[Balloons] Middle School Balloon Project

Don - KM0R km0r at km0r.net
Thu Aug 30 23:52:59 CDT 2012

I have been in touch with teachers at a Columbia Middle School regarding our
planned balloon launch(es).  They were very interested in putting together a
group of students to fly a sensor package for data collection and perhaps


Tonight I spoke with the teacher who is taking the lead on this project and
she is very excited about the possibility of this coming together.  She is
currently evaluating sensor kits, flight controllers/data recorders for
launch.  They are planning to use equipment from
http://nearsys.com/catalog/index.htm and intend to be ready for a spring


I am relatively certain the school PTSA will be assisting the classes with
funds for these groups of students and this project.  As she gets a budget
together, and makes her request for funding, I get more and more excited
about working with them on this project.  I'd like to see if there is anyone
else in our group who would volunteer a little time as the students build
their projects.  They will need some guidance on soldering simple circuits,
wiring the flight packages and probably with programming too. 


In the meantime, we need to complete our plans for this fall and get a
launch together so we can have one under our belt before they are ready to
launch in the spring.  


Any progress on a regulator yet??  What about a parachute?  Should we think
about a larger balloon (1500g) for the spring launch considering we'll have
our flight packages and theirs to fly?


One of the things we need to calculate is a total lift capacity.  We will
then need to weigh our payloads and find out how much more weight we can
support on a flight to be able to tell them how much their payloads can
weigh.  Obviously we can vary the amount of gas we use, but there is a limit
based on several things, including balloon size.


The teachers are extremely excited about this and are very grateful to have
the opportunity for their students this year.  let's make this happen!
Assuming we are able to make this work here, perhaps we can foster similar
programs in surrounding areas like Ashland, Hallsville, Harrisburg and Jeff


Let the ideas fly J  hihi


Don M - KM0R

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