This is to confirm that WCU will launch the Catamount 5 Near Space
Balloon tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, at 9:00AM EST.
The projected paths of the balloon are below and it is expected the
balloon will land somewhere southwest of Winston Salem within Davie County.
There are two tracks based on the altitude the balloon bursts. The more
westerly track represents a burst at 90,000 feet. The more easterly
impact represents a burst at 100,000 feet.
Based on the the latest tracking projections, a tracking vehicle will be
placed on Sauratown Mountain. Recovery crews from WCU will be following
the balloon from the West.
We wish to thank everyone for there support of this project.
(919) 830-4778 Cell
The next WCU near space balloon launch date has
On February 16, 2013
WCU's Physics Dept. will be launching Catamount 5, a high altitude weather
balloon research and development project, at the Jackson County Airport
(35.317N, -83.209W) between 9-10am. The payload consists of two white
stirofoam boxes for the housing of amateur radio equipment, a camera, and
scientific equipment to measure and record cosmic radiation and search for
gamma radiation up to the stratosphere. The payloads will be properly
labeled with contact information.
A team of
chase vehicles will follow the balloon, as coordinates will be uploaded to
aprs.fi and is expected to remain in flight for at least 90
minutes. Trajectories show the flight path in a pie slice easterly
direction. The landing area is large and is made up with the point of
the pie at the launch site at the Jackson County Airport, with the other
points near Columbia, SC and Danville, VA. As the launch date gets
closer, more accurate trajectories will be posted.
The balloon could land anywhere, and the team is
equiped with supplies for proper retrieval. The National Parks Service,
NC Parks Service, SC Parks Service, VA Parks Service, NC Game and Wildlife and
NC, SC, and VA State Police have been notified of the project and will be
working with the recovery teams if the payload should land on their
properties. Directional anteannas will be used in locating the downed
experiment and all safety precautions will be met. Every effort will be
made to contact the appropriate land owner/manager before searching begins.
The balloon is anticipated to carry two
payloads to 100,000 feet and then burst. A yellow and blue
parachute will float the payloads back to earth. Below is the most recent
projected track landing east of Monroe, NC, the payload containers, and
parachute. Earlier tracks have placed the payloads landing near Chapel
Hill, NC, Laurinburg, NC, and Hickory,NC.
Again, we should
have a much more definite trajectory path the day before and the day of
launch. Another email will be sent reflecting the latest information for
this launch on February 15, 2013, the Friday before the
If you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the number
(919) 830 4778 Cell