Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weather Balloon

Completely unrelated to Guv'nor's new weather station, Daughter was on the team that had a science project at school to launch a weather balloon. So we went up to the school that morning to watch the launch.

Science Teacher had bought the weather balloon from High Altitude Science. So if you want more information you can contact them.

It seemed like the entire school came out on the lawn that morning to watch the launch, along with a few parents like us.

The balloon had a GPS tracker, so we could all watch where it went. It disappeared for awhile because it went too high to track. Then when the balloon popped and it parachuted down it showed up again on the tracking.

Teacher and the balloon team followed the tracking to a densely wooded area about 50 miles to the southeast. After contacting the landowner for permission, they trudged through the woods for about four hours looking for the orange box. Unfortunately, their cell phone service was poor out in the woods so they knew they were close but couldn't find it.

They returned a few days later with better GPS equipment and went straight to the spot and found the orange box on the ground. The balloon and parachute were not attached, so it appeared the box somehow got detached. A quick analysis showed that the balloon had reached 60,000 feet.

The launch site was in the middle of a practice field.

Most of the school came out to watch.

Some parents came to watch as well.

One of the most expensive parts to the project was the helium.

The students held the balloon down with a sheet just to make sure it didn't get away too early.

The payload was in a small box covered with orange duct tape.

There was a camera and an experiment attached to the payload.

Attaching the payload

The balloon was released just before countdown.


Within a few seconds it was out of sight.

The weather balloon team

The payload was found in a densely wooded area.

I haven't quite worked out how to upload a video, so here's my first try.

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