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high altitude parachute

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dcshrum

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I'm working on my second launch of a high altitude balloon.
You can see the first launch here: http://icbnn.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/launch/

I expect this launch to read about 130,000 Feet. At that altitude I'll be deploying a parachute and I'd like it to be as stable as possible for pictures. I presume I am better off with a single large parachute; as opposed to say three smaller ones. Can someone recommend a VERY lightweight parachute that might fit the bill. Obviously it won't do much at that altitude but I would like it to be as stable as possible and as effective as possible and super light which of course are competing requirements :)

Thanks!
 

abw

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That is incredible! You have definitely piqued my curiosity, so if you don't mind I have a couple nagging questions:
1. What kind of competition is this for?
2. Are their meteorological instruments on board?
3. Do you follow it by car and then retrieve it based on a GPS beacon?
4. How much does it cost to fill up that huge balloon?
5. Do you need an FAA waiver?

Now, for your question: Depending on how heavy your payload is, your best bet would probably be some kind of ripstop nylon parachute. However, since it is so cold that high up fabric might be better since it wouldn't stiffen up, and mylar would work well also, and it would be easy to find once lands. You are indeed probably better off with one large parachute, but depending on the cost of your payload, more parachutes would definitely add redundancy and make it more fail-safe (which is a good thing in aerospace engineering!) In terms of stability, cutting a small spill hole in the parachute greatly increases stability and prevents that annoying side to side swinging effect.
 

dcshrum

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That is incredible! You have definitely piqued my curiosity, so if you don't mind I have a couple nagging questions:
1. What kind of competition is this for?
2. Are their meteorological instruments on board?
3. Do you follow it by car and then retrieve it based on a GPS beacon?
4. How much does it cost to fill up that huge balloon?
5. Do you need an FAA waiver?
1 - Not for competition. Just for fun. You can imagine my wife is thrilled :)
2 - Nope. The canon cameras do have a temperature for the battery and lens. I'm sure you could stick some in for not much money. Altimeters that work at that altitude are kind of pricey though. A thermometer would probably be easy to do.
3 - Yes. We have a GPS that transmits position data over a walmart voice radio and we follow it along in flight.
4 - Helium is maybe $150.00 or something like that. Hydrogen would be much cheaper and I may use that for the next flight.
5 - That would be far101. The short version is that so long as your payload is under 6 lbs and you launch away from people and property no.

Most of the details on the first build are there. The second build will be lighter in preparation for later launches.

Is there a parachute you might recommend I can just buy?

Thanks!
 

FROB

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kandsrockets

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I'm working on my second launch of a high altitude balloon.
You can see the first launch here: http://icbnn.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/launch/

I expect this launch to read about 130,000 Feet. At that altitude I'll be deploying a parachute and I'd like it to be as stable as possible for pictures. I presume I am better off with a single large parachute; as opposed to say three smaller ones. Can someone recommend a VERY lightweight parachute that might fit the bill. Obviously it won't do much at that altitude but I would like it to be as stable as possible and as effective as possible and super light which of course are competing requirements :)

Thanks!
I have some light weight rip-stop and can make you a chute that is stable and light. Drop me a PM with the weight of your payload that the chute needs to carry and what descent rate you want it to drop.
 

dcshrum

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The payload will be at or under 1050 grams. The descent rate should be 3 to 5 meters/second. I'd like the weight to be under 100 grams.

This is what I used last time. It worked fine but will swing around quite a bit.

http://kaymont.com/pages/parachutes.cfm

I'll send a pm with my email.
 

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