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Greetings. I'm an avid reader of N&V, but new to this forum. I have an idea I'd like to bounce off you all. I have never launched a "near space" balloon, but it is an interesting activity. One thing that holds me back is the risk of equipment loss and the difficulty in retrieving the payload. It seems to me that the retrieval would be much easier if there was a group of people who were willing to track and retrieve the payloads for one another. This would require some radio receiving gear. It might not require any investment for amateur radio operators who have VHF/UHF gear, especially those who work satellites. It would be helpful if the near space experimenters adopted one or two standard beacon frequency bands. I know little about this whole subject. Is the creation of a tracking/retrieval network feasible?
I know even less about near space (but enjoy readingFrankH wrote:It would be helpful if the near space experimenters adopted one or two standard beacon frequency bands. I know little about this whole subject. Is the creation of a tracking/retrieval network feasible?
the column in NandV). There are frequencies called ISM bands
that are unlicensed. These would be ideal for
your beacon needs, assuming that near space fans
haven't already got themselves organized with your
idea of RDF (Radio Direction Finding) for recovery.
With modern electronics the Tx would be both small
and lightwieght, important for ballon lifts. With simple
data modulation the Tx could also identify the owner
of the payload and his or her cell phone number.
Perhaps the near space fans should step forward?
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