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Hab Lessons 3

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Another alarm went off this morning, but I didn’t hear it. It woke up half the crew around 6am and Olivia went out to see what it was. It was a low voltage alarm. A long high-pitched tone. The kind of alarm like on an automobile inverter so it doesn’t drain your car battery. This particular alarm came from an automobile inverter because it thought it was draining a car battery. This was the vent fan that we were running overnight off the marine battery. It tested at 11.3 volts and I was mad at the inverter because that’s plenty in my opinion. I contemplated ripping it apart and destroying the piezo that makes the tone but I decided to just bring it outside that evening in case it went off again. I charged it all day so I assumed it would work out.

A Mars crew might repurpose some components, and in those cases they will have to consider how much they change a component for their needs. In my case, destroying a part would render it useless for the future. Perhaps we could use it as a more critical voltage alarm or use the piezo for something else. The least invasive solution, or one that doesn’t increase the complexity or number of lose parts, might be the best. The next day the alarm was blaring again, but 10m from the hab door so it didn’t wake anyone up. It still powered the vent fan, which I appreciated. Our air quality is now in the correct range for every measure.

Something else is happening right now. A high pressure system is moving in from the northwest. High pressure comes down from the upper atmosphere and, after a front, brings cold air from high up. The difference across the front isn’t much, maybe .3 inches of mercury, but the wind has been ripping all day. The flag on the roof is buffeting, the wind turbine is running quite well charging some other batteries, and if I watch closely, I can see the hab shake from the 2nd level. The wind is over 16mph with higher gusts.

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