Quick sync up on Suborbital progress

(sent 11/14/2018)

To subo interested parties
Cc board of directors


Wanted to get everyone up to speed and kind of summarize what mark and I have been iterating over in depth the past week or so.

The overall immediate (next 30 to 60 days) goal / deliverable is :

  1. a working (ish) demo / hack up / rough proof of concept of an orbiter
  2. written proposal

for fundraising from DoD (either SOCOM or via SBIR broad announcement) / NASA (researching best angles here , have some really good ballooning friends who work for nasa) for R&D budget of $500,000 to $2 million.

Those agencies are who I’ve got the best and most mature relationship with for funding and also the most understood and mature solicitation and award process.

I’m also starting to actively look at the various DoD components here in Austin based at UT / Capital Factory (SOFWERX/DIU/AFWERX) and of course the big daddy and newest player , the Army Futures Command .

I’m also actively pursuing private funding sources as a belt/suspenders/diversity plan, I’m meeting with a hedge fund this Thursday for dinner.

I’ve ordered (scheduled to arrive tomorrow) hardware for the core avionics :

I also ordered a Lora pi gateway hat ,

https://uk.pi-supply.com/products/iot-lora-gateway-hat-for-raspberry-pi (not sure when it will arrive , I’ve got single channel Lora that can be used in the interim)

this will let us have a ground station and web interface display of the telemetry being sent from the avionics.

Later on we can hook other groove components into the base board to control the parafoil (servos or stepper motors or something). See

for more information on one possible approach.

I’ve asked mark and Darren to join me this Saturday at 1pm for an engineering deep dive before the 7pm meet and greet dinner meeting .

Key challenges to explore will be :

  1. figuring out particulars of the envelope , best material I’ve found so far is at

I attempted to recruit the author , he politely declined. Essentially he did the thing and isn’t interested in it anymore. He offered to assist with any specific questions.

I’m hoping to order tooling and material soon , so we can experiment with envelope fabrication.

  1. figuring out the parafoil.
  2. wiring up avionics and ground station
  3. squawking some data across Lora so it gets displayed

Not expecting to solve it in an afternoon of course , but at least being able to define the problem in depth and come up with plan of attack.

Things are stating to come together.

We’ve been actively updating the wiki and I’ve been preparing an archive from all my bookmarks (as information frequently likes to disappear) and will be uploading all that to the wiki soon .