These were our 3rd and 4th flights of the 2015 Global Space Balloon Challenge
CONGRATULATIONS TO BLESSED SACRAMENT SCHOOL FOR
WINNING 3RD PLACE FOR "EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE"
On April 25, 2015 we performed a simultaneous launch of two 600g balloons with student payloads. Blessed Sacrament School had been working with Paul on these flights for several months and the Burlington Mini Maker Faire was excited to host the event.
NSL-37 KD4BFP-8 Smallish styrofoam cooler with outrigger. Payload/chute weight ~950g. Contained Mobius wide-angle camera, upward pointing 808 #16 lens-D camera, Spot, AP510 APRS transmitter, student projects inside, and a small party balloon and school mascot on the outrigger. We used ~3500g of lift.
NSL-38 KD4BFP-9 Large styrofoam cooler. Payload/chute weight ~1100g. Contained Mobius wide-angle camera, downward pointing 808 #16 lens-B camera, Spot Trace, AP510 APRS transmitter, student projects inside. We used ~3650g of lift.
Paul acted as consultant throughout the project. Chris brought his expertise to the event to help with launch and to provide technical assistance to the chase teams. Student teams managed communications, Mission Control, payload, launch, chase, etc. The students and teachers chose to go with a Hydrogen (renewable resource) public launch, so they set up a safety perimeter and had dedicated safety officers and procedures. The adults handled the actual Hydrogen fill. It drizzled through the entire fill and launch. Using a cool technique that Tanner picked up from launches at a Boy Scout Jamboree, we set up crisscross guy lines to hold each balloon until the simultaneous release.
Chris' Launch video Ascent from NSL-38
We got lucky measuring the gas fill and both balloons rose at almost the same amounts over the ascent. They were under 5km apart horizontally, and NSL-37 was only about 1.2km higher when it burst.
NSL-37, although a lighter payload, burst first. Animated GIF Downward camera of NSL-38 showing moon at burst
Sadly, the main HD Mobius camera on NSL-38 wasn't activated before launch. Also, due to all of NC being very overcast (rain), the earth photos are complete white-outs. The soaking wet payloads and balloons were soon covered in ice as the rain drops froze.
NSL-37 an early parachute tangle lead to a fast landing. The smaller payload stayed warmer.
NSL-38 had a larger internal cavity, so there was more room for cold air to rush in, especially during descent.
Rocket and balloon enthusiasts often joke about how their equipment is attracted to trees. A last moment fouling of the parachute, lead NSL-38 into a stand of woods instead of a nice open field beside a road.
APRS reception plots courtesy of Ray KC4VTX. These show some of the receiving stations for the telemetry packets during the flight. Although our two transmitters were ~1 Watt, they were easily received far away because of the high altitudes.