OLHZN-17 was the seventeenth high altitude weather balloon flight for Overlook Horizon High Altitude Balloons. This flight launched on June 24, 2019 at 11:37:41am EDT (15:37:41 UTC) from the Rochester, NY area. This flight debuted our new recovery cut-down system that was placed on board the flight and made ready and available to automatically cut the payload free if it became entangled in an obstruction (i.e. a really tall tree) upon landing. Fortunately, this was not needed on this flight, but the system did operate properly and was tested anyways at the landing site to ensure proper operation. Landing in a tall obstruction has occurred many times to us in the past (OLHZN-5, OLHZN-7, OLHZN-9, OLHZN-11, OLHZN-13, OLHZN-15) and becomes a nightmare during recovery which can take hours to try to free a payload from an obstruction, especially if it’s high off the ground. The new cut-down system will allow us to remotely trigger a cut-down procedure to hopefully free to payload from the obstruction. We still always hope the payload will not land in an obstruction, but we’ll be ready with an additional tool if it occurs. Even though the payload landed in an open field, we still collected valuable data on how the cut-down system, particularly the safeguarding mechanisms, operated throughout the flight.
New Technology Added: