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Peter Laws <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Peter Laws <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 12:04:40 -0600
text/plain (95 lines)
Don't forget that there are folks in the building that have been launching 
balloons since your parents were young ...  they can surely help out with 
the actual balloon part ...


On 02/09/10 22:51, Aaron Botnick wrote:
> Hi All,
> The OUARC has decided to undertake a project to construct an APRS
> High-Altitude Balloon, launch, and successfully recover it. Mission
> tasks include successful tracking via the APRS network for position,
> speed, altitude, and temperature, along with a possible on-board camera
> to capture still images at specified intervals. I've pulled the task of
> coming up with a basic parts list that is, as yet, incomplete. We are
> soliciting opinions and advice on how to proceed and suggestions on
> funding sources.
> I've spec'd several parts from Argent Data Systems, maker of the
> OpenTracker 1+ and OpenTracker2, I own the OT2m and have nothing but
> good things to say about it.
> I propose use of the OT1+ SMT, which is a smaller version of the OT1+
> that includes everything except the on-board temperature sensor and DB9
> connectors (the headers are on the board), and also includes voltage
> input from 6-28V with a 5V regulator for GPS power. The ability to run
> the APRS interface at lower voltages will allow us to use a LiPo battery
> pack for power. I've also spec'd a low-power 2m transmitter (SRB
> MX146LV), available from Argent Data, is around 500mw and runs on 5V.
> For GPS modules, there is a very tiny unit from Trimble that has an
> aviation (> 30k ft) mode, but runs at 3.3V. We also have the Duelo and
> ADMS GPSs based on the SiRF Star III module running on 5V. We should be
> able to get a thermistor and run it on one of the analog inputs (there
> are 5 on the OT1+), and calibrate the device before launch for
> conversion of the data later. As for a balloon, we'd like to acquire
> something akin to the severe weather sounding balloons. The LM335Z
> temperature sensor is rated at 10mV per Kelvin, and a minimum
> temperature of -55 ˚C, which should take us to nearly 250 mb according
> to the std atmospheric profile.
> The whole package needs to be under 4 lbs to be legal, from what we've
> read. We also need to determine a semi-waterproof box to put the
> equipment in, a recovery mechanism (ribbon / parachute), and find an
> inexpensive Canon digital camera capable of running the CHDK firmware to
> take pictures at specific intervals.
> Links for reference and prices...
> CHDK - http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
> $40 - OT1+ SMT -
> http://argentdata.com/products/otplus.html
> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=64
> $69.50 - SRB MX146LV Transmitter -
> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=134&osCsid=a3d00b3b69a4ffc11c9c99223b0d12be
> $60 - Duelo GPS SiRF Star III
> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=61&osCsid=a3d00b3b69a4ffc11c9c99223b0d12be
> $53 - ADS-GM1 GPS SiRF Star III
> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=85&osCsid=a3d00b3b69a4ffc11c9c99223b0d12be
> $49 - Trimble GPS
> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=95&osCsid=a3d00b3b69a4ffc11c9c99223b0d12be
> $7 - 8" 2m BNC Antenna
> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=130&osCsid=a3d00b3b69a4ffc11c9c99223b0d12be
> $0.75 - LM355Z Temperature Sensor
> https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=50&osCsid=a3d00b3b69a4ffc11c9c99223b0d12be
> Thanks for looking this over, and any suggestions you can offer. We
> certainly aren't the first to do this, a quick google search will show
> others, but this is a first for our motley crew.
> 73,
> de Aaron, WX5AB ([log in to unmask])

Peter Laws / N5UWY
National Weather Center / Network Operations Center
University of Oklahoma Information Technology
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Feedback? Contact my director, Craig Cochell, [log in to unmask] Thank you!