After the cancelled launch of REXUS15 due to a problem with the umbilical, and a failed Communication Check for our experiment yesterday evening, we had a launch opportunity for the REXUS16 today and a lift-off at about 13:00 local time!
The Communication Check failed, since we got weird data and failed self-checks from our Measurement Unit. After some investigation we found that the SD-card on the Measurement Unit was somehow corrupt or broken, maybe because of a bunch of power cycles, where the experiment was turned on and off a lot of times for testing the GPS-antenna of the REXUS rocket. Fortunately the experts allowed us to fix this problem by replacing the SD card, even though the Payload was already assembled!
Replacing the SD card fixed the problem, our experiment worked quite fine, and we passed the Comm Check today morning (at 6am).
After, we had a Cold Countdown, which was switched to a Hot Countdown with the successful Lift-Off at around 13:00 !
Unfortunately, our experiment did not work as expected. From the operational view everything went fine, all subsystems were working and delivering data, but we could not met our scientific objective, since our system did not recognize the horizon. The big question is: why?
After we got back our experiment from the Recovery Team, we looked into the gathered data and had to notice that almost every image was pure white. Until now we assume that the camera somehow lost its settings for exposure, speed, resolution etc and therefore the image data got overexposed, but this is only a theory so far. We will investigate this issue in our Lab in Würzburg.