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Flight to 109,000

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dcshrum

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I think this board must have crashed for a while. Glad to see its back up. Anyway... before the board crashed I posted some messages on a high altitude balloon project. We did in fact launch it and the telemetry system worked perfect. It might be of interest to a rocketeer, especially the cat tracker which we used as a backup in case you want to find a missing payload.

Oh yes... I did absolutely follow all the rules in FAR 101 which are pretty easy to meet.

Here is a picture from our peak altitude. You can see balloon fragments.
http://icbnn.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/left-img_1156.jpg

Here is the blog we used with the detail on the telemetry system.
http://icbnn.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/launch/

Here is a quick youtube video with the slideshow. Low quality but good for the impatient :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6WKOdrS_6Q

Here is a link to the 1500+ pictures
http://johnsoncs.com/icbnn/
 
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FROB

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That is amazing!!
Say, are there any forums or other sites dedicated to "amateur unmanned ballooning"? if not, maybe we should start a new section in here - we have low power, mid power, and high power already - we could call it "No power" or "Balloons & Rockoons" ;).
 

FROB

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Where can i get the details of your electronics payload?
i followed the links below but didnt see anythign on the subject.
thanks
 

dcshrum

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You can read through all the posts here: http://icbnn.wordpress.com/

Or you can just ask me here.

Here is a brief description.

We used a jetway Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813153096

I used a CF card for a disk drive and that board has a CF slot. We installed Red Hat Linux.

We used this GPS because it works above 18KM (COCOM limits:rolleyes:)
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=165

It was plugged into the Motherboard via a USB cable.

I wrote a perl program that monitored GPSD - http://gpsd.berlios.de/ - for telemetry data (speed, altitude, coordinates, etc...) and every four minutes the perl program would take the coordinates and a few other data points and read them aloud using espeak - http://espeak.sourceforge.net/ -

I took a walkie talkie like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16872007048

I took the plastic off and soldered the mic in to an audio jack which was plugged into the audio out on the motherboard. So espeak would report position over the radio.

The backup tracking system was this - http://www.mr-lee-catcam.de/pe_cc_o2_en.htm but would only work on the ground and if a cell tower was in range. We didn't need it but it did work.

The photo system was semi-autonomous. I used a canon camera (SD1100 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16830120255) and CHDK to program the camera. Well, actually a friend in Italy did the programming for me. Here is some detail on that - http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

If I were to do it again... and I will :)

I'd use a gumstix computer and a different battery.
 
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evil ed

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Can you use one of those suckers to lift and launch HPR or MPR ???:D
 

FROB

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Very nifty hardware!

You got me thinking.... (i hate it when that happens:p)
is there an easy rough formula to get the size of ballon or CF of helium or hydrogen needed to get a given small payload weight to that kind of altitude?
I'm thinking a small rockoon payload could be built with only a few 100's grams weight....
Wonder how much a dry-cleaning bag full of H2 can lift to 100k....'
 

BHP

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High Altitude Ballooning is cool and fun. I've made only one HAB flight to 61,000' as outlined here: http://nixhab.com/

Our first payload was lost in a farmer's field for 2.5 weeks. But since then we've redesigned and built our antennas and, hopefully, that won't happen again.

Edge of Space Sciences has a nice web page with lots of good info - from hardware to software - for HABing.

How else can you go to space for $100?
 

dcshrum

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Very nifty hardware!

You got me thinking.... (i hate it when that happens:p)
is there an easy rough formula to get the size of ballon or CF of helium or hydrogen needed to get a given small payload weight to that kind of altitude?
I'm thinking a small rockoon payload could be built with only a few 100's grams weight....
Wonder how much a dry-cleaning bag full of H2 can lift to 100k....'
http://balloon.pbwiki.com/Launch Planning
The problem is that as you get higher you need more helium to lift a given weight.

To lift a kilogram to that altitude is not too hard. To lift more than that gets complicated fast. You could use multiple balloons I suppose.

As a point of reference. That launch was $100.00 for the balloon and $150.00 for the helium. Hydrogen is about 1/4 the cost and I'll probably use it next time. We used helium because its safer but you can be safe with hydrogen so long as you follow all the rules and watch out for static!
 

dcshrum

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Nope. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_altitude_record#Unmanned_gas_balloon

In 2002 Japan achieved a new record: an ultra-thin-film balloon named BU60-1 made of polyethylene film 3.4 µm thick with a volume of 60,000 m³ was launched from Sanriku Balloon Center at 6:35 on May 23, 2002. The balloon kept ascending slowly at a speed of 260 m per minute and successfully reached the altitude of 53.0 km (174,000 ft)
 

sailmike

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WOW! I love those photos of the earths surface. Awesome! Thanks for posting them.

Mike
 
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