March Meeting on 03/12/2024 at 7PM at First Christian Church, 306 College Street, Carrollton, GA.   More Info

Near Space Balloon Launch - RESCHEDULED July 10th.

*** Due to weather and a potentially hazardous trajectory, the launch has been rescheduled from June 19th to July 10th. *** WGARS will be launching,. conditions permitting, its first Near Space balloon of 2021.  The payload will include video cameras to record the flight, a cross-band repeater (experimental), and an APRS transmitter to aid in tracking and retrieval. The current plan is to meet at the VFW Fairgrounds in Carrollton, GA on July 10th at 9:00AM to begin launch preparations, with a planned launch at 10:00AM.

The total flight usually lasts about three hours, with the balloon bursting somewhere above 100,000 feet about two hours into the flight.  APRS data is utilized to track and retrieve the equipment.

People in attendance will usually break up into teams of two or three and begin heading towards the the projected landing area around the time the balloon reaches burst altitude.

Since APRS will likely not be picked up by a receiving station as the balloon gets close to the ground, the last bit of telemetry will provide a general area to begin looking, but often requires searching a broad area listening for the APRS transmitter. Obviously, those with APRS gear in their vehicle have an advantage, but the balloon can also be tracked on the APRS.fi website (W4FWD-11)

Think of retrieval as a Fox Hunt writ large, with teams "competing" to find the balloon first. Our past few years launches have generally been all day affairs, with participants getting back to home in time for dinner (although some have been known to stop and meet somewhere on the way home).

 

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