SPITBall-1 Flight Data

FLIGHT: SuperPressure Initiated Termination Balloon Flight Test SPITBALL-1




UStream Video
Interactive Vokle Video Q&A
Web Map Tracking (APRS.fi WB8ELK-11)
Find me spot gps map

White Star will be performing a test flight of an actual transatlantic balloon envelope. The test flight is expected to last less than 1 hour from launch to impact. Telescope tracking of flight will be attempted.

Primary Objective: Determine burst pressure of Global Western Zero Pressure TA balloons.
Secondary Objectives: Observe aerodynamic effects during climb of the asymmetric balloon design.

More info about the White Star Trans-Atlantic Balloon Program


  • Differential pressure logger
  • Carl Lyster Timed Cutdown
  • APRS Tracker
  • Cell Phone Tracker (maybe)
  • FindMeSpot sat tracker
  • GoPro HD Video cam facing balloon
  • Carl Lyster video payload

Payload will be ballasted to full 12 lbs by bags of water

Launch Weather Requirements

These are the weather conditions required for a safe and useful launch. If these are exceeded, the launch will be delayed until later in the day, or to another day.

  • Precipitation: Mild rain
  • Wind: less than 10mph
  • Visibility: greater than 6 miles visibility
  • Cloud conditions: No thick cloud layers/buildups on the ascent path.

Main Science Payload: Balloon Pressure Logger

RTC offset from real time, as measured at 20111120 01:04:50: -00:03:16

  • Freeduino
  • OpenLog
  • DS 1307 RTC
  • MPXV5050DP Analog Pressure Sensor
  • MPXV5004DP Analog Pressure Sensor
  • AD7992 I2C A/D Converter
  • TMP100 I2C Temperature Sensor
  • Linear voltage regulator to 5V
    • Power source is 14V (8AA Energizer Lithium)
    • Also Provides heat to keep pressure sensors in calibrated range

Measures differential pressure every second, reading a tube ported into the balloon at the load ring. This package is strapped to the balloon, necessitating recovery of the balloon envelope.

Pic of sensor payload
Pic of Pressure Conversion Formula:

Balloon Envelope

Cutdown Device

Cutdown is a thermoelectric nichrome rope cutter. The cutdown will sever the main support rope that goes to the cardboard load ring. The weight of the payload will then be taken up by the inversion rope attached at the top of the balloon, causing the balloon to flip upside down.

The timming of the switch settings is shown below.

	S4= 1   Minute
	S3= 15 Minutes
	S2= 30 Minutes
	S1= 60 minutes

4xAA New Energizer lithiums used in this.
Full details: Timer Cutdown v1 by Carl Lyster

Emergency dump vent

In the event that the natural burst does not deflate the balloon within a reasonable amount of time.

Video tour of the vent construction

Telescope tracking

Balloon Field of view vs. Distance

  1. Balloon envelope vertical height: 8m
2000m 4000m 6000m 8000m 10000m 12000m 14000m 16000m 18000m 20000m
Balloon Angular Size ° 0.229 0.114 0.076 0.057 0.045 0.038 0.032 0.028 0.025 0.022

based on http://www.1728.org/angsize.htm

Lyster Video Payload Setup

  • Press power for 3 secs
  • Press button on end to start record
  • 1 hour 10 min record time

Telescope: Meade LX200

Field of view calculations

Telescope Focal length: 2500mm

  • 82° Ultra Wide Angle 4.7mm Meade Series 5000
    • Power = 532x
    • Actual Field of View = 0.16°
  • 82° Ultra Wide Angle 18mm Meade Series 5000
    • Power = 139
    • Actual Field of View = 0.59°
  • 68° Super Wide Angle 40mm Meade Series 5000
    • Power = 62.5x
    • Actual Field of View = 1.07°

Launch Crew Duties

  • GO-NOGO Check Times
    • 10PM night before
    • 6AM morning of
    • 8AM morning of
    • 1 hour before expected launch
    • 15 minutes before launch
  • Setup
    • Site cones, Tarp layout - All
    • Helium transport - Bill P
    • Telescope stream imaging equip - ???
    • Telescope Physical Setup - Dan and ???
    • Weather checks - Tim M
    • Ballooon layout - Dan
    • Live Camera Phone - ???
  • Payload Checkout
    • Camera activation - Weiz - At 15 minute GO for launch point
      • Make sure card is in Go Pro Cam
    • APRS receiver check - ???
    • FindMeSpot Activation - Brian T or Dan B
    • FindMeSpot Web Tracking active confirmation - Ron W
    • Pressure Logger Power On - Dan
    • Weight tally and ballast fill - ???
    • Payload rope attach to all payloads - Dan
  • Launch
    • Choke - Bill P
    • Valve - Ron W
    • Launch Director -
    • Tube Fill - Dan B
    • Tail hold - Tim M

Weather Alternate Date - Sunday Nov 20 Crew Avail:

  • Dan YES
  • Ron YES
  • Jose NO -
  • Tad NO -
  • Bill P YES
  • Tim M YES
  • Jon C YES @ LVL1
  • Chad YES
launches/spitball/1.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/29 17:58 (external edit)
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