On April 17th our Global Space Balloon Challenge flight took place. Our goal was to take pictures and send back some of them during flight via radio. Unfortunately we had to face some technical issues after launch. Our telemetry system stopped so we couldn’t get any signal from our primary tracking system. The balloon was equipped with a secondary GPS tracker that sent back the coordinates via SMS, so we could get the landing pozition of the balloon. Due to some rapid changes to the weather we landed 60kms (37miles) away from the simulated landing site.
There was no problems during balloon inflation. Due to some configuration issues of the secondary GPS tracker we had some delay in the launch procedure but preparations went according to plans. A lot of people followed the launch on the site next to the ST building of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
The ground control team tried to determinite the actual track of the balloon during flight using simulation and weather data. Calculations was needed because of the malfunction of our primary tracking system and due to that the secondary GPS tracker dind’t found any cell information at such high altitudes.
After we got the landing indication SMS the recovery team took of to get the balloon from Hortobágy National Park. After our arrival we realized that the recovery would be more adventurous than we expected. A wild cattle of 60 also got interested in our balloon.
Soon we publis a longer summary of the flight and the adventurous recovery here on our website.
Special thanks for the BME Áramlástan Tanszék(Department of Hydrodinamics BME) for the filling gas, Levente Dudas and the BME-GND for the ground station and the secondary GPS tracker and Chris Hillcox for providing us the weather balloon.