The 2013-2014 team includes all members of the Space Hardware Club. The leadership focuses on logistics, documentation, and publicity of the launch events. The radio operators of the Club operate the Space Communications Lab (EB 273) to monitor and command the balloon's actions. Other members help on the balloon team by participating in the balloon fill process, tracking and recovering of the balloons, and by building new payloads.

The team actively uses Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning arhab.org.

The team predicts the landing location at Near Space Ventures Inc. nearspaceventures.com. Starting coordinates are 34.7212,-86.6407.

Also, we can predict the landing location at HabHub. habhub.org. Starting coordinates are 34.7212,-86.6407.


BalloonSat 33 will be launched on Saturday, March 29th. See below for the flight notice!

Flight Notice

  • Launch Video
  • Burst Video
  • Hardware
  • Sun Tracking Payload
  • Flight History

Balloon Launch Video

BalloonSat 25 Video

BalloonSat 24 Video


Video from the ATV payload of the BalloonSat 27 Launch/Convocation Finale

This video is supported by IE 9+, Chrome 6+, and Safari 5+.

Balloon Burst Video

Our Hardware

Balloons

Our primary retailer is Scientific Sales, Inc. We are very satisfied using the weather balloons made by Hwoyee, usually 1,600 grams in size. The throat area is 10cm in diameter, but we easily mount the throat of the balloon to our 1.5 inch nozzles.

Tracking Equipment

The current primary tracker is the Byonics Micro-Trak AIO HA.

Payload Power Systems

Payloads during flight fly through temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius, often around -40 degrees, for multiple hours. Power systems during flight are heavily insulated. We utilize high quality lithium batteries made in the USA by Surefire. We have seen increased quality on the batteries made in the USA. In quantity, the Surefire batteries are highly competitive in price and reliability. Our retailer is Massey's Outfitters.

Sun Tracking Balloon Payload

Our newest balloon payloads will need to understand their orientation in flight so we can control the direction they point. The challenge is to design a payload which will sense the direction of the sun with respect to the payload about the vertical axis. This amounts to developing the technology and expertise needed for a balloon payload attitude determination and control system. The payload should be able to:

  • Determine sun direction to within +/- 5 degrees
  • Take a measurement at least 10 times a second (10Hz sampling rate)
  • Weigh less than 2 lbs to fly on the balloon line

Ballooning History

  • BalloonSat 32 - Quick Turnaround Test - March 1, 2014
    APRS Tracker, SPOT Tracker, High Altitude Blinking Unit 3, ATV Payload, CanSat Altimeter Test Payload, Iridium Tracker, GoPro Space Billboard
    Launch: The Greenway at UAH 34.7245N, 86.6399W, Recovery: Recovering it on March 24, 2014 From Trees Around 34.432778N, 85.3375W
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 31 - ATV Payload Test - February 22, 2014
    APRS Tracker, SPOT Tracker, High Altitude Blinking Unit 3, ATV Payload, CanSat Altitude Test Payload, Iridium Tracker
    Launch: The Greenway at UAH 34.7245N, 86.6399W, Recovery: Chickamauga GA
    Launch Notice

  • BalloonSat 30 - Attempted Transcontinental Flight - January 26, 2014
    SPOT Tracker
    Launch: Behind VBRH in Field, Recovery: Expendable - Location: Debated
    Launch Notice Before Contingency

  • BalloonSat 29.5 - One Month Payload Flight - September 28, 2013
    One Month Payload: One Man Army

  • BalloonSat 29 - One Month Payload Flight - September 28, 2013
    Blinker + One Month Payloads: Team USA, Team Point Blank, Team Formerly 1, Team Solo 7
    Launch: Research Park

  • BalloonSat 28 - Charger Blue Flight. ~100,000ft - September 14, 2013
    Airborne Camera Rig with GoPro Camera, APRS Tracker, SPOT Tracker, ChargerSat 1 IR Payload
    Launch: The Greenway at UAH 34.7245N, 86.6399W, Recovery: Cullman, AL
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 27 - Week of Welcome Convocation Finale Flight. 100,892ft - August 20, 2013
    ChargerSat 1 IR Sensors, APRS Tracker, SPOT Tracker, Payload Heaters, Box of Dreams, ATV Payload, a GoPro Camera, 1600 gram balloon
    Launch: The Greenway at UAH 34.7245N, 86.6399W, Recovery: 34.98954N, 86.47632W
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 26 - ChargerSat 1 IR Sensor Testing. 105,662ft - July 11-12, 2013
    ChargerSat 1 IR Sensors, APRS Tracker, SPOT Tracker, Payload Heater, 1600 gram balloon
    Launch: Tech. Hall at UAH, Recovery: 34.23143N,86.79169W
    Launch Notice

  • BalloonSat 25 - 311 Support. 107,693ft - April 13, 2013
    Two High Altitude APRS Tracker, SPOT GPS, Antenova tracker, Four thermal payloads, 311 team project, 1600 gram balloon
    Launch: VBRH, Recovery: 35.095016N,84.810859W
    Launch Notice

