Bristol SEDS High Altitude Balloon Launch

Bristol SEDS recently hosted a high altitude ballooning workshop, with funding from a UKSEDS branch grant. Here’s their take on the day:
“The workshop began with an introduction to high altitude ballooning and the previous launches made by Bristol SEDS. There were 40 students that attended the workshop. We split the students into 2 teams, and each team was set the task of creating the foam insulation for the balloons. Both teams chose different styles for the insulation. The teams were also tasked with choosing an amount of free lift to create for the balloons (this affects the ascent rate and the altitude at which the balloons float). The balloons were launched as per usual with GPS trackers which emitted to local reciever stations over radio. The balloons were 36” and made of Qualatex foil.

The Bristol students with their two high altitude balloons

The flights were not entirely successfull. We had hoped the balloons would float much further from the UK as had been demonstrated from previous launches, however it is suspected that there were microtears that had formed in the balloon material, which could have occured from having to fold the balloon material or transporting the balloons to our new launch location. Overall, the day was a success in that we managed to inspire and teach Bristol University students about high altitude balloons and the flights were marginally successful.”

Part of the payload structure for one balloon

There is also balloon flight data available here if you’d like to see the routes the balloons took!
Thanks to Oly Cotton, Bristol SEDS president, for contributing text.
To find out more about branch grants, and apply for your own, see the link above or email James on [email protected].

A balloon in flight!

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