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Science presentation at Morgan Elementary.

Flight #35 - 2019a

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. 









Flight Parameters


Launch Date/Time Wednesday March 20th at 9:30am (14:30Z).  Plan on meeting at 8:30am to prepare.  
Alternative Date n/a  
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

  • 20 second delays below 4,000m
  • 30 second delays above 25,000m
  • Otherwise 45 second delays.
  • Path is disabled above 2,000m MSL.

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

  • 55 seconds during entire flight
  • Path is disabled above 2,000m MSL.

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

  • 40 seconds during entire flight

Camera: GoPro


Capsule 4 (Track)

(WARC-Club Designed)


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

  • 30 second delays below 5,000m
  • 45 second delays above 25,000m
  • Otherwise 60 second delays.
  • Path is disabled above 1,457m MSL.

Repeater: Raspberry Pi Fusion repeater 445.400-.  
(Note the unusual offset frequency - Preprogram your Fusion radios for 440.400Tx/445.400Rx)

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)  




Flight Results

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





Photo Highlights




Tracking Predictions

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.


Flight prediction for March 19th.

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.


Flight prediction for March 18th.


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.


Flight prediction for March 17th.

16 March 2019

Other than a generally eastward track, the predictions for 2019a continue to fluctuate every day.  


Flight prediction for March 16th.

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.


Flight prediction for March 15th.

12 March 2019


Flight prediction for March 12th.

11 March 2019

The flight predictions hooked back to the north, landing near El Dorado.  Surface weather is promising sunny skies, and comfortable temperatures.


Flight prediction for March 11th.

10 March 2019

Today was the first day of using the GFS 0-240 model.  The predictions took a sharp turn to the south.


Flight prediction for March 10th.

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.


Flight prediction for March 8th.

5 March 2019

Initial track is pushing northeast at low-speed, landing near Marion, KS.

Flight prediction for March 5th.