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

From: Ing. Walter H.
Sent on: Monday, January 7, 2013 12:51 PM
Hi Steve,

hand is up for 'Navigator' !


qualification, means & Q's:

'been practising since I was 11: 'maps can be read like books!' and when I was doing sales I had to coordinate reps driving around all of Austria estimating driving time and making appoint ments.

My computer setup always tends to look like a 'Cape Caneveral home edition', although I'm down to 'only' 1 comp and 2 screens at the moment.

It should be sufficient. It is tested to be just fine thanks to my ex girl friend's mob-nav had a bad habit of  (quite often) giving out at the critical time of homing in on the final destination, landing her in the woods and her calling me desperately.

I've got one mobile phone on an infinite plan to call any mob or land-line and can borrow a second to dedicate for incoming only. So no additional cost fro this. Both are with Vodafone. Out in the 'country' mob's usually cannot connect in quite large areas and the Vodafone Network is the worst outside densely built up areas. (There is a big Vodafone hole between Esk and Gatton and all of north of Esk is really dead, dunno more about the Lockyer Valley) That won't matter given I am stationary in Oxenford but the mobiles in the field should be with Telstra as much as possible.

My guess on a bit more detail on the job description:


from Launch team members:
  • mobile phone
  • IRC chat
  • email
  • ?
from balloon data box:
  • Google Maps,
  • OpenStreetMap ?
  • detailed printed maps of the area? They beat Google by far but I have no access to my big map box at the moment.
Actual wind data:

I guess that's available through aviation website(s). When my brother had his pilot license in the 80's in Austria one could ring dedicated phone numbers that had recordings updated every hour. A nice tidbit on engineering history ;)

Re. regulations on not interfering with flight paths and duty to report:

I remember that anything that will go higher than a few 100m had to be reported to an Austrian government body.  Flight paths above Austria are the busiest Airspace in Europe or perhaps the world and nothing could be launched near a flight path. Dunno regulations in Oz.
in a couple days.

I'm at the moment working at getting ADSL again, as Web on a (USB) -stick is insanely slow / unreliable. It should all be up and working

Can we do a test / training run with the box in or on a car just driving round on normal business and I have a look on the screens at actual data and to see/ learn how to use it efficiently?

. . . all the best!

 - - -

On[masked]:34, Steve Dalton wrote:
---------- 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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