20130414

HABEX2 - High Altitude Balloon Recovered!

Two weeks ago, 23b and Nullspace Labs collaborated on a high-altitude balloon launch, HABEX2.
Nullspace ran the launch and built the main payload, while 23b supplied a backup RDF tracker and managed the recovery effort.

It was launched from Iron age Road, in the Mojave Desert, CA.   We received digital telemetry during the flight, and our team took periodic direction-finding shots from multiple locations, using a 70cm beacon and Yagi antennas.

After reaching an altitude of approximately 77,000', it burst a bit early and landed right in the middle of the Turtle Mountains Wilderness Area.

Unfortunately, there are no motorized vehicles allowed in this area, and recovery was complicated by the fact that: 1. The area is comprised of extremely rugged volcanic mountains and 2. The last known position from APRS broadcasts and RDF hits occurred about 5 minutes before touchdown, meaning that we would only have an approximate location to work with.

Here are some pictures of the launch:







The recovery trip ended up comprising around 500 miles of driving, an off-road trip down an old mine road, and a 16 mile total hike.







Success! Arko was able to recover all of the pictures and data from the flight:




Check out:
Flight Pictures (full set)

Arclight



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