UK student balloon flies around the world

UBSEDS14 balloon track as at 1300 GMT March 21, 2016

UBSEDS14 balloon track as at 1300 GMT March 21, 2016

On Monday, March 21, 2016 the UBSEDS14 balloon, launched by University of Bristol students, completed its circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere.

UBSEDS14 balloon envelope

UBSEDS14 balloon envelope

The University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UBSEDS) launched their balloon on Monday, March 8. Powered by a single AA Lithium Energiser Battery (LR91).

During the flight at an altitude of about 11,500m the balloon has been transmitting telemetry data at 4 minute intervals using 5 dBm output of Contestia 16/1000 on 434.600 MHz USB. Each telemetry packet is preceded by 10 seconds of 1Hz pips for manual alignment and a RSID tone for automatic alignment with suitable software. Additionally the payload has the capability for 144 MHz APRS.

UBSEDS14 tracker payload

UBSEDS14 tracker payload

The balloon has a diameter of 1.5m and the payload weighs just 21.3 grams. Despite the weight constraints the team have managed to employ sophisticated Geofencing technology to prevent the balloon transmitting when over certain countries and also to select different APRS frequencies depending on the territory being overflown.

UBSEDS14 information is available at
http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2016/03/07/ubseds14.html

UBSEDS14 balloon launch
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2016/march/ubseds14_balloon_launches_today.htm

Useful High Altitude Balloon Links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

One of the students involved in the project is Richard Meadows M0SBU. He took the amateur radio courses run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) at Danbury in Essex. Further information on the courses is available from the CARS Training Manager
Email: training2016 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://g0mwt.org.uk/training

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

A free booklet is available aimed at introducing newcomers to the hobby that can also be used as a handy reference while getting started, see
http://rsgb.org/main/get-started-in-amateur-radio/alex-discovers-amateur-radio-2/