Manchester Meteor High Altitude Balloon

Editorial Manchester Meteor High Altitude Balloon


Ian

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Ian submitted a new article:

Manchester Meteor High Altitude Balloon - Manchester Meteor High Altitude Balloon

The Manchester Meteor is a high-altitude balloon and payload, created by myself and Dr Jonathan Chippindall (from primarycomputing.co.uk). The aim of this first launch was to test a low-cost design, using only off-the-shelf components, from which we could obtain HD video of near-space. Our overall budget was just over £300, which included some re-usable items such as a video camera and phone.

Our equipment broadly consisted of a latex high...
Read more about this article...
 
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V_R

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Great read Ian,

Did you or do you have a map or something showing the path it took? Would be interesting to see. :)
 

Ian

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We had the software set up to log the position, but it didn't work properly - we half suspected this as there as limits as to the max altitude/speed that GPS will let you work at (for personal use), and we probably surpassed these limits.

From the data we did get, it took a shallow U shape from Mold in North Wales all the way over to Bolsover. However, I don't have any more specific data than that.
 

muckshifter

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Loved the pics ... a job well done. :)
 

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Hats off to you guys - it's very impressive to think that your first venture to the edge of space, was such a wonderful success. Brilliant work!!

In your respective articles, you and Dr Chip certainly make the project sound very "do-able" ...particularly when you mention using ordinary items (such as the luggage weight measure) to ensure you were using the correct amount of helium.

Fantastic video footage too! Once again, great work. Hope you're all going to take some time to celebrate properly over the weekend. :D :cheers:
 
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A few questions to ask?
Did you have to get CAA approval?
And did you have to stay away from certain air corridors ie fast jets(RAF).
Can i expect to read about this over my cornflakes soon, if not why not!
And when is the next launch?
 

Ian

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Thanks guys :thumb:

Yep, we had to apply for a NOTAM to alert any pilots in the area - plus we couldn't launch from anywhere near where we originally thought we'd be able to, we had to go over the border to Wales so we were outside of controlled airspace. We also had conditions on drift, so had to run our predictions just before we launched to make sure that we would launch in a certain direction (we've had to abort some of the previous attempts because we'd have failed this).

A local paper has picked up on it, so perhaps there will be more in the news - would be a nice surprise!

We've not got anything else planned yet, but we're putting our thinking caps on for a new project. We won't get a chance to launch anything again until the days get longer, as we were cutting it fine doing it at the end of October, so if it's another balloon launch then I guess it will be some time after Easter :).
 
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crazylegs

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Brilliant vids and pics Ian..

A very worthwhile project for some to try, lets hope some schools take part in carrying out something like this based on your flight.
If they do would be great to see their results and any pics or vids too
 
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Hi

Excellent project and well done on its success!

Would you be able to post or email me the names of the companies you used to buy the bits from?

There seem to be so many options available and I cant seem to find a suitable balloon, box and parachute!

Thanks
Lee :thumb:
 

Ian

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Hi Lee,

Glad you liked the project!

The parachute and box you can buy from randomsolutions.co.uk - we used them and found them very helpful. In this project, we used the Hwoyee 800 and a 36" Spherachute (IIRC). That parachute is slightly larger than recommended, but we initially found that the smaller one had quite a high descent rate (so we increased the parachute area dramatically).

As for the box, we just bought some high density foam from a craft shop and made one ourselves :).

Definitely check out http://ukhas.org.uk/ and http://habhub.org/ - both are extremely useful sites! There is also a blog by Dave Akerman which is a fascinating read: http://www.daveakerman.com/
 
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Thanks for the info!

Maybe if you guys get time you could add to the article giving links for the other bits like the electronics etc.

Thanks again
 
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I do have one final question, how did you guys connect it all together?

Am I correct in saying you tied the cord to the balloon, then left a few feet which you connected to the parachute, then a few extra feet before connecting the payload.

Did you use any kind of 'cord cutter' or is it a case of when the balloon bursts it all just plummets back together?

Thanks again
 

Ian

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Yeah there will hopefully be more in the way of technical details in another article :).

We bought some cord from that same site and then connected the payload to the parachute with around a meter of cord, then cord from the parachute to the balloon with another few meters. No cord cutter, as when the balloon pops, what's left will drop below the parachute and it will start to descend.

Check out this page for more detailed info, as the assembly will make or break a project (and determine how safe it is!):

http://ukhas.org.uk/frontpage:guides
 

Abarbarian

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Grand result. :bow:

Are we going to see any more vids and pics ?
 

Ian

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Yep, we're going to edit the video properly and then post it on YT :). At the moment, it's something like 14GB of HD video, so I can't upload it all in one go - so stuck to some snippets.
 
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