NSL-81 attempt tomorrow

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Paul Lowell

May 29, 2020, 2:23:10 PM5/29/20
to NC Near Space Research
We haven't chased a balloon in a while, so a few of us are planning to fly something tomorrow morning.   We hope to launch around 0900EDT in Apex and land it a couple hours later in the woods of Louisburg, NC.   Feel free to chase along at an appropriate distance.

We may have live images at http://ssdv.habhub.org/   But with an overcast day, I'm only expecting clouds and space.

Paul Lowell

May 30, 2020, 7:10:54 PM5/30/20
to NC Near Space Research
What a weird flight today.  We sent up 3 separate trackers and they all had issues of one type or another:
-My historically reliable AP510 tracker somehow shut off 3 minutes into the flight.  Doah!
-The GPS antenna somehow ripped out of my Pi-in-the-sky LoRa tracker and therefore lost GPS lock for most of the flight.  It kept sending the same old location over and over.
-The test article of the flight, the ABSOLUTELY TINY "Femto Pecan" APRS tracker had some sort of antenna woes and was only heard within about 1/2 mile of it.
Our chase cars went to the suspected landing area and were able to follow the payload down using LoRa signal strength alone.  Once on the ground all contact was lost.  We then split up the 3 chase cars and covered different search patterns until LoRa signal was re-acquired.   That allowed us to then pick up the faint Femto Pecan signal to get the exact GPS landing location.  Phew!

We were surrounded by open fields, so of course it landed just inside some woods way up a pine tree.  Tim, master of the bow and arrow, was able to get a line over the payload train and pull it down.
I had been given a firm weather forecast of 100% cloud coverage, so I didn't expect much from the camera onboard.  Thankfully the skies cleared and we got some wonderful video.


Paul Lowell

Jun 2, 2020, 11:32:16 AM6/2/20
to NC Near Space Research
Initial write-up can be found at:

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