Aug 07

ARES High Altitude APRS Balloon Launch

I am looking forward to doing the ARES balloon launch coming up. The  ARES team is a great group of people and I am proud to be a part of them. I think the idea of the APRS balloon launch is a great idea for many reasons.

I think it will be a great way to get together and just hang out and do the project together.

Not only that we get together and build the balloon from scratch. We get to see the skills of one another and help build our weak spots in each other. Help each other and learn and build from that.  As they say, you can never get enough training.  And stuff like this is a good way to train and build on our skills and help others.

A lot of planning will be involved. Planning in building, launching, tracking and retrieval! This is one of the most essential parts of the whole project. I think the planning stages are the most essential because it is exactly that, you plan and expect the best but train for the worst case scenario and it also helps you gain knowledge and make things easier for when you do the project. The ARES team is a great group of people and are very smart and have a good head on their shoulders and are dedicated.

I think building the balloon from scratch is a good because it shows that our hearts and souls are dedicated in the project. I think this will be the best part of the project, for myself. I think its the best part because not only spending quality time with friends but also learning. Also we can learn if we make any mistakes and build off that for the future. We get to examine and use the tools and build the balloon and help us understand the tools and items involved.

After building it, it will be the launch. We do have one place in mind to launch from but I will not say it publicly yet. Our leader Marianne choose the spot and she has tremendous leadership skills so I am sure she picked a good spot. I have yet to research it myself, but I trust her abilities. I do not yet know if there are any backup launch sites yet.  I think we should have at least one or two backup sites, to be safe.   I think the launch will be a fun experience for everyone 🙂

Next will be the tracking of the balloon.  We will be using APRS. If you are not familiar with APRS, Click Here.   This is by far the best way to track it.  It will also train of team to use APRS and track stuff in case we need to in the future. I have been using APRS ever since I became a ham radio operator. It is one of my favorite things to do with ham radio. I like how it is going to help the team learn it and use it and experience it. It is really accurate and a good way to track things via ham radio.  We are going to run several models to see the general path of the balloon flight, before we launch it to see where it may land.

The retrieval, this will be a fun adventure. As you know what goes up must come down!  I have tracked many balloons via APRS over the years and have saw them land in some interesting places. So this part is definitely going to be an adventure. As you know the winds go in all directions, but mainly everything goes East. Guess what lies to our East, yup Lake Michigan!  So worst case scenario I think would be landing in the lake.

Overall, It will be fun project to do. I think it will test our abilities on several levels and we can see what our strengths and weaknesses are and be able to learn and adapt to those. I think it is one of the better training exercises we can do as ARES because it will test us on different levels for future events. I think it is a great idea by our strong leadership in the team and I think it definitely will be a fun experience!  I know myself and the team are all looking forward to it!

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Hi, my name is Rickie. Thank you for visiting my personal website. Please note, that this is my PERSONAL website and any opinions or views are my personal ones and do NOT reflect back on my business views.