[Space] space is hard, let's go shopping!

Adam Fritzler mid at zigamorph.net
Mon Dec 21 22:26:33 UTC 2009

On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 1:13 PM, miloh <froggytoad at gmail.com> wrote:

> These ideas are coming from my completely naiveĀ  standpoint, I would like to
> gain more insight, so if anyone on the list has reading references please
> post links or wikify them on noisebridge.net

Not specific to those items, but you were mentioned building a reading
list in general for balloon launches. Here's a start, just quickly
browsing through my bookmarks:

- http://weather.uwyo.edu/polar/balloon_traj.html  # the very useful
Wyoming balloon trajectory forecaster. This integrates weather data
and forecasts from NOAA to provide detailed prediction of where your
balloon will burst and where the payload will land. NOAA puts out new
predictions every 12h.  (Nothing to actually read, but put in some
numbers and load up google earth for some good ol' nerd fun.)

- http://space.1337arts.com/hardware  # the famous ultracheap "those
MIT guys" experiment. Also they have a 5-page PDF of step by step how
to launch a cheap balloon and recover it. (Their next goal is getting
over the Atlantic, btw.)

- http://vpizza.org/~jmeehan/balloon/  # one guy's experience with
recovering a simple balloon with a rather complicated payload (a
Soekris board). He launched (scarily) from the bay area (newark, right
under SJC departures).

- http://www.tapr.org/aprs.html  # resources for APRS, the part of
packet ham radio targeted for location beacons.  (BTW the new Hamcram
licensing event is on 9 Jan if you're interested in getting your ham
radio license or upgrading to a General license.)

- http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=101  # These are very
compact, if a little pricey, devices that include both GPS receiver
and satellite transmitter, and have a very long battery life.  They're
designed for backcountry hikers and such, but they're very durable and
would likely survive the drop.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6PSbUl_68k  # Big(ish) budget, yes,
but having HD video of a chair being lifted to significant altitude
brings the amount of turbulence you'll expect at each altitude into
the realm of human intuition.  Be sure to watch the very end of the
video, where the balloon bursts.  ("making of" video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WFEyUU9l60&NR=1 )


Adam Fritzler
( mid at zigamorph.net )
( http://www.zigamorph.net/~mid/ , http://www.flickr.com/photos/midendian/ )

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