  • BalloonSat 24 - Tracker Test. Public outreach to 120,866ft - March 16, 2013
    High Altitude APRS Tracker, SPOT GPS, Antenova tracker, Multi-bad tracker, 1600 gram balloon
    Launch: GigaParts, Recovery: 34.541737N,84.447398W
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 23 - ChargerSat IR Flight. Slow float from UAH
    Launch from Tech Hall at UAH, Huntsville, AL - February 9, 2013
    High Altitude RTTY Tracker, 1600 gram balloon
    Launch: UAH, Recovery: Hartwell, GA
    Launch Notice

  • BalloonSat 22 - Outreach flight with Discovery Middle School, Madison City, AL
    September 21, 2012
    High Altitude APRS Tracker, SPOT GPS, 1600 gram balloon
    Launch: Liberty Middle School, Recovery: 34.95935N, 86.31641W
    Launch Notice
    Poster
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 21 - Outreach flight with Liberty Middle School, Madison City, AL
    September 21, 2012
    High Altitude APRS Tracker, SPOT GPS, 1600 gram balloon
    Launch: Liberty Middle School, Recovery: 34.97625N, 86.47198W
    Launch Notice
    Poster
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 20 - Tracker Test and 124,198ft - July 15, 2012 8am
    High Altitude APRS Tracker, SPOT GPS, Recovery Pod, 1600 gram balloon, Launch: GigaParts, Recovery: 34.49679N, 87.37799W
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 19 - Neutron Counter Flight 3 - June 16, 2012 9am
    Neutron Counter, High Altitude APRS Tracker, SPOT GPS, 1600 gram balloon, Launch: GigaParts, Recovery: 34.49679N, 87.37799W
    GigaParts
    Launch Notice
    Pre-Flight Checklist
    Google Earth KML from Payload
    Flight Report w/ Pics

  • BalloonSat 18 - Neutron Counter Flight 2 - May 11, 2012 8am
    Neutron Counter, High Altitude APRS Tracker, SPOT GPS, 2000 gram balloon, Launch: Shelby Center, Recovery: 34.51571N, 85.99979W
    Launch Notice

  • BalloonSat 17 - CubeSat Morse Code Beacon - February 28, 2012 10am
    CubeSat Payload, 2x High Altitude APRS Tracker, 1200 gram balloon, Launch: 34.480745N, 87.305544W, Recovery: Recovered by Hunters and Mailed Back
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report
    Google Earth KMZ

  • BalloonSat 16 - CubeSat Radio Range Test - October 28, 2011 8am
    CubeSat Payload, Double Telemetry Box, 2x High Altitude APRS Tracker, 1200 gram balloon, Launch: Shelby Center at UAH, Recovered: 35.347519N, 84.672039W
    Launch Notice
    Followup and Images
    KML

  • BalloonSat 15 - Neutron Counter Maiden Flight - August 26, 2011 8am
    Neutron Counter, 2x High Altitude APRS Tracker, 1600 gram balloon, Launch: NSSTC near UAH, Recovered: 34.598878N, 87.003082W
    Launch Notice
    Google Earth KML from APRS
    Google Earth KML from Counter
    ASGC Pics

  • BalloonSat 14 - Liberty Middle School Outreach Flight - April 13th, 2011
    Followup Presentation
    ATVQ Winter 2011 Publication

  • BalloonSat 13 - Moored Balloon Test - March 18th, 2011
    CanSat descent control tests
    Images and Movies

  • BalloonSat 12 - Earth Day Flight - April 17th, 2010
    Launch Notice
    Google Earth KML

  • BalloonSat 11.5 - 900MHz XTend Radio Test - April 10th, 2010
    Launch Notice
    Google Earth KML

  • BalloonSat 11 - Nursing Dosimeter Flight - March 27th, 2010
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report
    Google Earth KML

  • BalloonSat 10 - Tracker test flight - Nov 21, 2009
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report
    Google Earth KML

  • BalloonSat 09 - Sparkman Middle School outreach flight - Nov 6, 2009
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report
    Google Earth KML

  • BalloonSat 08 - ATV Transmitter test flight for live video - Oct 3, 2009
    Launch Notice
    Flight Report

  • BalloonSat 07 - Space Hardware Club/Nursing Dept/Biology Dept flight - Mar 10, 2009
    Event Pictures

  • BalloonSat 06 - Space Billboard flight 3 - October 25, 2008
    Balloon temp/pressure / New egg shell transmitters / Space Billboard flight 3 / Boy Scout ATV outreach
    Flight Report
    Flight Pictures

  • BalloonSat 05 - Space Billboard flight 2
    Flight Checklist

  • BalloonSat 04 - Space Billboard flight 1 - October 27, 2007

  • BalloonSat 03 - Heat pipe experiment - May 3, 2007

  • BalloonSat 02 - Panoramic cameras - January 20, 2007

  • BalloonSat 01 - Film cameras and environmental sensors - April 2, 2006