We have DSTO a new Sponsor and also a University in Discussions.
I am pleased to announce that the Australian Government is helping Jason with the Phase 1 flight of ThunderStruck. They have come on board through the Defence Scientific and Technology Organisation (DSTO). They have supported us from the start but are now officially sponsors for the flight. They have offered equipment, test facilities and advice as part of the package making the value of their assistance very impressive. They have been slotted in as a Silver Sponsor based on the total value to the Project.
A Local University
Early in the new year I will be able to tell you about arrangements with a Sydney based University that has a strong interest in the project. I expect that there will be some work for interns and other people as the project ramps up. Legal documents have to be finalised before any announcement is made. Stay tuned.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
So far I have had strong support from CASA in the area of demonstrating Safety. It unfortunately does not meet their rules for sponsorship, but there may be the possibility of information about ThunderStruck to be included in a number of their publications. Work is progressing. We are not ready to submit our request for an “Area Approval” for the flight, but this is imminent. I need to visit Longreach before we can proceed.
Discussions with the Mayor of Longreach have been positive, but at this early stage, anything is possible. I will visit Longreach in January to check the area and see if it is suitable. More on that as we progress.
Model Aero Clubs
We are seeking support from them and it has been a requirement that it be seen that we are working with CASA before we will get support. They are being careful to protect themselves from claims that they are doing the wrong thing. Until we make the formal request from CASA, we will not get more than some basic help from these groups.
We have 2 contenders and both are major telecommunications providers. They both have proposals on the table from us that they are considering. One possibility is to have a mobile phone video the release from the balloon and relay it live to the ground via the local mobile phone network.
Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI)
We are hoping to get some discussions and support early in the new year. We have made contact and looking forward to how we can engage fully with ASRI.
How You Can Help
- Technology – much off the shelf such as found in electronics stores
- assistance with the airframe – Sydney Based is preferred
- funding to buy what can’t be sponsored
- vehicle usage / rental; accommodation; Petrol; 4 wheeled trailer with good suspension.
- HAM Radio gear
- Labour / help in general when things need to be moved and/or tested.
- Anyone with graphics capabilities to create some pictures and animation
You can also link to our pages and tell everyone about the project.