ASU students launch high-altitude balloons at a local amateur radio event


June 25 – Today, members of the student branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Athens will launch up to two high-altitude telemetry balloons in conjunction with the local amateur radio club of Athens. Athens.

The event will allow students of aerospace systems management to undergo training in mission control and communications. It will also support a course of the same name taught this summer and serve as one of their planned mission simulations.

The Athens State Mission Control student team will track the balloons which report GPS coordinates, altitude, speed and other measurements.

“What we’re doing here is a very small electronics box, probably weighing only a few ounces at most. Not much. It doesn’t even have a battery. It’s powered entirely by solar cells, and it’s lifted by a A 36-inch-diameter mylar balloon that basically looks like a big party balloon. It’s a foil-covered balloon,” said Professor Wayne McCain of ASU. “And, if all goes well, we expect this balloon to reach around 30 to 50,000 feet. And what it does is it returns its position using GPS coordinates; it returns its altitude and it also sends the speed And using a free software application you can actually track the balloon across the United States for one type and then the other type of balloon we’re launching you can follow it around the world.

The balloon launch is part of preparations for the launch of a small aircraft in the fourth quarter of next year.

“It’s a great opportunity for the mission, for them to learn about the different software packages in use. We’re going to be looking at basic protocol for mission control and operations, and it supports a course we’re teaching this term. summer on mission planning, control and communication, so it’s kind of a hands-on demonstration of what they’re learning in the manual,” McCain said.

Launching today June 25 is tentatively scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at Swan Creek Park, next to Athens High School. The public is invited to attend.

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