We met this morning to launch two balloons, transmitting the call signs KD9UQB and AA6DY. We met at the highest mountain in the area – the Willow Hill Golf Course in Northbrook, IL. Assisting in our launch today were Michael Seedman AA6DY, Jim Janiak KD9UQB, Stewart Spies KB9LM, Doug Mulley KD9TPM, Kelsi Mulley KE9LSI, Gordie Mulley KD9TVR, Noah Berg KD9RDT, Bob Berg KD9RDU and Cary Willis KD9ITO.
We’re flying our latest board design version 2.2, manufactured in China by a contract manufacturer. After multiple attempts we’re successfuly flying a clear Yokohama Balloon reaching an altitude of 46,000 feet.
We had mild winds at ground level and gusty above. For this launch, we used the Icarus Device and 30 foot pole to get our tracker away from the ground at launch. The idea for the Icarus Device came from Noah Berg, KD9RDT (then 13 years old) at a group presentation in October of 2021. Noah suggested using a device to assist the balloons lift after losing some of our balloons in nearby trees. After months of discussing how something like this could work, Michael Seedman, AA6DY designed the Icarus using a small arduino based computer and a pico servo. Jim Janiak designed the 3D printed holder to couple the icarus to the pole. Since getting a 30′ pole in the car is a bit troublesome, Doug Mulley KD9TPM suggested using a telescoping pole which extends from 7 feet to 30 feet making it easy to transport and deploy.
Preparing KD9UQB for Launch
Preparing AA6DY for Launch
While we’re still waiting for KD9UQB to report, we’re very happy that our Yokohama balloon has reached 46,000 feet. We appear to be in a slow moving air mass over Michigan traveling around 35 mph.
Now that we know our altitude is steady at 14Km we can now provide a NOAA Hysplit Trajectory. We’ll be updating this while we’re watching Tropical Storm soon to be Hurricane Danielle.