CAARA Members To Assist In NASA High-Altitude Balloon Workshop in Rockport

Northeast Ballooning Workshop artwork

Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association members have been requested to assist in tracking high-altitude balloons at the Northeast Ballooning Workshop in Rockport on July 6-8, 2005.

Co-sponsored by NASA’s Northeast Space Grant Consortia and the New England Space Science Initiative in Education (NESSIE), the workshop affords college faculty, students, and selected minority high school students the opportunity to participate in mission-related NASA research by assembling scientific payloads for launch aboard balloons. In the process, workshop participants will gain value experience in implementing data recording and communications technologies, processing and interpreting scientific data, and preparing, launching, and recovering balloon payloads.

Linda Wright, KB1MWG and her husband Curt, AA3JE are two CAARA members interested in helping to track the balloons. “We have a good-sized boat and I will put out the word to our members and see if some would like to join us.”

“The balloons will have beacons and they will use APRS digital protocol,” writes one of the event organizers, Carolyn McWilliams. “The maximum height of the balloons should be approximately 70,000 feet. They will collect basic scientific information. The tracking should be straight forward. Since we will launch the balloons over the ocean in Rockport, we expect to recover them at sea.”

The balloons will transmit on 144.39 and 144.34 Mhz. every 60 and 30 seconds, respectively.

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