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Re: [aprsisce] Balloon launch in Florida

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  • Larry Overcast
    I was just looking at the flight path. Pretty interesting. I have a son in grade 11 who has been doing physics. Seems like a very appropriate application.
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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      I was just looking at the flight path. Pretty interesting.  I have a son in grade 11 who has been doing physics. Seems like a very appropriate application. What's the approximate cost?  

      Larry Overcast
      Sent from my iPhone

      On Dec 2, 2012, at 9:53 AM, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:

       

      Shameful horribly misconfigured outgoing path on that flight... what a mess!



      This payload is an X-ray experiment lofted by our local University Physics department.

      Note the proper high altitude path used by these students. They must have been mentored by a group that understands appropriate APRS etiquette. I'm busy observing and doing ground support on this one. Too chilly and too far to go chase today! 

      Our winds are high up here, so they will be going for a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to pick up the payload.

      We're waiting for better winds aloft for our next flight so we don't have to drive so far.

      James
      VE6SRV

    • Larry Overcast
      Looks to be north of Vermillion and traveled about 114 miles so far! Larry Overcast Sent from my iPhone
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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        Looks to be north of Vermillion and traveled about 114 miles so far!

        Larry Overcast
        Sent from my iPhone

        On Dec 2, 2012, at 9:53 AM, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:

         

        Shameful horribly misconfigured outgoing path on that flight... what a mess!



        This payload is an X-ray experiment lofted by our local University Physics department.

        Note the proper high altitude path used by these students. They must have been mentored by a group that understands appropriate APRS etiquette. I'm busy observing and doing ground support on this one. Too chilly and too far to go chase today! 

        Our winds are high up here, so they will be going for a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to pick up the payload.

        We're waiting for better winds aloft for our next flight so we don't have to drive so far.

        James
        VE6SRV

      • Greg D
        Not sure what tracker they re using, but a suggestion? It looks like they peaked out at nearly 101,000 ft. One marker at 100,964, the next at 87,677. How about
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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          Not sure what tracker they're using, but a suggestion? 

          It looks like they peaked out at nearly 101,000 ft.  One marker at 100,964, the next at 87,677.  How about implementing a "corner pegging" smart beacon for the vertical dimension?  When there's a significant change in elevation, spit out a beacon?

          Just a thought.

          Greg  KO6TH


          James Ewen wrote:
           

          Shameful horribly misconfigured outgoing path on that flight... what a mess!



          This payload is an X-ray experiment lofted by our local University Physics department.

          Note the proper high altitude path used by these students. They must have been mentored by a group that understands appropriate APRS etiquette. I'm busy observing and doing ground support on this one. Too chilly and too far to go chase today! 

          Our winds are high up here, so they will be going for a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to pick up the payload.

          We're waiting for better winds aloft for our next flight so we don't have to drive so far.

          James
          VE6SRV

        • James Ewen
          ... That all depends upon how much junk you have accrued... Balloons are under $100. Helium will cost you a couple hundred these days. Hydrogen is less than a
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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            On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 1:05 PM, Larry Overcast <larryovercast@...> wrote:

            > I was just looking at the flight path. Pretty interesting. I have a son in
            > grade 11 who has been doing physics. Seems like a very appropriate application.
            > What's the approximate cost?

            That all depends upon how much junk you have accrued...

            Balloons are under $100.
            Helium will cost you a couple hundred these days. Hydrogen is less
            than a hundred.
            Trackers for the payload can be pretty cheap if you have lots of spare
            parts. We started with a scavenged SCADA radio and a MIM tracker. We
            now fly the RTrak-HAB as it is a nice integrated unit that's very
            light weight.

            What you want to fly for a payload is up to you. When we started, we
            wanted to fly a camera, but the costs were prohibitive. Now we fly HD
            video cameras... yup, plural cameras because the costs are down
            significantly.

            There are some that say they can put a full payload into the air for
            less than $100, but that's not truly accurate. If I got everything
            donated or scavenged for a flight, I could claim to be flying for
            free.

            By the time you're done, you'll be out a few hundred dollars. Of
            course, when you recover your payload, you can reuse it, so your costs
            for the next flight go down. Balloon and lift gas end up being the
            continual expense.

            If you are interested in getting involved, there's probably already a
            balloon group near you. That's a good way to get into it as you can
            learn from their experience rather than from your own mistakes.
            Mistakes cost money, so why not learn from the money others have
            spent?

