High Altitude Balloon Experiment

Codename: AHAB


About the project

This project is launching a (relatively) high altitude balloon carrying a number of digital cameras and some other instrumentation. The project was conceived and is being implemented in a short time with a crowd of eager volunteers and little prior experience and a lot of optimism.


Update: Launch info and the egg hunt continues!!! - Link


Current status: 


Our altitude was not 300,000 feet, as our google earth information displayed.  :)  It seems that one of the google earth data feeds on openaprs was providing less than stelar position information.  No, we did not land on the moon.   We did, however, reach 109,242 feet with our ballon.   Due to some complications we'll explore shortly...   our batteries died somewhere around 60,000 feet during the return.    Without batteries, we don't have tracking information, thus making recovery somewhat hard.  We can make some guesses based on the wind, but so far it seems kinda tricky to nail down a search area.   It's about dark here, so we'll post more information soon, after our recovery crews give up search for the night,


7:38pm PST, 3ricj




Update: Launch Date


Our next launch date is scheduled for April 6-8th. We'll be going for two nights this time!



Update: Launch Crew


At this time we don't need anyone else on the launch crew and it's really not pleasant to go out with us if you don't have a job. If you'd like to be on our backup list or want to support us from the comfort of your home, add your name to the WhosInterested page.


Update: Communications


Last time FRS radios were not cool. This time, please get yourself a cb and if possible a ham radio licence. Links to do that are at theGet Your Ham License page.


Update: Tethered Test!


After getting a few winks at the banks lake motel our posse headed out to a remote undisclosed location. Our team of crackerjack location planners used balloon tracking software to compile weather and windspeed data to simulate our flight and picked a location out the flight maps that would keep us from landing on railroad tracks, in a lake, on an airport runway, or hanford nuclear reservation.


The weather forecast wasn't good and our optimism was beat into submission by a layer of fog up to 2,000 feet and a layer of clouds from 12,000 to 15,000 feet... After a quick call to 1-800-wxbrief, we realized that we wouldn't be able to launch. The FAA requires at least 50% clear skies among other things and with only 250 feet of visibility in any direction, we decided to do a short tethered test.


This proved to be very valuable! Our systems all worked and we learned a lot!


In particular, we learned the importance of test, supply inventories, spare parts, communication gear, and first aid equipment. The wiki also showed it's extreme power to achieve collaboration and productivity among 12 people on one project!


Both our primary and secondary tracking systems worked! Our primary aprs beacon was easily trackable locally and even made a hit onto the repeater in Spokane!


Our backup tracking system, the Mologogo phone, was the star of the show. It logged and uploaded data the entire time. Big thanks to the mologogo folks, who really helped us out with their awesome software!


We all became better friends and after some rest, we shall not rest until we return in month with better weather. We shall reache space!


More photos and video to come soon!


Post links to your pics here! - Photos, Movies, and other Documentation


Track the flight!


Tomorrow, (April 7th, 2007) is the launch day!  3pm PST.  If things don't go as planned, we may try our launch at 10am PST on sunday.




You can track the balloon's progress:



Want to add info to this wiki? Contact bre (at) and I'll shoot it off to you!


Our mailing list is a google group.




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