Author Archives: admin - Page 2

Science/payload ideas for future balloon flights

I would like to invite anyone to provide some ideas of what we should be measuring on our next planned balloon flights. We would like to spend our energy & efforts on something that will provide valuable information to the science community.

If you think you have an idea that we should consider, leave a comment and we’ll get back to you!

New project is happening!

Our second HAB project is happening!  We are slowly getting our thoughts in a row,  we have some very ambitious goals but I am sure that we will be successful.

Flight date is set for October 4, coinciding with World Space Week, as well as the launch date anniversary of Sputnik-1 (“спутник-1″) in 1957.

Watch this space for more information in the coming weeks and months.  


3d printing service? & payload design ideas

Can anyone recommend a (local) 3d printing service?

I have an idea of 3d printing a subframe for the flight computer and to mount two (or maybe one, depending on the outcome of my tests) servos and a processor for balloon and chute release components.

Other subframes can then be mounted below the main subframe to carry the sensor pack, telemetry, APRS, etc… some sort of modular HAB payload design.

Since the first flight, I have spent a lot of time thinking about optimising and simplifying and incorporating changes from the lessons learned during the first flight.  Something which I would really like to test, is multiple payloads on one balloon, so that at certain altitudes, secondary payloads are released, each with its own chute, and then the primary payload can reach for the skies and hopefully set an altitude record or something.  By using simple subframes this will be quite easy, as you can design identical modular blocks (secondary payload subframes), each with its own customisable internals, all interlocking onto each other and then deploy them on different altitudes.

Well,  I’ll keep on dreaming for a while until reality kicks in…….









Flight Map

Due to the early deploying of the main chute, the payload covered quite a distance before touching down.

flight map_

Flight day photos: 30 November 2013

Here are some photos of our first flight. we were able to successfully recover the payload, although we had some technical issues.







Now why is it not working?

… Two days before launch date!



The simplest DIY Geiger radiation detector ever

Completed sensor pack hardware


Progress… at last

Seems like everything is slowly coming together for our first flight, due in 3 weeks!

The LiPo battery of the sensor pack seems to be perfect – lasts for 9 hours in the freezer.  Temperature in the freezer settled at -26 deg C, which, for testing purposes, I am quite happy with.

The parachute is being contstructed this week and the release mechanism was completed by Christo,  Willie built and programmed the release computer,  and I am doing some last minute changes.

Gert spent time building a VHF & UHF antenna with good success.  I am still thinking about my sensor pack UHF antenna, but it will definitely be a simple design.

So now I have to write a few more lines of code…


Battery pack testing

Call me! - SecundaWeather:

» Get Skype, call free! Did a battery pack test last night.  The Lipo battery lasted more than 10 hours!  Planning to run another test tonight, this time in the freezer.

I have also been working on small software changes, streamlining the development code.

Cheers and enjoy the weekend!