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NORTH TEXAS BALLOON PROJECT

FLIGHT 16
Summer 2008, Hillsboro, Texas

Flight Announcement

Flight 16  The Newman Family Memorial Flight

The North Texas Balloon Project (NTBP) Flight 16 is planned for launch at 8:30 am CDT on Saturday, August 9, 2008. The backup launch date will  be Saturday, August 16, 2008. Both primary and backup dates will launch from the Hillsboro Municipal Airport (32.0835 N 97.0971W), in Hillsboro, Texas, just south of Fort Worth and Dallas.  Flight status will be available on launch day on HF launch net frequency and the Internet at www.ntexbp.org .

The high altitude balloon carrying amateur radio experiments is expected to reach 100,000 feet in about 90 minutes and return via parachute in about 60 minutes. Mobile recovery teams will use position reports from the onboard APRS, call sign W5SJZ-11 on 144.390 MHz and RDF (fox hunting) to recover the payloads.

Set up will begin at 7:00 am prior to launch the HF Launch Net on 7260 +/- 5 kHz LSB starting at 8:00 am. The cross band repeater uses an uplink at 445.800 MHz and downlink at 147.560 MHz.

The public is invited to come out to the Hillsboro Municipal Airport, located at Exit 3 on Interstate Highway 35W, to watch the launch, flight status, and downlink video. In the event of unfavorable weather or jet stream conditions, the launch will occur at a later date. For the latest information check the Internet at www.ntexbp.org.

Handheld VHF radios and scanners can receive the downlink easily. At the peak altitude ham radio operators from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kansas can contact each other using the cross band repeater.

The radios used normally have a range of about 25 miles, but that range will be extended to about 500 miles at the peak altitude.

NTBP is a group of amateur (HAM) radio operators from Fort Worth and Dallas and has launched balloons from Cleburne, Clifton, and Hillsboro Airports since 1991. This is the first launch during this last year and is funded by the amateur radio operators associated with the NTBP.

Please send an email to webmaster@ntexbp.org for further information or to make reports during or after the actual launch.

Shuttle Package Description

The shuttle package is intended to be used as a part of each NTBP mission. It contains an Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) and a Radio Direction Finding (RDF) Beacon. The APRS consists of a Motorola Oncore VP GPS receiver, a tiny tracker, and a Yaesu VX-2 HT which will automatically report the position of the balloon once every minute on the standard APRS frequency of 144.390 MHz. The RDF Beacon is a Yaesu VX-2 HT and a Parallax BASIC Stamp voice controller transmitting on 145.560. A Trimble GPS send data streams to the BASIC Stamp voice controller.  The voice controller reports latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, direction of travel, and both inside and outside temperatures. Lithium battery pack powers the BASIC Stamp. The radios use their internal batteries. The battery pack is the only component that needs to be replaced between each mission. The Shuttle package has been miniaturized and weighs 4 pound.

Cross band Repeater Description

The cross band repeater package has two Yaesu VX-2 HTís and a NHRC-mini low power, low cost repeater controller. One HT is for receive the other is for transmit. The controller handles all necessary identifications needed for the repeater. The controller is powered with a 9v battery.  The radios use their internal batteries. The uplink frequency is 445.800 and the downlink is 147.560.

Flight Summary

Summary will be posted following scheduled debriefing August 24, 2008. 2:00 LMRA Clubhouse.

Flight Audio

Furnished by Hamuniverse.com

Flight Pictures

 

 

         

 
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