Re: Information regarding near space flight for beginners
- Hello Thiago,
For starters, I'd recommend that you get in touch with ICARO, an
experienced Brazilian high altitude balloon group:
Introducao ao Conhecimento da Atmosfera pelos Radioamadores
eMail Contact: Demilson Quintao, PY2UEP
My Portuguese is non-existent, but from their web site, I think that
they operate from the University of Sau Paulo State, and there does seem
to be a link that may guide you towards gaining your ham radio license.
Note that the task of maintaining radio contact with your payload in
flight, and especially after it has landed, is greatly enhanced
by using amateur (ham) radio frequencies - but this does require
that you take an exam obtain a license from the Brazilian government.
The folks at ICARO are hams, and they can get you started on that
Another good resource for getting into ARHAB (Amateur Radio & High
Altitude Ballooning) is www.arhab.org , where you can find links
to many of the active ARHAB groups in the US and worldwide - it's
where I found the ICARO group, in fact! There are also tips on how
to fill a weather balloon and the safe use of hydrogen as a lifting gas.
In recent years, computer science and embedded controllers have been
made their way deeply into the old and growing hobby of ham radio, so
your skills would be highly prized by any ham radio club. And I have
no doubt that the fellows in ICARO can also direct you any of a number
of ham radio clubs in Rio.
Most of ARHAB groups seem to be using Hwoyee latex balloons from China:
There may be a distributor in Brazil or Argentina. That site does show
one in S. America.
One popular source for GPS-based amateur radio tracking beacons is
One site that may be where you found me is that of the group that I've
worked with for over 20 years: Edge of Space Sciences, www.eoss.org.
We have a lot of links to our own payloads and software to help you
calculate balloon fills and how to predict flights based on weather models.
I've taken the liberty of cc'ing the GPSL ballooning yahoo-group, which
is joined by many of the active US and international balloon groups.
Some there may be able to help you further than I can.
Please don't hesitate to inquire further if you still have questions.
73 de Mike W5VSI
On 1/31/14, 5:59 AM, Thiago Prado wrote:
> Hello Mike,
> I'm from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I have a lot of interest in near
> space flight, though no experience in the matter. In Brazil it is very
> rare to find people with same interest and specially difficult to find
> equipment to send a payload to near space.
> I have been thinking and researching about this subject when I found
> your group. I'm a Computer Engineer with some experience in electronics
> and microcontrollers but very little in communication. I am developing a
> simple payload to launch but I have no concrete idea where to start with
> the vehicle (balloon or whatever) nor the radio to communicate with the
> I would like to kindly request some guidance on cheap radios for small
> altitude at first (10Km maybe) before venturing into the >20Km altitude
> Whatever information you can provide that may help me overcome the
> difficulties of a start up project is very welcome, specially about the
> radio and the balloon. Anything on the DIY zone is welcome as well.
> I hope you have some time to reply. Many thanks in advance and best luck
> on EOSS flights.
> Thiago Prado.
- De nada, and good luck on your first flight. We'll be watching for
you on aprs.fi!
73 de Mike W5VSI
On 2/3/14, 8:47 AM, Thiago Prado wrote:
> Many thanks for your prompt reply. That will give me a lot to digest in
> the following weeks. I'll get in touch with the São Paulo group and see
> what I can do to begin in the art.
> Again, I greatly appreciate your response. We'll get in touch in the future.
> Best Regards,
> Thiago Prado