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On May 8th, 2017, we assisted with a school launch for Kiser Middle School in Greensboro.  Paul L. had been consulting with them, and Matt Fisher of UNC-G's SELF Design Studio (School of Education), for several months.  The student Kiser Meteorology Club met over the spring to come up with payload and experiment ideas.  They decided upon a box-and-arm rig similar to NSL-29.  The plastic box contained:
   -AP510 APRS tracker
   -TK106 backup tracker
   -Mobius Action Camera wide-angle w/ 3000mAh battery
   -A raw egg !
   -Various souvenirs for the students/staff
   -Outside Hung Compact Rain-Activated Pull-down (just moved over from the NSL-52 box)
   -A Mobius Mini camera with external USB charger was added at the last hour as a backup
   Main payload layout at launch.  Both payload boxes at landing.
A foam-core outrigger arm held the school mascot tiger with an awesome space helmet (flag, microphone,etc).  It also had another raw egg and a thermometer.
Above all of this, was a small plastic box (travel soap holder shown above) with a Mate808 camera and 2000mAh battery.  This camera would show the scene looking down from the perspective of the parachute.  The students then made a 92cm parachute out of rip-stop nylon.  This 1100g system all flew under a 600g cell with 2300g of neck lift from H2.

Attaching the activated payloads to the H2 balloon.    Downward looking Mate808 recording the prep just moments before launch.

Launch from Grimsley High School's football stadium.          Rising up over Greensboro

   WFMY-2 News coverage of launch:

Views of NC from 102,000 feet from the three cameras

Flight compilation video using the primary two cameras

Raw backup camera videos:    Launch        Burst        Landing

Back at Kiser Middle School's Mission Control, the team was able to watch the flight and the two chase cars. Status and images were displayed school-wide via monitors in each classroom.  The flight followed the predicted flight track almost exactly.  As seen in most other flights, it flew much higher than the predicted altitude.  As there were no winds at this upper level, the balloon made a lazy zig-zag over Apex, NC.  The balloon held out to 31227.6m (102,453 feet), giving the chase crew time to catch up.

Burst scenes from the three cameras.  The white cloud is from the talcum-like powder material inside the balloon.

 Coming in to land at Smithfield.  Neuse River below. I-95 in the distance.

The landing was a nail-biter in Mission Control.  It headed straight for the town of Smithfield, but our luck held out.  It ended up landing in one of the only open fields in the area -- just 100m from a northbound train (you can hear it in the video), 500m from busy Interstate 95,  and 1000m from the swampy Neuse River ! 

A moment before a perfect landing... in a perfect landing spot.

The chase crew arrives shortly after landing.  Matt of UNC-G's SELF Design Studio.

  Flight visualization

Ascent rate and temperature info

Paul's flight notes:
The AP510 and TK106 units worked as expected.  It was nice to simply SMS text the TK106 and get a Google Maps link in return.  It made an easy recovery even easier.

The cameras acquired for the flight ended up being wide-angle models of the Mobius and Mate808.  We have had issues with the wide-angle units in the past going out of focus due to temperature.  As a precaution, a third camera was added the morning of the flight.  This was a narrow angled Mobius Mini (used on NSL-52).
We did run into some camera issues.  As feared, the Mate808 went out of focus during the coldest parts of the journey, during ascent and then again at descent.  Thankfully it was working well enough at altitude to catch some fun burst video.  The Mobius Action Camera was a factory defect, it was permanently out of focus.  A replacement camera was purchased and arrived days before the flight.  This one, although programmed with an "auto" white balance, decided to show everything with a strong blue hue.  Perhaps it needs to be set to 'fluorescent lighting' mode for its next flight.   The backup Mobius Mini worked great.

Building an arm out of foam-core seemed ideal.  It was easy to cut and was hot-glued into an 'L' shape to give it strength.  It was plenty rigid and supported the tiger and egg easily.   There was no need for any additional support line to hold it.  Very light weight.

The eggs were fun -- they both survived.  The egg in the center of the payload only experienced freezing conditions for a brief moment.  We placed it in a zip-lock bag in case it ruptured, but it survived just fine.  But it had a strange yellow hue.  Upon inspection, it appears to have been completely scrambled in the shell !   The recovery crew found the external egg intact and freezing cold.  It was apparently frozen solid during ascent.  What is the record for the highest egg drop?

Typically for these public flights, we inflate the H2 balloon for the crowd and then launch.  The Greensboro Fire Department had concerns about inflation in front of a group of impressionable students.  What if something went horribly wrong in front of them?   We agreed that we would inflate the balloon well in advance, before the students were allowed into the area.  And we would keep the teachers/students at least 50ft away from the balloon at all times.  We set up mid-field, inflated, and tied-off to three milk jugs full of water.  Matt stood nearby to fend the balloon as the morning breeze picked up.
We wanted to have the club members launch the balloon, but we couldn't have them underneath it.  So I rigged up a string and stick.  A loop of strapping, used to tie the milk jugs together, was placed over the payload and run through the stick.  The stick was then slid through the handles of the milk jugs.  This worked 
surprisingly well.  At the end of the countdown, the students pulled the string, that slid out the stick, and released the hold-down strap.