SpaceCat High Altitude Balloon Project

Mark Richards, K1MGY writes on PART-L:

Bob Vogtli, KB1ZHX, worked with his daughter last year in a school science fair project. She wanted to launch a high altitude balloon and take photos. The project is called SpaceCAT. Bob did some research, found the Amateur Radio APRS connection, studied, got his Technician license, and we go from there…

Bob and his daughter are moving things to the next level with SpaceCat II. The plan is to launch next month, and I was invited to participate (my bride asks if there’s room in the balloon for me), so I’ve taken on the task of designing, building, testing, packaging, and flying a payload deployment component of the lift vehicle. In English, we’ll reliably disconnect from the balloon via a telemetry command, and the expensive electronics will gently float to Mother Earth where we can collect it in a controlled and somewhat planned fashion rather than climbing a 60 foot tree and risking mortality to recover some electronics.

[…] Bob is giving a presentation on this launch at the school as a component of our adaptation of STEM (ours has roots), and has invited me to join him.

What would be cool is to borrow for show and tell a tiny tracker APRS transmitter with a GPS attached. Then we can show the tracker location on a map, and hear the tracker on an HT portable. Even work a few stations to demo Amateur Radio. The object is to inspire and allow the imagination and creativity to take to wings (or, in this case, helium and nylon).

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