High Altitude Balloon (HAB) Project


Students from Tasker Milward School recently launched a meteorological balloon (also known as a "weather balloon") high into the stratosphere into the region classified as “near space”.  The balloon carried a payload containing a camera to capture images and electronics to obtain temperature measurements and facilitate tracking.  The project generated a lot of interest among students and in the national news.


Some of the images captured were quite stunning.


The camera captured images throughout the ascent as the balloon climbed, while electronic sensors captured data to profile the temperature throughout the atmosphere.  A GPS module relayed information on the balloon’s position throughout the flight, which was received by a radio receiver on the ground.  This allowed the team to track the balloon as it climbed, and subsequent analysis of the data will provide information on the wind speed, ascent rate and descent rate of the payload. The balloon climbed to a maximum height of 32.7km, reaching temperatures as low as -40˚C. The images captured at the maximum altitude showed the curvature of the Earth, the blue glow of the atmosphere, and the blackness of space. Weather systems can be seen as the camera captured images from this maximum altitude, before the payload started to plummet back to Earth. The initial descent rate was around 90mph, and the payload took 32minutes to fall to its eventual landing point in a field of cows near to St Clears.


More information and pictures to follow...!