On the 2nd of April 2016. we launched ReHAB – 150 balloon on the third time. The mission goals were to test the new software of the flight computer, take some pictures and test a prototype version of our ground station. The secondary goals, to test the 4.5 m dish antenna and rotator of BME-GND University Satellite Track Station, were removed from the agenda since the maintenance of the station is still going on. Although we had a lot of assistance from the BME-GND team during the flight.
The launch site was behind Building ‘Q’ of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The balloon inflation and the launch went as it was planned. While the launch team prepared the balloon, the ground station was also prepared for the start at HA5KFU Amateur Radio Club of the Simonyi Károly College of Advanced Studies.
Not long after the launch we encountered some radio signal problems due to the position of our main antenna. We moved the ground station equipment to a preferable site. Using a mobile antenna at the new place we have got rich signal of the balloon.
The balloon burst was at 32888 meters (~107900 ft) and reached the highest altitude in time as planned according to the simulations. We could follow the descent of the balloon on the ground station until 1400 m (~4600 ft) of altitude. According to the collected data, every subsystems worked flawless.
After landing the chase team was off the base to recover the balloon. We were looking for the returning balloon and scanned several klicks of area around the last received position, but we couldn’t detect any signals of the balloon and we couldn’t reach the backup GPS module neither.