Here is a taster of what HAB groups round the world have planned for 2013
We are currently have a couple of projects we are working on. The first is an on-board flight computer and is something that a few of my students have been working on. It consists of a GPS antenna, which receives a signal from GPS satellites and then sends it to a microprocessor. The microprocessor is an Arduino board, which is widely available and fairly easy to integrate with other hardware. This computer takes the data that it receives from the flight, records it and runs an algorithm to determine and spits out a predicted landing spot for the payload. This landing prediction is then passed on to an APRS beacon which broadcasts the prediction as a packet. It is a pretty slick device and designed, built and tested by my students and other members of the club. Although the computer is still in the testing phases, we have had definite success with the programming and hardware integration. We have flown it on two flights so far and I hope we will be able to perfect it over the coming semester.
The second major project we are working on utilizes a piece of equipment that we had donated to our group. The device, called a flowmeter, measures the amount of gas that is being put into the balloon. It attaches between the Helium tank and the balloon filling tube and counts and totals the amount of gas as it passes into the balloon. We had been using weights to determine how much lift the balloon had. Once the balloon lifts the appropriate amount of weight, we let it go. Often times in the field, this is problematic. Any amount of wind and it becomes impossible to determine if the weights are being lifted by the balloon or by the wind. In order to get the most accurate rise velocities, it is important to be able to control exactly how much lift we are giving the balloon. Our goal is to use this new flowmeter is to be able to accurately control and measure the amount of gas we are putting in the balloon. Using this with an algorithm, we can figure out how much gas to put in the balloon to achieve the rise velocity we want. I don’t think any other groups have this piece of equipment.
Beaufort High School, USA http://www.thetalon.smugmug.com/misc/space
I’m a teacher in Beaufort, South Carolina. I teach computer graphics. A few years ago I was reading a photography forum and there was a post about the boys from MIT. That was the first I had ever heard of this kind of thing and I thought “I can do that.” It quickly changed to we can do that and I decided to make it a class project for my photography class.
The first flight was a 1,200g balloon. Sadly, we didn’t recover it. It came down in the middle of a dirt road and I think someone came on it before we did and thought “free camera…yea.” Since then, we have done six additional flight and recovered all of them.
We are planning an eighth but we have two things going against us:
1. We are right underneath the artic jet stream. What that means is, if you try and launch a balloon, be prepared to drive 100 to 200 miles to recover it…usually to the East.
2. We are on the Eastern coast of the Us. So that 100 to 200 miles… would put you out to sea.
These things can be overcome though…
1. The jet stream moves back up to the artic in the warmer months …so we just launch in the spring/summer months.
2. Drive West to launch.
Our next launch will be sometime in May. We are looking to send up a 1,500g Kaymont balloon, two GoPro cameras, a SPOT and an experimental ham aprs tracker. The aprs tracker is cool. It is a 100 mw transmitter. It runs off of a lithium 9v and has a built in data logger. It records every second of the flight…latitude, longitude and altitude. We used it on the last flight and it came back with 10,000 rows of data.
We’re currently working on Apex Lumia and Apex Alpha II. Both of these
can be found on either our website or our GitHub.
University of California San Diego Near Space Balloon project https://sites.google.com/site/ucsdnearspaceballoon/
Thorsten Klages Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
My interest in HAB focuses on the science of Cosmic Radiation. The other sides of HAB like Radio Tracking and so on are only the interest of the Radioamateurs in our Institute (PTB). We have a
cooperation with Germany’s National Meteorological Service, the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD). Our next mission starts in June or July. This year I plan a Crossband Repeater and live images via SSTV / SSDV. The rest of Hardware is the old Base plattfrom, GPS /APRS /Voice, and Radiation detector.
“Ionenbeschleuniger und Referenzstrahlungsfelder”
Ben Longmier Project Aether http://www.projectaether.org/