High Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio - Burst!

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AB1OC, Jun 11, 2019.

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  1. AB1OC

    AB1OC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ever wonder what happens when a High-Altitude Balloon Bursts at altitude? The Nashua Area Radio Society sent a HAB to 115,000 ft this past Sunday. The Balloon carried a 2m APRS transmitter and a couple of cameras. Click on the video above to see the burst! You can read more here.

    Fred, AB1OC
    Nashua Area Radio Society
    K2TCB, K3GM, KA9Q and 16 others like this.
  2. NU4R

    NU4R Ham Member QRZ Page

    How do balloon-ite "experimenters" even reasonably assure one of your "experiments" doesn't interfere with commercial aviation? Or, any other form of aviation but, my concern is that your "experiment" "interacts" inappropriately with an aircraft in the worst possible way!

    Are ya' just hoping for the best or, maybe this simply isn't a part of your "experiments" equation?

    Considering your QTH's proximity to BOS and knowing the airways as I do, I at least hope you're keeping your local F.A.A. District Office informed of your high altitude antics!

    Can you tell I'm not even remotely impressed OM?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was wondering where those "Coney Island White Eels" that were hanging in my trees came from!
    KF5FEI likes this.
  4. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ballooning, and High Altitude Ballooning is a hobby that has been around for years. Ballooning was, in fact, the beginning of aviation. There are FAA rules that must be followed, which includes notification.

    It's not "antics" any more than ham radio is "antics".
    K2TCB, N3VQH, VA7UO and 13 others like this.
  5. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was curious too, and found the answer on a slide on their High Altitude Balloon Project web page. -> "Notify FAA per Federal Aviation Rules Part 101"

    W5MIL and KD8YZD like this.
  6. N3FAA

    N3FAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The simple fact of the matter is...they don't. But neither do the weather balloons / surveillance balloons launched by various official agencies. Neither do the people who let mylar party balloons go, etc.

    It truly is the big sky theory in full effect. But with the appropriate and required notification, at least aircraft can be given a general warning by ATC. And a lot of the bigger balloons expand to the size of a football field or larger at commercial aircraft altitudes, so they can definitely be seen and avoided.

    [EDIT] I should also note that some of the larger balloon projects (i.e. Google Loon or some Universities) include transponders on their balloons, so they can be seen by ATC, and aircraft TCAS.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    N3VQH, WB8CTC, W5MIL and 1 other person like this.
  7. KE4YMX

    KE4YMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    i'm impressed about the balloon and people getting out there doing something constructive.. i'm kinda bummed about the negativity out there.
    K5MO, K2TCB, K1XS and 28 others like this.
  8. W9KEY

    W9KEY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's almost 22 miles high! Just how long does it take to "float" down after the balloon bursts?
    What is the total mission time and helium cost for a balloon of that size?

    Temperature environment must be an issue at that altitude - not only is it obviously very cold, but air pressure is so low that normal convection cooling of the electronics probably doesn't occur as expected. Am guessing you use a lightweight, materiel with good thermal properties (Styrofoam cooler, perhaps??). Do you have to heat the payload compartment to keep everything working, or use a circulating fan to stir what little air there is?
  9. WB8ELK

    WB8ELK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been flying high altitude balloons for 32 years now with no incidents with aircraft. The FAA regulations permit 6 pounds of payload (total of 12 pounds) without having to file for a waiver. I also have a balloon burst video I filmed 15 years ago. It is amazing to see how they burst at peak altitude.

    - Bill Brown WB8ELK
    N3VQH, KB2F, WY7YL and 6 others like this.
  10. AB1OC

    AB1OC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    On the questions of flight safety. First, we file a NOTAM (a flight plan) with the FAA so that they can advise us of any conflicts with other traffic. The flight path prediction software that we use is quite accurate so we can do this effectively. I was also one the phone with an FAA flight controller 5 mins before we launch so we could both ensure that there would not be any conflicts. Lastly, the approach we take is to use a very lightweight platform which weights under 4 lbs. Technically, the FAA does not require a NOTAM to be filed if the setup is under 3 lbs but we do it anyway for safety reasons. The NOTAM system has screens to accommodate High Altitude Balloon flights and the controllers are very accommodating towards these flights.
    K2TCB, N3VQH, VA7UO and 28 others like this.

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