above the original objective. And while the balloon transmitter radioed just 1,028 samples of data, the card yielded a whopping 53,406 samples. "This gave us more accurate data and, just as important, it was continuous, whereas the data we received by radio was full of gaps," he said.

Team BAT - Honoured with Dean Award and Chancellor Award
Elated at their now successful project, the students presented their report to their research sponsors. And when graduation ceremonies were held in early June, the university gave them both the Dean's Award and the Chancellor's Award, a rare double honor. Members of the team, apart from Menchaca, consisted of project leader Skye Vendt-Pearce, Bartolo Alvarado, Amanuel Mengistu and Kathy Phan.

SanDisk - Valuable assistance
"We're delighted that we were able to assist these aspiring engineers and thus contribute to the space program," said Nelson Chan, SanDisk's executive vice president and general manager for consumer and handset business. "This amazing series of events once again demonstrates the durability of SanDisk's flash memory cards."

UC-Santa Cruz - Dr. John Vesecky
Dr. John Vesecky, professor of electrical engineering at UC-Santa Cruz and the faculty "mentor" of the student team (along with Prof. Don Wiberg, Cyrus Bazeghi and Stephen Petersen), said the overall project was supported by astronomers from the Palomar and Lick observatories in California and funded by Cal Space, a state grant program that promotes space-related education within the university system, and the Center for Adaptive Optics at UC-Santa Cruz. "The students were measuring variations in atmospheric turbulence as indicated by wind shear and temperature changes," said Vesecky. "These are little fluctuations in air temperature that occur in sizes of from 10 centimeters to a few hundred meters. They are like eddies in the atmosphere and they create distortion, the 'twinkling' in the stars that people see from earth, and generate fuzzy images for space telescopes. It's like looking at lights through a swimming pool."

UC-Santa Cruz - Successful project
By using the student balloon data, land-based astronomers can begin to profile the layers of turbulence and compensate for them, he added. This process is called "adaptive optics," and the UC-Santa Cruz program in this field is nationally recognized. Another student balloon called the HASTE project was launched in June and a third may be released this fall, said Vesecky.

   SanDisk Compact Flash card survives blast
   Samsung 90nm 1GB DDR2 DRAM chip
   Gepe Card Safe Mini introduction
   Next  HP and Magic Johnson Foundation team up
   Previous  Windows Mobile 5.0 software support for DiskOnChip
   News by brand:SanDisk
   News by category:Flash memory
   News by brand and category:SanDisk Flash memory
   Canon EOS 700D - $509.00
   Nikon D7100 - $
   Nikon D5300 - $
   Sony Alpha 6000 - $548.00
   Canon EOS 70D - $749.00
   Sony CyberShot DSC RX100 III - $649.00
   Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II - $799.00
   Samsung NX300 - $499.99
   Panasonic Lumix DMC LX7 - $299.00
   Nikon D3300 - $375.00

LetsGoDigital digital camera magazine
Latest SanDisk announcements
SanDisk brings a smile on children faces
SanDisk USB drive for iPhone and iPad
Memory cards for 4K Ultra HD video
SanDisk Ultra II SSD
SanDisk flash memory and 4K storage solutions
SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive
MP3 Player for Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts
Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators
SanDisk CFast 2.0 Memory Card
SanDisk Solid State Drive
SanDisk Connect flash storage
64GB microSDXC memory card
SanDisk microSDHC review
SanDisk smartphone memory
Tablet memory and smartphone memory
Twitter LetsGoDigital
Latest news headlines
BlackBerry Leap smartphone for 4G LTE networks
Microsoft Lumia 430 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
Microsoft Lumia 640
Olympus Stylus SH-2
Samsung Tizen Dual-SIM smart phone
Microsoft Lumia Windows smartphones
Canon PowerShot ELPH 170 IS
Canon PowerShot ELPH 160
Nikon D7200 video functions
BlackBerry Leap
Nikon D7200 digital SLR camera
Canon EOS Rebel T6s
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
HTC One M9 4K smartphone
  Accessories Android Apps Camcorders Digital cameras Mobile phones Smartphones Software Tablets   CES CeBIT Gadgets IFA Photokina PMA