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Share Your Story • Paul Kaup • July 15, 2019

Spaceport 2019 (Project Blackbird)

Spaceport 2019 (Project Blackbird)

STEM+C Inc. creates bold, innovative challenges to capture our nation’s younger generation’s attention and spirit. STEM+C Inc. is bringing 6 teams of students, from across America, together for the ultimate STEM experience “Project Blackbird”. Each team will design, and build, a remotely controlled aircraft (UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle) that is capable of being towed up by a weather balloon to an altitude of 100,000ft. Upon reaching 100,000ft the UAV needs to be released from the weather balloon and flown back to Spaceport America. Each team is given 12 months’ worth of development time. During this time, the students need to construct their UAV and decide on the appropriate systems to integrate and install in order to complete the mission objective. Project Blackbird requires FAA approval. Teams must complete the necessary paperwork and requirements in order to compete. This includes a physical inspection by the FAA the day before the scheduled launch where each vehicle’s systems operations have to be demonstrated. If the UAV is found airworthy by the FAA, each UAV receives an “Experimental Aircraft Certificate”. As the competition week unfolds much of the work is put into motion. All of the pre-flight checklists must be completed and verified. Weather is checked, including upper atmosphere winds. Will mother-nature cooperate or not? What adjustments can must be made to fulfill the mission? These are just some of the concerns leading up to the launch day. Launch day is when all of the students’ time and preparation are put to the test. As the countdown begins, the students perform checklists and last-minute systems checks to make sure the UAV is 100% operational and ready for the 4-hour mission ahead. A year’s worth of preparation is put to the test when the countdown clock reaches …. 00:00 …

For more information please visit Captain Paul Kaup's bio.

Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Thank you!! Sincerely, Paul Kaup

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