            We work to get schools interested. The junior high science curriculum
            fits right into HAB projects, so if you can find a school teacher
            interested, you might combine interests and get the kids involved.

            Our local university puts on a space camp for the grade 7 aged kids
            each year, and we helped them launch and recover balloons for their
            camps a few years ago. That morphed into working with the physics
            department, flying their payloads as a shakedown for future flights
            with NASA. The students get real hands on experience with nearly every
            aspect of what they need to know for a flight on a rocket with NASA.
            Yesterday my son just put in his early admission application to that
            very same university physics department. Now I'm jealous of my son!

            We've also worked with 4 different schools getting balloon flights
            tied into the science program. If we have piqued the interest of just
            one kid, and that leads to them staying in school and going to
            university, then I'm extremely happy with the money I have invested
            into HAB.

            BTW, VE6SVE-3 and -5 worked well, and the payload was recovered 1.1 km
            from the last packet location copied by the APRS-IS at an altitude of
            1096 m ASL, less than 500 metres AGL by a station 52 km away, with no
            digipeaters involved at all.

            --
            James
            VE6SRV
          • Keehan Dowd
            It looked like it almost made it to the road. Was it far inside the field? I guess with all the snow on the ground it would be fairly easy to spot? (As
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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              It looked like it almost made it to the road.  Was it far inside the field? I guess with all the snow on the ground it would be fairly easy to spot? (As opposed to our summer ballon that got all tangled up in the bushes). 

              Keehan. 

              Please excuse brevity and typos.  Sent from my iPhone

              On 2012-12-02, at 2:57 PM, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:

               

              On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 1:05 PM, Larry Overcast <larryovercast@...> wrote:

              > I was just looking at the flight path. Pretty interesting. I have a son in
              > grade 11 who has been doing physics. Seems like a very appropriate application.
              > What's the approximate cost?

              That all depends upon how much junk you have accrued...

              Balloons are under $100.
              Helium will cost you a couple hundred these days. Hydrogen is less
              than a hundred.
              Trackers for the payload can be pretty cheap if you have lots of spare
              parts. We started with a scavenged SCADA radio and a MIM tracker. We
              now fly the RTrak-HAB as it is a nice integrated unit that's very
              light weight.

              What you want to fly for a payload is up to you. When we started, we
              wanted to fly a camera, but the costs were prohibitive. Now we fly HD
              video cameras... yup, plural cameras because the costs are down
              significantly.

              There are some that say they can put a full payload into the air for
              less than $100, but that's not truly accurate. If I got everything
              donated or scavenged for a flight, I could claim to be flying for
              free.

              By the time you're done, you'll be out a few hundred dollars. Of
              course, when you recover your payload, you can reuse it, so your costs
              for the next flight go down. Balloon and lift gas end up being the
              continual expense.

              If you are interested in getting involved, there's probably already a
              balloon group near you. That's a good way to get into it as you can
              learn from their experience rather than from your own mistakes.
              Mistakes cost money, so why not learn from the money others have
              spent?

              We work to get schools interested. The junior high science curriculum
              fits right into HAB projects, so if you can find a school teacher
              interested, you might combine interests and get the kids involved.

              Our local university puts on a space camp for the grade 7 aged kids
              each year, and we helped them launch and recover balloons for their
              camps a few years ago. That morphed into working with the physics
              department, flying their payloads as a shakedown for future flights
              with NASA. The students get real hands on experience with nearly every
              aspect of what they need to know for a flight on a rocket with NASA.
              Yesterday my son just put in his early admission application to that
              very same university physics department. Now I'm jealous of my son!

              We've also worked with 4 different schools getting balloon flights
              tied into the science program. If we have piqued the interest of just
              one kid, and that leads to them staying in school and going to
              university, then I'm extremely happy with the money I have invested
              into HAB.

              BTW, VE6SVE-3 and -5 worked well, and the payload was recovered 1.1 km
              from the last packet location copied by the APRS-IS at an altitude of
              1096 m ASL, less than 500 metres AGL by a station 52 km away, with no
              digipeaters involved at all.

