[aprssig] Balloon flight this Saturday (Mar 29)

Mark Conner mconner at aer.com
Wed Mar 26 14:31:31 EDT 2008

While we're talking about balloon flights......

NSTAR will have its first 2008 flight (08-A) on Saturday, March 29th, from the Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium in Lincoln, NE.  Launch time will be approximately 1500 UTC (1000 CDT).  Expected flight duration is about 2 hours and max altitude around 90,000 ft.  APRS will be on 144.36 MHz 3x/minute using call N9XTN-11 and 144.39 MHz 1x/minute with call N9XTN-12.  Landing is expected near Massena, IA.

Gusty winds are forecasted for that morning, so there's a chance we'd have to cancel.

Both 144.36 and 144.39 will have local I-gate support, so we should have a pretty full track from launch to landing.

The change to 144.36 is a recent one for NSTAR.  Many balloon groups have used 144.34 MHz for an alternate tracking frequency because the practice was started with some ATV balloon flights - the packet racket on the 144.34 ATV calling freq alerted them to check for the balloon downlink.  However, we don't really want to do that if we're not flying ATV for them to watch.  Since all I had to do was turn the knob four clicks on RX and TX, it was an easy accomodation.  

Our path for the 144.39 beacon is WIDE2-1, in case anyone asks.  :)  Gets us one digi hop for the near-surface reports without hammering the network.

NSTAR's website is http://www.nstar.org and the symposium details can be found at http://www.cpsws.unl.edu .

73 de Mark N9XTN

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