High Altitude Balloon
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...!