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Low-Cost Balloon Launches

Please see our most recent telemetry low-cost research launch

One of our long term goals is to help interested teachers prepare to conduct their own balloon launches.  We have begun testing some low-cost telemetry options in the hopes of finding the ultimate low cost, reliable and readily usable launch platform.

The following is a list of equipment we are considering for launching low cost balloons, along with notes weighing the pros and cons of each item. This is a page used by the near-space balloon team for planning purposes, and is posted here for teachers and students to get an idea of what the equipment selection process involves. We are considering the initial purchase cost of the equipment, any annual fees associated with it, and the perceived risk/reliability of the product.


Balloon Options:

  • One of our stock Kaymont Balloons

  • A smaller Kaymont Balloon


Parachute Options:

  • Store-bought ($)

  • Home-made:

    • cheaper

    • requires a sewing machine

    • can be made to our specifications

    • more time consuming


Wooden Hoop for Parachute:
  • standard, bought from a crafts store


Radar Reflector:

  • Made out of cardboard and reflective foil and made to reflect radar waves, it lets airplanes know that our balloon is there.

  • Super cheap and easy to make


Payload Box:

  • Simple styrafoam box


Telemetry: Here is where things get interesting. The following is a list of a known telemetry devices by others, as well as links to who uses them.


Camera:

  • One of our Canon Cameras, programmed with CHDK


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