NearSys 11M

Near space is the poorman's space program. It permits you to fly experiments into a space like environment for a faction of the cost of a satellite launch. This forum is where Nuts and Volts readers can share information and data from near space missions - both past flights and those under preparation.

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Paul Verhage
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NearSys 11M

Post by Paul Verhage » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:48 pm

This weekend I launched my 98th high altitude weather balloon. This launch was a demonstration for the Columbia MO. radio club and the 4H. Along with my trackers was ROBOMO, the Missouri Robot Club in St. Louis. The mission reached 88,862 feet and managed to land near the Ozarks. Unfortunately, it was too close. Recovery crews spent about an hour trying to pull down a tree branch that kept the near spacecraft some 50 feet off the ground.

I'll update my webpage soon so N&V readers can see the flight data.

The next flight is scheduled for mid-October at the Kansas City Scout Jamboree.

Onwards and Upwards

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VernGraner
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Re: NearSys 11M

Post by VernGraner » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:29 pm

Paul Verhage wrote:This weekend I launched my 98th high altitude weather balloon.
Do you happen to have a link to any pictures? I think we'd all love to see 'em! :cool:

Vern
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Vern Graner

Paul Verhage
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Re: NearSys 11M

Post by Paul Verhage » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:28 am

I've attached one recovery image from this mission from Mike moody of the St. Louis robot club (robomo.com). The flight reached 88,800 feet and recovered on the top of a tree. Because of the parachute, balloon, and lightweight nature of the flight train, a near spacecraft tends to drape over the crown of a tree. And if you've ever climbed a tree before, you know the top branches can get too thin to climb into. That is if you can even get to the lowest branches in the first place. In this case, the lowest branches were far too high for us to reach. I suppose the woods were dense enough that there is no incentive for the tree to produce branches and leaves that close to the ground. This recovery zone is near the Ozarks, so it's getting pretty woody.

To recover the payload, we used a wrist rocket designed to put antennas up in trees. Don, one of our chase crews had experience with this system and managed to place the fishing line over the near spacecraft. We then used the line to pull parachute cord over the near spacecraft and then used the cord to pull mountaineering rope back over. With four guys and a tree to act as a ratchet, we were able to break one branch and bring the near spacecraft back down to earth. The entire process took over an hour. During that hour, the audio locator beacon on the near spacecraft was running. It is such a pain to have to listen to a 80 dB alarm for over an hour. Perhaps I need a way to shut it off remotely.

More images and reports to follow. Oh, and so far, no signs of poison ivy!!

Onwards and Upwards
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