Boxing day balloon marks last launch of 2012

Yesterday a team from Vigo in north west Spain rounded off a busy year of HAB flights with a 1200g Pawan balloon launch. The flight Was a simple photography mission and first flight for the team. The flight was equipped with a xenon enhanced gps tracker and a Spot tracker hired from Balloon News web store.

SPOT track

SPOT track

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Appreciate the clouds your payload passes

The Cloud Appreciation Society (http://cloudappreciationsociety.org),a group devoted to the enjoyment of clouds, has said that it will allow cloud to collectors to use images from their HAB flights in their balloon collections.

Spotters Guide

Spotters Guide

Yes, check the date, it is not April 1st.

The Cloud Appreciation Society is a real group helping you to collect and understand cloud sightings. Till now it has been the domain of people taking photographs from the ground or from aircraft. Now collectors can include cloud photos taken from their HAB probes. This opens up more opportunity to collect less often seen high altitude clouds. So here is a message for all you HABists, make 2013 the year you started collecting your clouds!

Stratus Nebulosus from 'Tweetsfromspace' balloon launch, Ireland 2012

Stratus Nebulosus seen from ‘Tweetsfromspace’ balloon launch, Ireland 2012

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A balloon launch in which the launcher nearly got launched

This is great footage from a balloon launch during hurricane Irene (October 2012) and should be watched by all those who think that launching a balloon in a hurricane  would be a fun thing to do. Look and learn! Source US National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=110803445689798

Extreme high wind launch

Extreme high wind launch

This will receive a High 5 nomination (see Awards menu) for the sheer bravery of the met balloonists.

 

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High Altitude Balloon awards for 2012

High Five – The best HAB project of 2012 Orian Breaux’s (http://orianbreaux.com/2012/02/unprecedented-view-of-earth-space/360 degree camera footage. It looks like this students project involved them learning how to HAB and involved an awful lot of post processing on the camera footage they created. WELL DONE.

Whoopee – the worst HAB project of 2012

The Hamburger in Space – what a waste of helium and this hamburger looks very unappetizing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nRkQE0I4NZw

Burger at 90,000 ft - What a waste of Helium

Burger at 90,000 ft – What a waste of Helium!

 However, Wildman Bill who used his mate’s mum’s household gas supply to fill the balloon nearly got it for the shear recklessness of using a domestic gas supply.

http://www.thefintels.com/aer/hab4.htm 

 

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Project Blast Launch delayed

Project BLAST – which stands for Balloon Launched Android Satellite Test – is about designing and building a cubesat utilising technology based on an Android smartphone, and then test it in near-space using a high altitude balloon. We are a group of 4th year students currently studying Aeronautics & Astronautics at the University of Southampton. As part of our degree, we are working on a Group Design Project (GDP) where we get the chance to make practical use of the knowledge acquired in the previous years. http://projectblast.co.uk/about/

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A cubesat is a 10x10x10 cm satellite, designed to perform tasks similar to standard satellites, for a much cheaper price, thanks to its very small mass (1.33 kg). Because of these characteristics, they are nowadays a very popular way for students to have their first hands-on experience in the design and manufacturing process of a satellite. We are aiming to create our own version utilising parts of a smartphone such as cameras, GPS, motherboard and so on, because they are very cheap (for space standards at least!) pieces of technology which are readily available on the market. Once the cubesat is ready, it will take measurements and pictures of the higher atmosphere, but we are also designing a short-range inter-satellite communication system using Wi-Fi, to allow for exchange of the above-mentioned data between multiple cubesats.

In order to be able to launch BLAST into near-space, we will make use of SHARP, a reusable platform that was built last year by other 4th year students at the University of Southampton. This allows to reach an altitude of about 30 km, depending on the payload mass and the size of the balloon that is used. SHARP is a fully functional platform which comes with a GPS module and a transceiver that constantly sends data down to Mission Control, who will then be able to track the balloon and make live predictions where the platform will land, according to the real-time wind situation. A chase car will then try and get to the predicted landing site as soon as possible to retrieve the platform. For more information about SHARP, please visit projectsharp.co.uk.

Project BLAST was due to launch this weekend (8th December 2012) but the launch has been delayed. We hope to post updates on their launch and how to track it when available.

 

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