Flight #14 - 2005b

The Great Plains Super Launch is to be held on Saturday, 2 July 2005 near Omaha, NE.

Flight Parameters
Launch Date/Time Saturday, 2 July at 8:00am
Alternative Date Sunday, 3 July at 8:00am
Launch Site Treynor High School parking lot (41° 13.9,  95° 34.5'W) in Treynor, IA.
Primary Transmitter / Antenna VX-1R HT running APRS on 144.34MHz / Vertically polarized dipole
Backup Transmitter / Antenna PocketTracker running APRS on 144.34MHz / Horizontally polarized dipole
Balloon / Gas Kaysam 1000gram / 240 cu feet of Helium
Estimated Burst Altitude 89,000' MSL
Estimated Ascent Rate 1200' per minute
Estimated Descent Rate Approx. 1000' per minute at touchdown
Capsule(s) weight 5 lbs 8 oz including parachute, rigging, batteries, etc...
Chase Frequencies 446.52MHz
Balloon Finder Telemetry Mode PT Mode 2.

Flight Results

Unfortunately, we've been having problems with the RF-link between the capsule and the cut-down board.  The link worked fine on the ground for approximately one hour, but failed immediately after launch.  Consequently, the loss of heartbeat caused the cutdown to fire just a few minutes into the flight.

Flight Statistics
Launch Date/Time Saturday, 2 July 2005 at 8:19am.
Launch Site Treynor High School parking lot (41° 13.9,  95° 34.5'W) in Treynor, IA.
Burst Altitude About 3,075 (937m) MSL - Due to cutdown failure
Average Ascent Rate Unknown - not enough data
Measured Descent Rate Unknown - not enough data
Touchdown Site 1 mile northeast of Treynor, IA (41° 15.4482'N, 95° 35.1216'W)
Touchdown Time Saturday, 2 July 2005 at 8:28am
Recovery Time Saturday, 2 July 2005 at 9:45am
Distance Traveled 1 mile (2km) as the crow flies
Total Flight Time 9 minutes

Lessons Learned

  • Don't trust RF link tests done on the ground within close proximity between the transmitter and receiver.
  • When operating multiple transmitters in the vacinity of other balloons, strongly consider running our transmitters on separate frequencies.  We had concerns that we were being walked on by some mis-behaving APRS beacons on other flights.  Diversifing between multiple frequencies would give us a way out in case of a stuck mic key.