FLIGHT 19, “Salute the Shuttle, Thirty Years in Space”
NTBP Mission Number 19, “Salute the Shuttle, Thirty Years in Space”, will be held by the North Texas Balloon Project and is planned for launch about 8:30 am on September 17, 2011 from the municipal airport in Hillsboro, Texas, just south of Fort Worth and Dallas. Back up date is September 24, 2011. Several payload packages containing sensors and amateur radio will be carried to nearly 100,000 feet in about 90 minutes by a helium balloon and return via parachute in about 50 minutes. Mobile recovery teams will use position reports from the onboard APRS system as well as radio direction finding techniques to recover the payloads.
The North Texas Balloon Project (NTBP) is a group of amateur radio operators from Fort Worth and Dallas and have launched balloons from the Cleburne, Clifton, and Hillsboro Airports since 1991. This is the annual launch and is funded by the amateur radio operators associated with the NTBP.
Pre-launch activities will begin about 7:00 am with the HF Launch Net on 7260 +/- 5 kHz, LSB beginning around 8:00 am. A cross band repeater will be activated soon after launch. Handheld VHF radios and scanners can receive the downlink. At the peak altitude ham radio operators from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana can contact each other using the cross band repeater.
NTBP's Team Leader, Tommy Davis said, "In past operations we did the launches for fun and the enjoyment of flight. It involves many different facets of amateur radio and thus a project that many types of amateur radio operators can enjoy together.” There is also an educational component utilized by scouting groups, because it involves orienteering and can be counted toward several different merit badges, as well as by teachers for science experiments. Davis said, “Area boy scout troops and school classes are invited along with all that are interested.”
A pre- launch Net will be Friday September 16th at 8pm on 147.28 and carried on Echolink at K5AMM-R (Area 5 US). Live broadcast will be attempted on http://www.batc.tv , member streams, K5PHD.
Operator’s and Technical Data to follow at http://www.ntexbp.org or http://www.w5sjz.net. Reports, questions, APRS and other data may be sent to NTEXBP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Payload: Basic Package – APRS (144.390 MHz – Call Sign: W5SJZ-11)
Purpose: Position reporting, recovery support
Summary: Utilize Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) capabilities to allow reception by chase & recovery teams.
Payload: Basic Package – Voice Beacon (146.560 MHz)
Purpose: Position reporting, recovery support, public monitoring
Summary: Utilize a BS2e single chip microprocessor to read internal/external temperature sensors, to gather location & date/time information from the GPS, & to control a text to speech module to “speak” all of this information such that it can be received by anyone, with or without an Amateur Radio license, without the need for any additional or specialized technical equipment.
Payload: Cross-band Repeater Package (Uplink:445.800 MHZ Downlink:147.560 MHz)
Purpose: Two-way amateur radio contacts
Summary: Utilize a pair of radios coupled to a miniature repeater controller to extend the communications range of line of sight communications between licensed Amateur Radio operators over a wider geographic area.
Payload: 10 Meter CW beacon (28.274 MHz)
Purpose: The 10 meter beacon will be used to study propagation conditions from high altitude during the duration of the flight. The beacon can also be used to aid in the recovery phase of the flight.
Summary: This beacon was built by ham operators employed at a local avionics shop. This home brew transmitter and Byonics controller will be the basis of the beacon. The antenna is a home brew loop antenna. The output of this transmitter is approximately 1 watt. This coupled with the high gain antenna, should be heard world wide?
Reception reports are requested and encouraged. We will happily QSL the event.
Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org