High Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio - Burst!

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

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  1. W1TRY

    W1TRY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    First I would like to congratulate the Nashua Area Radio Society on what appears to be an incredibly active club. In this day and age, I was amazed when I checked the web pages to see what else is going on besides the High Altitude Balloon. I considered joining because I'd love to be involved with folks like this, but it's just too far away...sorry to burst your balloon. Keep up the good work!
    N3VQH, WD4IGX, W1GCF and 2 others like this.
  2. AB1ZT

    AB1ZT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks, Fred. It was a great launch and a very educational day for the students that took part. Sorry to see the one negative post.
    N3VQH likes this.
  3. AB1OC

    AB1OC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, our HAB flew to almost 22 miles high on this flight. The ascent took about 2 1/2 hours which is pretty typical for our HAB flights. The pressure was 5 mb (5 millibars is about 0.5% of the pressure on the ground) when the balloon burst - almost a vacuum! The temperature does some interesting things in the Troposphere. We saw temperatures as low as -60C (-76 F) which was at 48,000 ft. The temperature actually goes back up to about freezing at the altitude where the balloon bursts. To keep things light, we use mil-spec electronics, no enclosure, and insulate items like our cameras that need it to function properly. You can read more about our HAB platform here.


    We fly a 1500g balloon which requires about 130 cubic ft of helium to inflate. The balloon is about 7 ft in diameter at launch and is over 30 ft in diameter when it bursts.

    These flights and the classroom preparation with students that we do before each one make great STEM learning projects. We also learn quite a bit about how to improve the experience during each flight.

    Thanks to everyone for taking an interest in what we're doing. Keep the questions coming!
    KA9Q, WD4IGX, W1GCF and 7 others like this.
  4. AB1OC

    AB1OC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I notice that a few folks expressed some interest in our club but are too far away to join us for meetings. We produce a great deal of Amateur Radio training material and we have forums where our members answer questions and mentor. We've created an inexpensive subscription membership so that everyone can have access to our training materials.

    New Internet Subscription Available for Mentoring and Learning!
    The Nashua Area Radio Society is widely recognized for its work in mentoring and development of Amateur Radio skills among members and within our community here in New Hampshire.

    We’ve created a new option to enable Hams and potential Hams to take advantage of our training materials and learning forums here on our website. Our new Internet Subscription is available everyone who lives in the United States and outside of the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts for a small yearly donation which supports our programs.

    Included is Full Access to our extensive online Tech Night Video Training Library and Q&A posting in several of our most popular forums here on our website. You can sign-up or learn more about our Internet Subscription and our Membership Options here.
    W1GCF, AB1QB, W9AFB and 3 others like this.
  5. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Jets spot exploding UFO, no confirmation if alien bodies recovered, suspicion of a cover-up expressed by several online experts".
    KT5WB likes this.
  6. K3BR

    K3BR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Beautiful view of the earth, no?
    PY2RAF likes this.
  7. AB1OC

    AB1OC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The earth views in the video are spectacular for sure. If you look carefully, you can see the coastline in the video.
    W1GCF likes this.
  8. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I always assumed that it got colder and colder going up. It is quite interesting that it gets that cold and then warms back up again. Is that what always happens? or was that an anomaly ?
  9. AB1OC

    AB1OC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is an effect that begins at about 40,000 feet called the Tropopause. This is a point in the troposphere where various cooling and heating effects cancel and the temperature stabilizes at its coldest point. As you go high, the heating effects begin to win out and the temperature goes back up. If we could fly beyond the troposphere, we also see some addition up and down heating and cooling effects.
    VA7UO, W1GCF, WR2E and 1 other person like this.
  10. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would be interesting to see what balloons could contribute to the study of Sporadic E (Es).

    There is not much Sporadic E scientific study, yet some aspects of it are still not well understood.
    The most recent studies have relied on LEO satellites that received 1 GHz GPS signals and recorded variations (phase changes from reflection or distortion) caused by E layer ionization.
    But, Es has much stronger effects in the high HF and low VHF range (20 MHz to 100 MHz).

    Balloons could receive HF or VHF terrestrial (or satellite) signal sources.
    Sources such as Ham radio test signals, or FM radio stations, or TV stations...
    High altitude wind shear patterns could be combined in a the data model.
    These could be correlated with reception data by geographically referenced ground stations.

    Perhaps a combined Amateur Satellite and Amateur Balloon project could contribute to the science of Sporadic E.

    Sporadic E has traditionally peaked in North America in July/August.
    Right now, in mid-June, Sporadic E has been happening almost every day for the past month.
    The Sporadic E seems to be happening earlier in the year recently, perhaps due to climate changes or other factors.
    Es cycles do not tend to correlate very well with the Solar Cycles.

    Current studies have pointed to a fascinating source of Sporadic E: It seems to form due partially to high altitude (thermosphere) meteorite ablations. The tiny meteorite particles are always all around the earth's upper atmosphere (thermosphere), but they tend to collect in "reflective clouds" made of iron ions (and other elements) under certain conditions and temperature differentials. The clouds are in between layers of wind shear up around 70 miles high (112km) in the E layer.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    KJ6SPN, VA7UO, N0TZU and 5 others like this.

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