As you can tell, we haven't done anything balloon related for a while!
With team members becoming increasingly busy with work, family life, and other amateur radio activities (mostly with the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group), we sadly haven't had much time for high-altitude ballooning.
All the equipment is still working and stored away, so we still have the capability and experience to do a launch at a few weeks notice. If you are interested in doing a launch out of Adelaide, please contact us, there are many members who have a wealth of experience in high-altitude balloon launches who can advise or assist with launching and tracking.
Mark Jessop (VK5QI)
The LaunchBox launches went well, with both balloons launched and recovered. Some details available here, more to follow...
We still have about 1.5m^3 of helium left over from the launch, which we plan on using to launch a pico floater balloon early in the morning on Saturday the 15th of November. This launch will be flying a PicoHorus payload, transmitting 50 baud RTTY on 434.650MHz.
The flight path has it heading from Adelaide towards Victoria, arriving near Melbourne sometime late Saturday afternoon. If the payload floats as intended, it should then head back towards South Australia.
EDIT: Launch moved from Saturday to Sunday due to weather conditions.
The second attempt at the LaunchBox launch will be happening on Sunday the 9th of November, subject to weather conditions.
If it all goes ahead, the two balloons will be lifting off sometime between 10am and 11am on the day, carrying experiments from schools around the state.
The current lineup of telemetry payloads is as follows:
Launch #1 (approx. 10AM)
Main Telemetry: 434.450MHz, 50bd RTTY, "VK5ARG-1"
UniSA Experimental payload: 439.200MHz, GFSK (not decodable without custom hardware)
Launch #2 (approx. 11AM)
Main Telemetry: 434.500MHz, 50bd RTTY, "VK5ARG-2"
More to come...
It's been a long time coming, but the video for Horus 26 and 27 is now up! A big thanks to Grant VK5GR for putting this together!
UPDATE: The Launchbox launch has been delayed until early November due to weather and landing area concerns.
The last year has been a quiet one for Project Horus. Getting the team together for a launch has been difficult, as we've all been busy with other commitments. However, things have still been ticking along behind the scenes...
In June we worked with UniSA Connect to run a balloon launch workshop with students from regional South Australia. At the main launch in Burra we had about 30 students in attendance. You can find a short writeup of the launch here.
More recently we've been working with LaunchBox, to launch a number of experiments for schools around the state. Last weekend (13th of September), we launched a Pico payload as a systems test, and also to give the LaunchBox crew an idea of how Project Horus runs a launch.
The main LaunchBox launch will be happening this coming weekend (20th of September), assuming the weather predictions are suitable. Two balloons will be launched, with expected burst altitudes around 30-35km. More details will be provided shortly.
We're still working on writing up many of our previous launches. As we've effectively lost count of how many launches we've done, all future launches will just be referred to with a date (i.e. Horus 2014-09-20) to avoid confusion.
Mark Jessop VK5QI
Andrew wrote in to let us know that there will be a launch taking place in Bendigo this weekend (Saturday the 6th of July):
FYI, our project team is planning to release a high altitude balloon from Bendigo this coming Saturday 6th July 2013 at 11am.
We will have an onboard camera sending images back via SSDV (http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv), which is basically broken up JPEG with some extra headers.
RTTY will be used for radio transmission.
We do not expect to recover the balloon, and will appreciate any assistance with getting data from the payload along the path, in Victoria, Southern NSW, ACT, and Tas. See attached expected path.
All you need is a radio capable of receiving SSB at 434.650MHz, and a Mac/Windows/Linux computer with sound card input and access to the internet. High gain antenna is highly desirable.
See instructions here: http://projectspaceballoon.net/ssd/
The other details are:
- Frequency 434.650Mhz (+-10Khz), USB
- RTTY with 460Hz shift, 300 baud, 8 bit ASCII, no parity, one stop bit.
- Hardware is a Rev A Raspberry Pi, with a 25mW UHF transmitter module.
- Antenna is a quarter-wave with radials.
- Expected "cruising" altitude is 20km.
You will be able to see the images on your computer if you can receive the RF signal directly.
If internet access is available the images can be uploaded to the internet for others to view.
The call sign for tracking and SSDV is PSBPI.
We plan to have someone in #highaltitude chatroom on irc.freenode.net on the day to co-ordinate.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Write-ups for launches 24 through to 28 are now available.
Quite a few launches are planned for the next few months, so stay tuned!
We're happy to report that both launches this weekend (Horus 26 & 27) were a success.
Many thanks to everybody who turned out at the WIA AGM to hear our talk and witness the launches, and an extra thanks to everybody who helped make this weekend possible.
Keep an eye on the blog over the coming days for full details of the launches including photos & videos of the day.
Tomorrow the 27th of May we will be launching two balloons from Mildura, Victoria.
Data from the telemetry payloads can be demodulated using the dl-fldigi software, available by clicking the tracking link above.
All those wishing to track should take note of the following frequencies:
Horus 26 - WIA Repeater Launch - 0800 AEST
- Telemetry: 434.075MHz USB 300baud RTTY 7N1 (Select "HORUS" from dl-fldigi's dropdown list.
- APRS: 145.175MHz AFSK using callsign VK5ARG-11
- Cross-band Repeater:
- Uplink 438.900MHz FM 123Hz CTCSS. Please use the CTCSS tone, or else you will only be causing interference to other repeater users.
- Downlink: 147.500MHz FM.
The repeater will have net control run by VK3WIA.
Horus 27 - Imaging Payload - 0900 AEST
- Telemetry: 434.650MHz USB 300baud RTTY 7N1 (Select "DARKSIDE" from list)
- APRS: 145.175MHz AFSK using callsign VK5ARG-12
Between-car comms frequencies
We will primarily be using the airborne repeater for comms, and as such, the following callsigns should be given priority on the repeater:
For close range comms we will be using 146.550MHz FM simplex.
Long-range HF comms frequencies are 3640KHz LSB and 7070KHz LSB.