UBSEDS15 balloon launches from Bristol Saturday

UBSEDS balloon envelope

UBSEDS balloon envelope

In March the 434 MHz and APRS balloon UBSEDS14 flew around the northern hemisphere. On Saturday, April 30 a new balloon UBSEDS15 will be launched by the University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. The signal from the balloon may have a range of 400 km so should be receivable across the southern UK.

Richard Meadows M0SBU writes:

Another pico launch from Bristol this Saturday, April 30. The launch will be at 0900 ISH. As before the payload is transmitting on 434.600 MHz USB, with an output power of about +6dBm. Each transmission of Contestia 16/1000 will be preceded by 10 seconds of pips and RSID.

This payload uses solar panels to generate power. Hopefully the transmission rate will be once per minute during the day, and once every two minutes at night (if the payload operates at night). It’s also capable of transmitting APRS packets, but will only do so outside countries where the amateur license is not permitted airborne (like the UK).

It will probably head south quite quickly after launch, so trackers on the south coast are particularly appreciated. More details will appear on the website http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/flights.html

UBSEDS14 tracker payload

UBSEDS tracker payload

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.

UBSEDS on Twitter https://twitter.com/bristolseds

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://tracker.habhub.org/

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

UBSEDS15 Solar Powered Balloon http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2016/04/30/ubseds15.html

UBSEDS14 around the world balloon http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2016/03/07/ubseds14.html

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/

UK student balloon crosses Pacific

UBSEDS14 balloon track as at 19:02 GMT March 17, 2016

UBSEDS14 balloon track as at 19:02 GMT March 17, 2016

On Thursday, March 17 the UBSEDS14 balloon, launched by University of Bristol students, had successfully crossed the Pacific and was above Arizona, having traveled over 24,500 km since launch.

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) the balloon has been transmitting about 5dBm of Contestia 16/1000 on 434.600 MHz USB at 4 minute intervals as well as APRS during its flight at an altitude of about 11,000m.

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/

UBSEDS14 balloon flying across Pacific

UBSEDS14 balloon flight track as at March 14, 2016

UBSEDS14 balloon flight track as at March 14, 2016

On Monday, March 14 the UBSEDS14 balloon, launched by University of Bristol students, passed over Japan and out towards the Pacific, having traveled over 15,497 km since launch.

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) the balloon has been transmitting about 5dBm of Contestia 16/1000 on 434.600 MHz USB at 4 minute intervals as well as APRS during its flight at an altitude of about 11,000m.

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/

UK STEM 434 MHz Balloon Flight to Release Plane

MARS BalloonElysium, a MARS Balloon flight is expected to launch at noon (+/- 1 hour) on Sunday, October 26. The 434 MHz USB signal should cover much of the UK and can also be received world-wide online using the SUWS WebSDR.

The balloon will be launched from the Mendips (51.254, -2.714) and is expected to travel almost directly east for a landing near Basingstoke. The estimated flight time is 135 minutes with a peak altitude of 30 km.

Callsign $$ELYSIUM frequency 434.250 MHz, USB RTTY 50 Baud 560 Hz Shift ASCII-7 no parity 2 stop bits

55 science experiments submitted by 36 schools from across the UK will soar 30 km up into the atmosphere and back. The flight will also contain a plane from Bristol SEDS, activated before launch and to be released at peak altitude, with a separate onboard tracker. Expected to fly further east than Basingstoke.

Callsign $$UBSEDS3 frequency 434.600 MHz LSB RTTY 50 baud 400 Hz shift ASCII-8 no parity 2 stop bits.

Updates on Twitter @marsballoon hashtags #STEM #MARSBalloon
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/marsballoon
Elysium Tracking http://marsballoon.com/elysium-2/
Web http://www.marsballoon.com/

Useful links for tracking and receiving 434 MHz balloons https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Pupils at the King Edward VI Grammar School (KEGS) Chelmsford, Essex are among those who have developed an experiment for MARS Balloon, see @KEGS_engineers

SUWS VHF/UHF/Microwave WebSDR https://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

Silverstone B-64 balloon still flying

Track of the B-64 balloon

Track of the B-64 balloon

The B-64 balloon launched at 06:51 GMT on July 12, 2014 from Silverstone is still in the air flying at just over 12,000 metres and transmitting on 434.500 MHz Contestia 64/1000 and also APRS.

B-64 envelope - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 envelope – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

On Saturday, October 3 Phil Heron MI0VIM reported decoding data while it was over the North Atlantic ocean, coming up to the 6th time it would pass the United Kingdom on it’s continuing journeys around the world.

B-64 was built by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER, he made both the plastic foil envelope and the solar powered transmitter payload which weighs just 11 grams.

Leo has utilised some clever techniques storing positions when the balloon is out of radio contact then later transmitting a log file of previous locations in the comments field of the APRS packet. This enables a fairly complete path to be built up. B-64 only stores 5 days worth of data, where you get a straight line on the track it has been out of radio contact.

See the B-64 track at
http://habhub.org/mt/?focus=B-64

July 31 B-64 completes first journey around the world
https://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/31/434-mhz-balloon-b-64-completes-epic-journey/

Useful balloon links
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams - Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams – Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Help needed to track 144.390 MHz APRS Balloons

James Cutler KF6RFX and Benjamin Longmier KF5KMP - University of Michigan

James Cutler KF6RFX and Benjamin Longmier KF5KMP University of Michigan

Benjamin Longmier KF5KMP and his team are looking for stations in the Azores and Portugal to help track their balloons.

On the UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) group he writes:

My team (Project Aether) launched a balloon recently that did a lap around the Midwest in the US, headed East past Nova Scotia and is still floating strong. We don’t have any contacts in the Azores or Portugal, and are requesting help in contacting some of these folks that might be able to decode our APRS packets.

Tactical callsign: Aeth21-9
APRS track: http://aprs.fi/#!mt=terrain&z=9&call=a%2FAETH21-9&timerange=259200&tail=259200
144.390 MHz FM

We also have two more experimental balloons that will be heading into the Atlantic within ~24hrs.
Tactical callsign: Aeth22-1
APRS track: http://aprs.fi/#!mt=terrain&z=7&call=a%2FAETH22-1%2Ca%2FAETH22-3&timerange=259200&tail=259200
144.390 MHz FM

Tactical callsign: Aeth22-3
APRS track: http://aprs.fi/#!mt=terrain&z=7&call=a%2FAETH22-1%2Ca%2FAETH22-3&timerange=259200&tail=259200
144.390 MHz FM

Thanks for any help!
-Ben
email: longmier at umich.edu

Links to balloon beginners guides and tracking information
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/