[aprssig] Balloon Launch Thursday maybe 10 AM[ SUCCESS!]

Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr) ldeffenb at homeside.to
Thu Jul 18 20:01:03 CDT 2013

Congratulations on a successful flight!  I managed to watch the action 
via APRS from about 6500 feet to landing.  Thanks for the show and I 
hope their cubeSat test worked, even with the heat.

Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

PS.  You can see the RF and APRS-IS coverage maps of the flight at 
http://tinyurl.com/ljflrre  You may have to zoom in to see the detail of 
the higher zoom maps.

The files with -RF- near the end are non-dupe-suppressed packets 
provided by APRSISCE/32 IGates around the country.  They show just how 
far your packets were going without the duplicate suppression (first in 
wins) of the APRS-IS.  Those green hops at the end of the red direct 
lines are the unnecessary digipeats from a station flying at altitude.  
Altitude sensitive, path-adjusting trackers are really sweet for this 
kind of work.  You normally won't see the digipeats on the APRS-IS 
because it's quite likely that an IGate somewhere actually copied the 
balloon directly.

Those straight lines with no packets must have been heart-stopping...

On 7/18/2013 7:34 PM, Robert Bruninga wrote:
> We recovered it!  Amazing.  I was only peripherally involved and could 
> not take over a student project from another school, and our students 
> have been trying for weeks to buy a high altitude GPS, but with the 
> Government Sequester we cannot spend a dime, and it takes WEEKS of 
> paper processing through 10 different people even without the sequester!
> Callsign was W3ADO-11 and chase vehicles were WB4APR-9 and USNA-2 near 
> Lancaster PA.
> Anyway, it was their risk, not mine (though since they could not even 
> buy their own tracker, I gave them one at the last minute (My risk$ 
> was only for the low-altitude tracker)...
> Actually the students did pretty well.  I could not resist checking 
> EVERY KNOT in the string, etc.   that tied our balloon, to a string, 
> to a chute, to a chute-ring, to their cooler-payload and then hung my 
> coke bottle tracker below it all.  The balloon filled without 
> incident.  The chain of stuff on the string was walked down towards 
> the payload but when the guy let go of the string to then transfer the 
> load to the chute.  Up went the balloon!
> My heart sank, since I had checked every single knot.  What I did not 
> check was the strong metal 2" diameter Key ring at the top of the 
> chute.  Three students were in charge of the chute which had flown 
> several times before successfully.  What I did not know was that no 
> one checked the chute ring.
> Apparently in all past flights, the ring was tied through the chute to 
> a big Styrofoam ball.  The ball inside the chute was attached to the 
> key ring above the chute and then to the balloon. Turns out, the 
> students had seen a ball, but discarded it..  with the ball gone, the 
> only thing holding the ring on the top of the chute was just a knot 
> under a hole in the nylon! And a piece of duct tape on the top!!
> Anyway, thank heavens for a spare balloon and spare tanks!
> The GPS2 (OEM version) on the TT3 worked fine.  Its last vertical 
> altitude was 77,894 feet.  Then there was no change in altitude or 
> position for 20 minutes as it peaked, and burst and then we got it on 
> the way down (8 miles away) at 73,930 feet.  Track was great , but 
> only to 67,959 where it stuck for 27 minutes!
> Oh, and the overall track was only about 12 miles or less, because 
> winds were non existant and air temps were 98F and well over 105 with 
> the humidity.  The air was so thick you could cut it with a knife...
> A big sigh of relief came out as it started tracking again at 9026 
> feet  6? miles away and in another 10 minutes one car was able to SEE 
> the package land in a corn field.
> The loud 80 dB squaker made it easy to find in the 10' tall corn.  The 
> hard part was to get the army of eager students to STOP and LISTEN.  
> Then we walked right to it.
> Photos someday.. !
> Oh, My method of maintain temperature in the outside -65F is to simply 
> put my APRS stuff in a clear plastic water bottle and let the sun keep 
> it warm.  The package is very light. And it floats, and it meets the 
> density requirements for inadvertent impact.
> Their main payload (a small CUBESAT) used the classic method of 
> placing it in a Styrofoam cooler with 6 hand warmers.  When we 
> recovered it, the cubesat was so hot the cooler had to be emptied and 
> allowed to cool before one could even touch the cubesat with bare hands.
> But instead of my few party balloon flights, they had a 1500g balloon 
> with 8 POUNDS of free lift!  (That lifted a full Milk Jug as the test 
> weight).
> Bob, WB4APR
> *From:*Robert Bruninga [mailto:bruninga at usna.edu 
> <mailto:bruninga at usna.edu>]
> *Sent:* Wednesday, July 17, 2013 6:57 PM
> *To:* aprssig at tapr.org <mailto:aprssig at tapr.org>
> *Cc:* aprs at yahoogroups.com <mailto:aprs at yahoogroups.com>; 
> wa3nan at lists.nasa.gov <mailto:wa3nan at lists.nasa.gov>; 
> bruninga at usna.edu <mailto:bruninga at usna.edu>
> *Subject:* Balloon Launch Thursday maybe 10 AM
> Launch from Lancaster PA, mild winds.
> Should go up to 100k feet and then come down not far from launch.  Be 
> heard across 15 states.
> Though it is a non high altitude GPS and FIX will be stuck above 18k 
> feet until it comes back down.
> Callsign is W3ADO-11 and it will be on 144.39
> If anyone KNOWS that a Tinytrack3 and GPS2 from Byonics will **not** 
> re-aquire when it comes back below 18k feet please let us know NOW.
> Thanks  The rest of the payload costs $10,000 and we don't want to 
> lose it.  It is a different schools project that noone else can 
> access, so I wont bother with details.
> Bob
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> aprssig at tapr.org
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