The Flight 2019a will be held for the Morgan Elementary School 6th grade class. Before the launch, students will be given classroom exposure to the concept of near-space travel, including demonstrations in a vacuum chamber.
Table of Contents
|Launch Date/Time||Wednesday March 20th at 9:30am (14:30Z). Plan on meeting at 8:30am to prepare.|
|Launch Site||Morgan Elementary School (38.0845N, -97.9341W)|
Capsule 1 (Track)
Tracker: ArduinoTrack with RadioMetrix 300mW transmitter signing W0ZC-11.
Beaconing: Time-based delay
Camera: Canon A570IS camera running CHDK and dash-cam camera pointed up.
Capsule 2 (Track)
Tracker: ptFlex with DRA818V 700mW transmitter signing W0ZC-13.
Beaconing: Time-based delay
Sensor: SHTC-3 Outside Air Temperature and Relative Humidity.
Camera: Dual stereoscopic dash cams looking horizontally.
Capsule 3 (Track)
Tracker: Habduino, built by Dillon from Wichita State University. The transmitter is signing KE0TGR-11.
Beaconing: Time-based delay
Capsule 4 (Track)
Tracker: ArduinoTrack with RadioMetrix 300mW transmitter transmitter signing W0SOE-11. Capsule designed and built by the WARC group from Wichita, KS.
Beaconing: Altitude-based delay
Repeater: Raspberry Pi Fusion repeater 445.400-.
|Recovery / Misc
||Parachute and misc rigging.||0.30kg|
|Total Flight Weight||Total neck weight on the balloon.||2.76kg|
|Balloon / Gas||1200g Kaymont with 5.4cu meters (190cu ft) Helium. Neck lift (4.4kg) / Net lift (1.6kg)|
|Estimated Burst Altitude||29,874m MSL (98,011')|
|Estimated Ascent Rate||5.3 m/s (1040'/min)|
|Estimated Descent Rate||6.6 m/s (1300'/min)|
|Chase Frequencies||446.100MHz / Pi Fusion repeater 445.400-|
|NOTAM Filed||High Altitude Balloon 5W of KHUT, southeast bound reaching Flight Level 600 from March 20 at 1430Z to March 20 1700Z. (#03/048)|
|Launch Date/Time||Wednesday March 20th at 9:30am (14:30Z)|
|Launch Site||Morgan Elementary School (38.084N, -97.934W)|
|Burst Altitude||30,051m (98,592') MSL|
|Average Ascent Rate||
4.53m/s (892 ft/min)
|Measured Descent Rate||7.30m/s (1,437 ft/min) at touchdown|
|Touchdown Site||37.389N, -97.141W (4 km north of Udall, KS)|
|Touchdown Time||Wednesday March 20th at 11:50am (16:50Z)|
|Recovery Time||Wednesday March 20th at 12:10am (17:10Z)|
|Distance Traveled||104km (65mi)|
|Total Flight Time||2 hours, 20 minutes|
|Downloads||W0ZC-11 Log, Flight Path (KML), Analysis Spreadsheet, Winds Aloft Forecast|
Showing one of the flight capsules.
Comparing the altitudes of things above the sea level.
Giving a class presentation about atmosphere and weather balloons.
Showing a latex balloon like the one we will be flying on the 20th.
The W0ZC-13 capsule which will be on the bottom of the flight string.
A close up of the new ptFlex board. The small board to the left is a filter board for the Qwiic I2C connector. I was having some GPS lock issues with one of the sensor boards (not being flown on 2019a).
The dual down-facing video cameras. They are fixed in position, with the hopes of generating some stereoscopic video.
This is the W0ZC-11 capsule, which will be on top.
One (of two) ArduinoTrack trackers that will be flying. It has a new firmware release on it being tested which fixes a couple of bugs.
The tried and true Canon CHDK still camera.
The upward facing dash cam on the top package.
Recovery near Udall, KS. The landing site was about 1/8 mile off of the highway in a plowed field.
A large portion of the balloon came back with this flight.
Capsules all laid out neatly.
Preparing the capsules before starting to fill.
Explaining the process to the Morgan school.
Prepping the balloon for fill.
Checklists are important!
Nearing complete fill.
Moving the payloads into launch position.
Lift off from Morgan School.
Just before burst around 95,000'.
Clouds and their shadows.
Coming down south of Wichita.
The last photo from the onboard still is just before touchdown. A large chunk of the balloon can be seen falling just above the payloads.
19 March 2019
Tomorrow's weather still looks great for the flight. I adjusted the ascent rate to match the final package weights, bringing it down to about 5.3m/s. Surface weather is calling for 3C, with light winds out of the west-northwest.
18 March 2019
Other than the anomaly we had on the 16th, it looks like the trend is to head towards Wichita, bursting somewhere over the city, and then falling to the south-southeast. Surface weather is still forecast to be cloudy to partly-cloudy with nice temperatures topping out around 14C during the day. Surface winds are forecast to be light out of the northwest.
17 March 2019
The prediction turned south again. It should begin to stabilize this week, but it appears that we're right on the edge of a front passing through on Tuesday. The flight path will be largely dependent on the timing of that front. Surface weather has changed from sunny to partly cloudy, but still very nice, seasonal weather for the launch.
16 March 2019
Other than a generally eastward track, the predictions for 2019a continue to fluctuate every day.
15 March 2019
Tonight's predictions are putting the landing site dangerously close to Wichita. If these predictions held, we would extend the flight by under-filling the balloon. The surface weather is looking very favorable to a chase and recovery.
12 March 2019
11 March 2019
The flight predictions hooked back to the north, landing near El Dorado. Surface weather is promising sunny skies, and comfortable temperatures.
10 March 2019
Today was the first day of using the GFS 0-240 model. The predictions took a sharp turn to the south.
8 March 2019
I'm still working with the long-range GFS 240-384 model which is less accurate, but the general trend is for a relatively short chase east.
5 March 2019
Initial track is pushing northeast at low-speed, landing near Marion, KS.