Project Horus High altitude balloon project

20Nov/101

Launch announcement: Horus 11

We'll be launching Horus 11 at 12:00 noon local time (01:30 UTC) on Sunday the 21st of November. As previously mentioned, Horus 11 will be flying a video payload for Perth based artist Jason Hansma.

The balloon will be trackable online at http://spacenear.us/tracker/, for those interested in assist with decoding telemetry, instructions are available on the tracking page.

Landing predictions are looking favourable

As in Horus 10, we'll have a live video stream of launch preparations available on the tracker (thanks Darkside!) :)

Update: The flight or Horus 11 went brilliantly - the full write-up is available online here!

Filed under: Launch 1 Comment
17Nov/100

Horus 10 successfully launched & recovered

Despite mother nature's challenges we successfully recovered Horus 10, launch on Monday the 15th of November. The flight was intended to be a small one to test our offline prediction software, which (asides from a small bug - now fixed) worked very well, giving us an excellent prediction of the landing site - right in a very inaccessible conservation park. Without the help of some kind locals we would have been unable to recover it - we were very fortunate! :)

The full writeup is available here. :)

Filed under: Launch No Comments
14Nov/100

An impromptu announcement: launch tomorrow!

Unfortunately our plans to launch with the Lonely Planet this weekend had to be scrapped due to poor weather - we're postponing until weather & availability allows.

However, we will be launching a small payload on Monday the 15th of Nov to test the offline prediction software & ensure everything is working as it should be.

Launch is scheduled for 01:30 UTC (12:00 noon local time). Flight time will be short, and there will be only 1 chase car.

For those who would like to assist with tracking, telemetry will be broadcast as normal on 434.650MHz USB, and online tracking is available here. We'll be contactable on VK5RSB, VK5RAD or VK5RMB throughout the flight. :)

Filed under: Launch No Comments
11Nov/101

Horus 9 writeup (finally) complete + news

I've finally finished up the write-up for Horus 9, complete with an interactive map of all the contacts we logged during the flight. I should be getting QSL cards out the door 'real soon now'... ;)

As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, we're involved in putting together a launch for Chris Lansell in conjunction with Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet - we're now ready to launch 2 great payloads! The plan is (was?) to launch over the weekend of the 13th-14th, but this is of course dependent on weather. Stay tuned, we may yet have a launch announcement in the next few days!

We've also been busy working on our chase systems - I've put together a new version of our offline mapping & tracking software, which now implements the awesome CUSF predictor in an offline environment. This means we'll now have predictions calculated in realtime in our chase cars - further reducing our dependence on an internet connection.

Our offline mapping

Scott (VK5TST) has been working on a framework to integrate all the various tools together into one utility using a plugin framework. This is something that will be a massive boon, especially in the more complex chase cars.

As a final note, I'd like to thank everybody who turned up to our talk at the AHARS buy and sell last Sunday, especially those of you who approached me after the event to pledge support and offer congratulations! :)

Filed under: Launch, Media 1 Comment