[aprssig] Transmitting data to a hot air balloon
Michael A. Heil
maheil at comcast.net
Wed Oct 19 02:33:07 CDT 2005
A hot air balloon pilot is going to be most interested in wind speed and
direction at various altitudes. I have used Vic's Windreader and a
digital version to provide preflight briefing data to ballon pilots
prior to competition and regular flights. Typically 150ft to 300ft
intervals from ground to a couple thousand feet, more if we could get
it. The digital version had an RS-232 output which went to a laptop or
calculator for data processing then printouts.
Ideally an uplink would be to a small tape printer on the balloon that
the pilot could grab a altitude/direction/speed list from.
During flight ground crews could take readings and radio (voice) results
to their pilots. Usually via business band itinerant frequencies though
some (ham radio licensed) did use ham frequencies I think. APRS or other
tracking downlinks can help the ground crews keep track and ahead of
their balloons and be ready for landings.
One or two pilots had some "Black boxes" that may have been uplink
receivers, but I never got the details. Some things you don't want the
competition committee worrying about (hi hi). They had snit fits about
GPS's when they first showed up (didn't want pilots to forget to fly
while trying to figure GPS out !!)
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