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Re: [GPSL] UCO-ORB Recap [1 Attachment]

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  • Mike Manes
    Kudos, Harry, You re a regular one-man band! 73 de Mike W5VSI
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 21, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      Kudos, Harry,
      You're a regular one-man band!
      73 de Mike W5VSI

      On 4/21/13 7:01 PM, HarryM wrote:
      > [Attachment(s) <#TopText> from HarryM included below]
      > 04/20/2013
      > Launch:
      > I arrived at the University of Central Oklahoma launch site at 7:00 am
      > CDT and found the tarp had been laid out in
      > our pre-determined location and the payloads were being finalized in the
      > lab. The payloads and Helium arrived about
      > 7:45. We had to make some minor adjustments to the load lines and
      > connections. There was some initial concern about
      > a news helicopter that arrived several times around 8:00. It came from
      > the west and hovered facing south at 2000 ft
      > a mile or so to our south. Maybe the pilot read the HiBall NOTAM because
      > he stayed clear of our N-NE predicted flight
      > path. Fill began around 8:30 and we launched at 9:15. It was a perfect
      > launch. The students had such a great time
      > launching that they wanted to get it back and do it again!
      > The Chase:
      > We left the launch site immediately and headed south on I-35 then north
      > east on I-44 to Bristow. The student that rode
      > with me gave me constant ascent rate updates which showed that the
      > balloon was ascending slower than the 1255 fpm
      > predicted. The flight track was mirroring the predicted track. I had
      > informed the team of an initial rendevous point
      > 8 miles south of Bristow, but with the slower than anticipated ascent
      > and the possibility that the balloon may break
      > early I felt confident that we had time to rendevous in Bristow and grab
      > snacks.
      > The balloon made it's antcipated turn to the NW at 76,000 ft. With the
      > slower ascent rate and a now longer than
      > predicted track to the east I was hoping the NW track would be longer
      > and help compensate for the slow ascent. The
      > balloon burst at 109,632 ft. We left Bristow south on Hwy-48 to our
      > pre-determined rendevous point. The decsent was
      > faster than the predicted 1700 fpm, but with the slower ascent and
      > farther NW track, we were in good position. We made
      > our final repositioning as the balloon came through 10,000 ft. The
      > balloon came directly over us at 3,000 ft. I stepped
      > out to get a pic, was blinded by the sun and didn't see it. The last
      > received position put it at 1,131 ft 1/4 mile to our
      > NNE and I could still hear the cw beacon.
      > Recovery:
      > The area of landing was a 500 acre pasture with some high trees, fenced
      > and gated. The pasture was surrounded by dense
      > woods. I talked to one neighbor who gave me directions and a name to the
      > land owner I needed to talked to. I drove 2 mi
      > to the land owners house, got permission and a key to the gate. We
      > entered the property, and drove to within 400 ft of
      > the payloads due to saturated ground. I got a new APRS position at 764
      > ft, but no cw. There was one small pond and we
      > landed in it! The balloon remnants and the chute were on the bank. The
      > first student payload was half in the water with
      > the GoPro half submerged. The second student payload was floating as was
      > my tracker and cw beacon. The student payloads
      > were dry inside as was my tracker & beacon. My peanut butter jar tracker
      > was wrapped with 6 layers of bubble wrap and
      > the water only penetrated 2 or 3 layers. The cw beacon also had 6 layers
      > of bubble wrap, but the water got to the
      > battery connector and drained it. The beacon was dry and still works.
      > When we got back to the vehicles the students
      > downloaded the data from the experiments and were elated to see that
      > they had a lot of good data.
      > They were jumping up & down with joy!
      > We returned the key to the land owner and went to Bristow for lunch. We
      > were going to download the GoPro video, but ran
      > into a slight problem opening the waterproof case. It seems that, even
      > though the case is waterproof, it is not pressure
      > proof. We couldn't get the case open! There was a one way leak that
      > allowed surface pressure to get evacuated on the
      > ascent, but the pressure never equalized on descent, leaving a
      > substantial vaccuum in the case. We finally had to take a
      > knife blade to pry it open. As it was opened there was a hiss as the
      > pressure equalized. The video is stunning especially
      > the final descent to the pond and splash-down. They were again jumping
      > up & down as we watched the video. The student that
      > had the camera said, "I don't feel second class anymore, looking at
      > other balloon videos on YouTube. Now I have my own!".
      > Another student said, "This was pretty intense, but a great adventure".
      > We all had a great day and I don't think the students will ever forget this!
      > I've attached a Google Earth KML.
      > 73 Harry KC5TRB
      > O.R.B.
      > Attachment(s) from HarryM
      > 1 of 1 File(s)
      > UCO-ORB ALT-SPD GndTrk.kmz
      > <http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/6764416/494700865/name/UCO-ORB%20ALT-SPD%20GndTrk%2Ekmz>
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