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Black Brant Vehicle Number solved ?

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bobby_hamill

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Off and on for the last 10 years I have been trying to solve the vehicle number that is on the Black Brant fin in the photo below.
I think I have finally cracked it and it looks like NRC AA-II-58 or NRC AA-II-68.
What was throwing me is the "dot" above the last number ( 8 ? ) The "dot " is part of the fin assembly.
What do you all think ? 58 or 68 ?

Bobby




solved.jpg




and the raw untouched image





raw image.jpg
 
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Funkworks

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I guess it depends on the font but I’d go with “6”. What kind of BB is that? Maybe “68” is the year it was produced. Just a guess.
 

TSMILLER

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Just from a first glance, having not yet read the remaining posts I read it as "NRC AA-II-68" the "dot" above it is one of the fins rivets.
edit: looking at the untouched post, the dot is clearly part of the fin structure, it follows the correct spacing for the rivet pattern. Its the third rivet down from the leading edge of the fin. Compare spacing to the right fin.
 

manixFan

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Ok, I love a good photo mystery. Based on my very quick tests, I'd say it's 58. I don't know what font was used on the rocket, so I guessed Helvetica. I enhanced the contrast and then added a brand new version of 58 and 68 below it. If it was 68, there would probably not be that region of lighter pixels in the middle of the first number, if it is a 5, you can see that matches. Image is enlarged about 1600% so it's just a big guess, but maybe useful nonetheless.


Tony

the lower two numbers are '58' and '68' in Helvetica, you can see the '58' is a closer match:

number-guess.png
 
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Funkworks

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This seems to be a list containing all BB2 launches and that number format, but I don’t see either 58 or 68.

 
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bobby_hamill

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below is a list of 4 Fin Black Brant 2s that I can confirm they were 4 fin

Confirmed 4 Fin Black Brant II Rockets
2A and 2B versions included



AAA-II-101
AAA-II-102
AA-II-103
AA-II-104
AA-II-105
AEF-II-121
ADD-II-109
AAD-II-106
AAD-II-122
AAD-II-123
AAF-II-108
AKD-II-110
AKD-II-113
AMF-II-116
AMF-II-117


AA-II-25
AA-II-41
AA-II-53
AD-II-42
AD-II-52
AE-II-24
 

manixFan

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I don't know if this is useful at all, but here's another shot. The biggest issue is the area with the numbers is 25x25 PIXELS! Not really large enough to carry the detail needed, at least in the fairly low quality of the image provided. Perhaps if the original photo was available it could be scanned at a higher resolution.

I won't bias anything by giving my guess as to the number. I did remove the bright area that I believed to be the rivet - I used the rivet above as a reference. I tried pretty much all the standard stuff I do in Photoshop to get it to stand out, but there just isn't much detail present.

I like the BB, but I don't know much about it. This site seems to have a pretty good list of launches:


But it doesn't list any with serial numbers that match AA-II. Are they missing from that list?

Tony

The assumption is the second group of characters is AA and the next is II:

BB-number-2.png
 
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Funkworks

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Look at that list:

Wherever you have "1", it's a Black Brant 1.
Wherever you have "2A", it's a Black Brant 2.
Wherever you have "2B", it's a Black Brant 2B.
Wherever you have "4", it's a Black Brant 4A.
Wherever you have "VB", it's a Black Brant 5B.

The "II" is the Roman numeral for "2" in "Black Brant 2", so "II" and "2A" are interchangeable (my point is that it's not "LL").
 
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dhbarr

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Ever thought of printing the photo and sending a copy to both schools asking for more information ?

It's a long shot, but very low cost.

I don't know much about this particular program, but I'm guessing the intersection of CRC, the two universities, and this specific configuration probably yields a fairly narrow window.
 

manixFan

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Look at that list:

Wherever you have "1", it's a Black Brant 1.
Wherever you have "2A", it's a Black Brant 2.
Wherever you have "2B", it's a Black Brant 2B.
Wherever you have "4", it's a Black Brant 4A.
Wherever you have "VB", it's a Black Brant 5B.

The "II" is the Roman numeral for "2" in "Black Brant 2", so "II" and "2A" are interchangeable (my point is that it's not "LL").
Yeah, typo on my part. After looking at that number in Photoshop I knew it wasn’t LL. At least I had it correct for the photo caption. Fixed now.

Tony
 

bobby_hamill

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The list I posted are actual flights of 4 Finned Black Brant 2s that I can confirm were 4 finned and not 3 fins
The number on the fin in the photo is what we are trying to determine. Then we can look up the numbers
and see if it corresponds to a known vehicle number

I have determined that the know numbers and lettering is NRC AA-II-_8 The second to last number is in question
whether it is a 5 or a 6
 

rklapp

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Looks like a 4_ to me. It all depends on how you scrub the photo.

I agree about CSI; they seem to be able to discern the gender of a gnat from a blurry video.

1601365983846.png
 

Jay Rairigh

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Bobby, my point was that if this rocket never flew, it would not be on any list. Although it could have possibly helped, there is no need to confirm the number is on a list unless this rocket was actually used.
 

bobby_hamill

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Jay
Oh ok I understand now as you are referring to the rocket in the photo if it was ever flown .
As far as I can determine I am almost 98% sure it was flown
 

Funkworks

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Where is the photo from? Why would that rocket not be on the lists if it has flown? There is advanced software that should able to decipher the photo (available to anyone? I don't know), but knowing where the photo is from could lead to a source with answers.
 

