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Lixar connects Santa, Space, and Hoops during the Holidays!

There’s always something interesting happening within Lixar’s walls, and this year was no different.

The Lixar Kid’s Christmas party came back for its 2016 iteration! Employees from our Halifax and Ottawa locations brought in their loved ones and children, who had nothing but smiles as they got to make crafts and play during the happiest time of the year. Santa even took time out of his busy schedule to stop by, snap photos, and give presents. Thanks to the merry man in red, no one left empty-handed.

After spending a couple of weeks collecting hats, scarves, and gloves for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa …

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Lixar employees visited their Don McGahan Clubhouse to play a friendly game of basketball against the Club’s Intermediate team. While Lixar tried to keep up, the kids proved to be a force to be reckoned with. They outshot and outscored Lixar at every opportunity. With a final score of 82 – 74 (and an average age of 14), the Boys and Girls Club were the clear winners for the night!

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Lixar’s Space Team completed their first mission this fall: launching an unmanned high-altitude balloon with a payload into near space. The Team was able to take advantage of some commercially available tech toys to make it happen – a Raspberry Pi Zero and a GoPro Session 4 – to take photos and collect valuable data. To ensure it would function correctly, they tested the GoPro in a freezer (yes, a freezer) to simulate environmental conditions. The Pi Zero served as the Team’s flight computer, using multiple sensors including a barometer, GPS, and magnetic compass. So in case you were questioning the durability of these products, they will definitely work in space! Last minute stocking stuffers, anyone?

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During the mission, the balloon reached the stratosphere; and a maximum altitude of 25 241 metres (or 82 813 feet). For retrieval, the Team placed a radio on board that transmitted trackable GPS coordinates, as well as a satellite spot tracker as a backup. Both systems enabled the Team to locate the balloon within 30 feet of its landing area.

In 2017 the Team hopes to complete a second mission, whose goals are to obtain more sensors (and more data), achieve a higher altitude, and take more photos and videos – so stay tuned!

2016 was a great year for us, and we’re excited to see what 2017 will hold. Here’s to family, community, and reaching new heights in 2017!

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From all of us at Lixar, have a safe and happy holiday!

Links
Donate to the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.
Follow Santa on his busiest night of the year.
Need a space-themed gift? Start with the GoPro Session or a Raspberry Pi
Comfortable on earth? Get something from NASA instead!