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Re: [GPSL] Details of the flight of SpeedBall-1 this weekend

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  • Mark Conner
    Dan, Good luck with the flight! This will be fun to watch over the weekend and into early next week. As you said, the flight should hang around the launch
    Message 1 of 2 , May 11, 2012

      Good luck with the flight!  This will be fun to watch over the weekend and into early next week.

      As you said, the flight should hang around the launch site at your target altitude.  21km is  about 50 millibars, and the GFS forecasts I have at  http://nstar.org/GFS/50mb show winds of less than 10 mph at that altitude through the weekend.  Towards the middle of next week the winds at that altitude will become more northerly.  

      With a little luck, you might be able to drive the balloon back towards the launch site (by going above 70 kft) and recover it nearby!

      73 de Mark N9XTN

      On Fri, May 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM, Dan Bowen <dbowen1@...> wrote:

      I'm Proud to announce the first, and possibly only major flight of White Star, our pride and joy, on the cutting edge of amateur science and engineering, SpeedBall-1, "Lally":

      Up to date info will be available here as launch approaches: http://whitestarballoon.com/?p=826
      We will have live streaming video and crew audio from mission control and launch.  

      This is a fully autonomous system that has a deadman timer that requires periodic command uplinks, provided by a round-the-clock mission control.  This was designed to fly at 10km altitude, (32,000 ft) across the Atlantic Ocean, but time has run out for a trans-atlantic crossing, and it's not a good idea to dawdle around the USA at 32,000 ft, so we're going to just drag it up to 70,000 ft and see how the newly developed systems work.  Particularly of note to watch is our new ballast algorithm: modeled after 1940s balloon hypothesis to minimize the use of ballast and helium and maximize airtime. 

      Launch time: 7:45PM ET Saturday (2345 UTC 12 May)
      Launch Location: Spaceport Indiana (KBAK Airport)
      Cruise Altitude 70,000 ft  (We're movin' on up!)
      Flight Duration Expected: 2-5 Days
      Tracking page: http://track.whitestarballoon.com  (note this may show (and be marked as)simulated testing data up until about 5PM ET Saturday.
      Balloon System: A hybrid floater, with a latex balloon doing the heavy lifting to 21km altitude, far above the ZP's original design altitude of 10km.  The ZP will still provide the function of venting enough helium to arrest the climb and establish a float.
      • Zero Pressure Polyethylene envelope, 660 ft^3 by Global Western with White-star designed one-way plate valve, featuring a silicone seat, and PVC pipe port at the top for He temp sensor.
      • 1600g Hwoyee latex tow balloon balloon courtesy of WB8ELK, Bill Brown.
      Payloads of note: 
      Remotely triggerable Go Pro Camera (Simultaneous wide angle view of both balloon above and horizon/ground in front)
      Iridium-Arduino Satellite Communication Shield by White Star with command uplinking and adjustable telemetry intervals
      Nichrome deadman cutdown by Carl Lyster, WA4ADG
      ZP balloon lift gas anti-dilution valve by Gary Flispart
      54 Energizer Lithium AA Batteries
      5.5lbs of C2H6O ballast in a SNOX-copied ballast bottle
      Humidity Sensor
      Cloud particle sensor
      Temperature sensors
      Helium internal temperature sensor
      Raw battery pack voltage sensor
      Estimated Ground Track:  Very slow progression through the midwestern USA for several days if target altitude is reached.

      Lift Helium is proudly provided by SpacePort Indiana, Praxair Gases, and donors to White Star/LVL1

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