Peartree

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Just stating the obvious, but has Peter Alway seen this thread?
 

Jay Rairigh

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University of Saskatchewan (written on side of rocket) did fly some black brant 3's around 1967 according to one article.

I'm not familiar with the 4 finned bb's, but how do we know this is a bb2?
 

rklapp

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I've spent a lot of time on image anaylsis. I know you are all kidding about the stuff they show on CSI and similar shows. And Photoshop is used by many image analysis experts, while it is a general purpose program there are many very specialized techniques that can be used with it to enhance image details.

The area in the original photo with the numbers is 22x22 PIXELS!! Here's my last shot at it, using an AI enhanced upscale - but really, by messing with different settings I can make the numbers look very different. My goal with this image was to get the AA portion looking as clear as possible.

The best solution of course is to find the original photo and rescan it.


Tony

View attachment 433335
Now I’m guessing 43...
 

bobby_hamill

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Jay
The photo came from page 25 of the Canadian Electronics Engineering Journal October 1965
The title of the article in the journal is
"Black Brant rockets Aid Canadian Research Of Upper Atmosphere"

The caption below the photograph identify s the rocket as a Black Brant 2

I am trying to get a pdf copy of the complete October issue to see if the photo source is referenced at the
end of the issue

Bobby
 

Ez2cDave

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Off and on for the last 10 years I have been trying to solve the vehicle number that is on the Black Brant fin in the photo below.
I think I have finally cracked it and it looks like NRC AA-II-58 or NRC AA-II-68.
What was throwing me is the "dot" above the last number ( 8 ? ) The "dot " is part of the fin assembly.
What do you all think ? 58 or 68 ?

Bobby
Bobby,

The launch may have never happened . . .

I found this, from October 7, 1961 : https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/481315473/

Excerpt :

""A college president Rocket To Probe Aurora SASKATOON (CP) - An Instrumented rocket designed to gather information about the Northern Lights over northern Canada probably will be fired next year. The shot is being conducted by the University of Saskatchewan and the National Research Council, each of which will contribute instruments for the 150-pound payload atop the Black Brant 11 rocket. A. Kavadas of the University of Saskatchewan physics department said Thursday the rocket will be fired as soon as launching facilities, destroyed by a fire, become available again at Churchill. Man. Kavadas said the SR-fooi-Iong, 3.000-pound rocket will be capable of reaching height rf 129 miles. One of the University of Saskatchewan experiments will measure the electron density or concentration of charged particles within the Northern Lights. Concentration of charged particles seriously affects radio communications, and scientists hope the information gathered from the payload will result in bctter-desicned communications equipment for lite north."

End Excerpt :

The flight seems not to have occurred, per the chronology.

Black Brant 2 Chronology
1960 October 12 - . 16:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 2. LV Configuration: Black Brant II CC-2A-13.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 196 km (121 mi).

1960 October 12 - . 21:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 2. LV Configuration: Black Brant II CC-2A-14.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 216 km (134 mi).

1963 May 7 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 2. LV Configuration: Black Brant II BB-2A-22.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 139 km (86 mi).

1963 June 11 - . 05:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 2. LV Configuration: Black Brant II BB-2A-21.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).




1964 September 15 - . 06:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 2. LV Configuration: Black Brant II AD-2A-58.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi).


Dave F.
 

Ez2cDave

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Bobby,

I also found this reference to a different flight, from March 28, 1966 : https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/494593869/

Excerpt :

"Second firing held up FORT CHURCHILL, Man. (CP)-The firing of a second rocket in an all Canadian space research project was postponed early today because of unfavorable weather conditions. The rocket, a Black Brant II, was scheduled to be fired from the Churchill research range with a scientific payload designed to probe the mysteries of the aurora borealis and upper atmosphere. The second rocket was to have followed the. one fired early Sunday in conjunction with the first all-Canadian project since the National Re-search Council took over the range from the United States Air Force this year. An NRC official said 'the firing of the second rocket was postponed "because of overcast and unfavorable winds." Adverse weather conditions had delayed the firing of the first rocket two weeks. LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL Sunday's launching, the first of three scheduled in the current series, has been termed successful by NRC officials. The 2,600 pound Winnipeg-manufactured rocket travelled at 3,600 miles an hour faster than a high velocity bullet. It climbed more than 100 miles before reaching its zenith during the 6'i-minute flight. Scientists participating in the six experiments represent the council, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Alberta, Calgary, and the defence research telecommunications establishment. W. L. Haney of Ottawa, head of the NRC's space electronics section, said the experiments provide data which may be valuable for future space travel. "We don't know much about the reaction of the sun's radiation to the earth's magnetic field and it is important here because it is visible in the aurora," he said in an interview. Although most of the experiments involved in the Black Brant firing are continuations of previous experiments. Dr. G. G. Shepherd of the University of Saskatchewan hopes that his group will obtain the first optical analyzation of the light emitted from the aurora.

From the chronology . . .

1966 March 26 - . 07:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 2. LV Configuration: Black Brant II AA-2A-103.
  • Aurora / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 153 km (95 mi).

1966 March 30 - . 04:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant 2. LV Configuration: Black Brant II AK-2A-104.
  • Aurora / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 154 km (95 mi).


Dave F.
 

Ez2cDave

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The fins on that BLACK BRANT sure look like these, to me . . . Not the "typical" BBII fins.

Dave F.

fin.JPG
 
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