On Thursday at about 6:30 the Sugar Salem High Altitude Research Team launched a weather balloon. The altitude it reached was around 85,000 to 90,000 feet above sea level. That is more than twice as high as airlines fly and is in near space like conditions. Our payload consisted of two boxes that contained two GPS tracking devices (APRS and Spot), two still cameras two action cameras, a data logger, 8 hand warmers, a parachute, and all our hopes and dreams. We had spent the last few months preparing by doing things such as hacking the software on the cannon cameras, programming the data logger and putting together the APRS tracking system. Things went really well for the first launch. The following are things to work on for next time.
1. Our best camera wasn’t started correctly and didn’t take any pictures.
2. Our action camera facing the balloon did not charge properly the night before and died after 13 minutes.
3. We overfilled the balloon and it did not reach our target altitude before it burst.
4. Our APRS tracker battery died on the decent at 20,000 feet.
5. Our data logger recorded a temperature of -60 degrees Fahrenheit at about 60,000 feet and decided to quit. (If I was in that environment I would quite too.)
6. We ran out of helium before the balloon was full and the BYU-Idaho physics department saved us by sharing some of theirs. (Who was suppose to calculate that, anyway?)
On the way down it passed over quite a few of my students house and landed in a pasture. We where going to go retrieve it after school but could not wait because we where to excited, so I got someone to watch my first hour class and we went and got it.
Thanks to Mr. Romrell and his students for sharing these amazing images and video with us!