              --
              James
              VE6SRV

            • James Ewen
              ... RTrak-HAB. ... It s pretty hard to get a good solid vertical dimension reading. There s a fair amount of jitter . The best way is to continually read your
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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                On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM, Greg D <ko6th.greg@...> wrote:

                > Not sure what tracker they're using, but a suggestion?

                RTrak-HAB.

                > It looks like they peaked out at nearly 101,000 ft. One marker at
                > 100,964, the next at 87,677. How about implementing a "corner pegging"
                > smart beacon for the vertical dimension? When there's a significant change
                > in elevation, spit out a beacon?

                It's pretty hard to get a good solid vertical dimension reading.
                There's a fair amount of "jitter". The best way is to continually read
                your altitude, and if the new altitude reading is greater than the
                last, save the new value. That way you'll always keep your max
                altitude reading at hand. Then, once you have significantly dropped
                altitude, you can send a report with the saved maximum altitude, or
                you could just constantly report the maximum saved altitude in the
                comment.

                We worked with Jason at RPC Electronics to develop the RTrak HAB, but
                it's still not my ultimate flight payload. I want to have a receiver
                on board as well as a transmitter. I want to have the functionality of
                the OT3, with the scripting engine onboard, and the ability to send
                commands up to the payload.

                One thing that would be very handy would be to have the payload enable
                the SQUAWK command once it gets below 1000 metres ASL. Sometimes it
                can be hard to get a good copy on the packet, but with the SQUAWK
                command, you get an alternating tone on your TX frequency. This makes
                it very easy to distinguish the payload transmissions by ear, and you
                can have the tones on for a user defined period, which would
                facilitate easy DF triangulation if need be.

                The payload landed in an area where the trees had just been cleared,
                about 300 metres south of TWP RD 562 on the 1/2 mile property line
                between RNG RD 63 and RNG RD 62, right about where the creek goes
                through.

                --
                James
                VE6SRV
              • KEITH BOYER
                what is the call sign of the balloon? Keith
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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                  what is the call sign of the balloon?

                  Keith 


                  On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 5:13 PM, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
                   

                  On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM, Greg D <ko6th.greg@...> wrote:

                  > Not sure what tracker they're using, but a suggestion?

                  RTrak-HAB.

                  > It looks like they peaked out at nearly 101,000 ft. One marker at
                  > 100,964, the next at 87,677. How about implementing a "corner pegging"
                  > smart beacon for the vertical dimension? When there's a significant change
                  > in elevation, spit out a beacon?

                  It's pretty hard to get a good solid vertical dimension reading.
                  There's a fair amount of "jitter". The best way is to continually read
                  your altitude, and if the new altitude reading is greater than the
                  last, save the new value. That way you'll always keep your max
                  altitude reading at hand. Then, once you have significantly dropped
                  altitude, you can send a report with the saved maximum altitude, or
                  you could just constantly report the maximum saved altitude in the
                  comment.

                  We worked with Jason at RPC Electronics to develop the RTrak HAB, but
                  it's still not my ultimate flight payload. I want to have a receiver
                  on board as well as a transmitter. I want to have the functionality of
                  the OT3, with the scripting engine onboard, and the ability to send
                  commands up to the payload.

                  One thing that would be very handy would be to have the payload enable
                  the SQUAWK command once it gets below 1000 metres ASL. Sometimes it
                  can be hard to get a good copy on the packet, but with the SQUAWK
                  command, you get an alternating tone on your TX frequency. This makes
                  it very easy to distinguish the payload transmissions by ear, and you
                  can have the tones on for a user defined period, which would
                  facilitate easy DF triangulation if need be.

                  The payload landed in an area where the trees had just been cleared,
                  about 300 metres south of TWP RD 562 on the 1/2 mile property line
                  between RNG RD 63 and RNG RD 62, right about where the creek goes
                  through.

                  --
                  James
                  VE6SRV






                • James Ewen
                  ... http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=15&call=a%2FVE6SVE-3%2Ca%2FVE6SVE-5&timerange=86400 The callsigns are still in the link sent previously... balloon payload is
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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                    On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM, KEITH BOYER <n4trn12@...> wrote:

                    > what is the call sign of the balloon?

                    http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=15&call=a%2FVE6SVE-3%2Ca%2FVE6SVE-5&timerange=86400

                    The callsigns are still in the link sent previously... balloon payload
                    is probably already back in Edmonton by now.

                    --
                    James
                    VE6SRV
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