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High Altitude Balloon





I launched a science balloon into the sky :)



In July 2012, I led students from Tasker Milward School in launching a meteorological balloon ("weather balloon") high into the stratosphere into the region classified as “near space”.  The balloon carried a simple -point-and-shoot digital camera, and captured some stunning images.

Pembrokeshire from 33000m, captured by a Canon A760.

Click the image to view a full size version.




The balloon carried a payload containing a camera to capture images and electronics to obtain temperature measurements and facilitate tracking.  Once at maximum altitude, the balloon burst and the parachute opened - allowing the payload to descend safely back to Earth!



The balloon bursts against the black background of space.

The parachute opens in the thin atmosphere




The project generated a lot of interest among students and in the national news.  Click here to view the full news  article on the ITV website.



  My students in the news!  A fantastic achievement :)




The camera captured images throughout the ascent as the balloon climbed, while electronic sensors captured data to profile the temperature throughout the atmosphere.  A GPS module relayed information on the balloon’s position throughout the flight, which was received by a radio receiver on the ground.  This allowed the team to track the balloon as it climbed, and subsequent analysis of the data will provide information on the wind speed, ascent rate and descent rate of the payload. The balloon climbed to a maximum height of 32.7km, reaching temperatures as low as -40˚C. The images captured at the maximum altitude showed the curvature of the Earth, the blue glow of the atmosphere, and the blackness of space. Weather systems can be seen as the camera captured images from this maximum altitude, before the payload started to plummet back to Earth. The initial descent rate was around 90mph, and the payload took 32minutes to fall to its eventual landing point in a field of cows near to St Clears.

More information and pictures to follow...!