Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Rough Science Photo of the Rough Science cast
 Home | Death Valley | Scientists | Jonathan | Communication Diary - Day 3
Introduction
 
Series 4:
Death Valley
Rover
Communication
Spacesuit
Impact
Aerial Surveyor
Rocket
 
 
The Scientists
Director's Notes
Producer's Notes
Tune In
 
Series 1:
Mediterranean
Series 2:
Carriacou
Series 3:
New Zealand
 
About the Show
Discover More
Feedback
Site Map
 
spacer spacer spacer
Jonathan's Communication Diary Day 1 2 3

Day Three

Kathy and I make up a couple of tripods for the equipment, she also makes up a corner reflector out of three bits of mirrors she cut as well as a rubber covered tube with a piece of glass mirror attached. This might prove to be the best transmitter yet as the mirror works really well.

I set up the receiver on the tripod and also arrange for a magnifying glass to be supported in front of the detectors (transistor) to help collect and focus the precious modulated sun light. This worked really well and a weak signal could be pulled out of the noise using the magnifying glass – it was really spectacular to hear.

We sit out in the blazing heat testing out the range of the equipment. Little by little Kathy and I managed to peak the system so that we got further and further distances with our light beam communicator. We were still having problems with the weather and clouds blocked the direct sunlight some of the time - light we desperately needed to get the experiment to work.

Then it’s time for the big test: We set everything up and all the crew and Roughies are geared up for the ending of the show. Iain shows us his plaque of Kate’s face. Kathy reads out her secret message talking into the tube and bright sunlight bounces off the mirror that vibrates with her voice. The beam passes the 50 metres to the receiver faster than can be imagined; the magnifying glass collects some of this light and concentrates it on to the transistor. A small changing current is set up amplified by the radio parts and fed to the loudspeaker – we hear, a little noisy but distinctly,

‘Rough Science mission accomplished’!

Mike B accurately transcribes the message onto the paper, upside down using his zero gravity pen using ink Ellen made. A great ending to the Second Challenge.

< Previous

 


Kathy and Jonathan make some light conversation
Scientist Diaries

Will the Rough Scientists be able to get their message across? Read what they communicated through their diaries:

Ellen
Iain
Kathy
Mike