The RIT Amateur Radio club has constructed a high-altitude balloon to be launched on Imagine RIT weekend, May 7.
Why build a HAB?
- Amateur radio high altitude ballooning (ARHAB) is one of the cutting edge ham radio activities
- Sometimes the process is more rewarding than the end result
- A well engineered, simple, and modular HAB payload design does not currently exist.
- Open source avionics code and full construction documentation published on the Internet.
- It's fun!
Balloon StatsThe meterological balloon is filled with helium:
- Volume at launch = 160 cubic feet
- Volume at burst = 115,000 cubic feet
How do we track it?We use the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) to send GPS positions over ham radio.
- A network of ham radio operators around the country can receive signals from the balloon and either repeat or public them to the Internet.
- Tracking team members can receive the signal directly to view GPS position.
- When close enough, there is a loud audio buzzer flashing lights which initiate after a time limit or when a “cut- down” command is sent.
What is Near Space?Near space is an area of the Earth's atmosphere between 65,000 – 350,000 feet in altitude
- Temperatures as low as -60° F
- Up to 99% vacuum of space
- Cosmic radiation 100x than sea level
- Curvature of the Earth and the black of space in easily visible