Hi UMSF users,
Just to say that we are planning a long duration balloon flight to be launched this Saturday (13/2/10) from EARS, Cambridgeshire, UK at 15:00UTC. The flight is part of a series of flights to test ballast tank concepts which will eventually be used on a trans-atlantic flight that we are in the process of designing and constructing. Unlike normal flights (up, burst, down) we'll attempt to get the balloon to float at an altitude of ~ 20km by placing a pinhole vent in the balloons neck and also careful launch to correspond with sunset once we reach altitude. Once the payload achieves float it will test the ballast tanks releasing 100ml out of a total of 500mls, this should cause the payload to start ascending again and will either continue to burst or resume floating just at a higher altitude (and then we'll dump again) therefore providing some more info into this phenomenon of floating but more importantly showing that the tanks and pump work in this extreme environment.
Downlink will be in the form of a 434.073Mhz 10mW transmitter which will be broadcasting RTTY (50baud, 350shift, ASCII-8, no parity, 1.5stop) data including position, altitude, ascent rate, float time, internal temperature, pump temperature, external temperature, external light intensity and ballast volume. There will also be a backup beacon broadcasting CW on 434.075Mhz.
Current forecasts have the balloon traveling W from Cambridge then turning S passing into the channel above Portsmouth and then onto France.
As in previous flights if you want to follow the flight the track will be displayed on http://spacenear.us/tracker and chat will be on #highaltitude on irc.freenode.net
If anyone has a a 70cm SSB capable radio roughly along the flight path and would like to help out please get in touch as we need as many listeners as possible especially in France - I'm sure Doug will be listening - attempting to break his last Rx record of 420km
For more information see http://www.pegasushabproject.org.uk/wiki/d...lo:ballasthalo4 , at the bottom of the page is the current flight trajectory. Updates will also be on twitter http://twitter.com/jamescoxon