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Fwd: [HSBNE] High Altitude Balloon Launch - help needed!

From: Steve D.
Sent on: Saturday, January 5, 2013 11:34 PM
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Spoz" <[address removed]>
Date: 5 Jan[masked]:25
Subject: [HSBNE] High Altitude Balloon Launch - help needed!
To: <[address removed]>

As many of you know I've spent the last six months working on a high altitude balloon for a local Brisbane band.

Finally, after a huge amount of work building, coding and learning new skills, not only from myself but from other members (Special thanks to Luke H and Leon for coding assistance!) we are gearing up for a test launch on Sat 19th or Sun 20th of Jan. At this stage the plan is to launch at a location TBD about 1.5- 2 hours west of Brisbane (perhaps Oakey or outside Toowoomba) and we're aiming for a 5am departure from Brisbane.

While I've built it largely on my own I can't launch it without help, so I'm now calling for volunteers to assist...

There are a number of tasks that need doing and I'd really appreciate any help I can get. They are as follows:
  • Launch crew!
    • We'll need at least a couple of people to handle the balloon into position and make sure it doesn't fall over etc.
    • Someone in charge of the filling would be nice. We may be using hydrogen gas. In that event the person filling would be 10m away and also supervise to ensure that safety protocols are being followed. 
    • During the balloon flight we will be tracking the balloon and broadcasting the data live to a webpage. This is a multi-person job. After launch, the launch crew would find jobs helping to man the antennas to ensure they are aligned to the balloon and operating the receivers to monitor any glitches or bugs. A person dedicated to navigation would also be a huge help in directing the driver of the chase car in the general direction of the balloon.
    • Recovery - this will probably involve walking through a big field or river looking for a little box. With a bit of luck we'll have it's GPS coordinates to make the search easier. Whoever finds it gets a beer!
  • Pre-launch construction
    • I still need to build a suitable rig for filling the balloons. If anyone wants to put their hand up to assist with this, that would be awesome. It's just a bit of plumbing work with electrical anti-static tabs on it, but I'm running out of time to source the parts and assemble it myself.
    • Website coding and prettying. I don't expect to get any volunteers for this but if you can swing a keyboard and want to tidy up our webpage at that would be awesome!

So, if I can get a show of hands of those interested I'll try to assemble a team of 5 or so people. If you can assist I'll do as much as I can to show my appreciation, including organising car pooling and reimbursing for fuel and food :)

Feel free to come along and stickybeak too, photos and videos of the process would be great to have.


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