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:
The maximum altitude achieved for this flight was 104,084 FT. (31,725 m) MSL which occurred 90 minutes into the flight at 1:08:13pm EDT (17:08:13 UTC).
This payload landed 26.45 mi. (42.57 km) downrange from the launch site. The final landing occurred 2 hours, 3 minutes & 49 seconds after launch at 42.919743, -77.151932 at an altitude of 730 FT. (222 m)
The minimum recorded temperature was -67 °F (-55 °C) which occurred at an altitude of 46,885 FT. (14,291 m)
The maximum recorded temperature was 78 °F (25 °C) which occurred at an altitude of 759 FT. (231 m)
The maximum recorded horizontal ground speed was 93 mph (149 km/h) which occurred at an altitude of 42,525 FT. (12,962 m)
The fastest vertical free-fall speed achieved after balloon burst was recorded at 214 mph (345 km/h). This measurement occurred at an altitude of 95,164 FT. (29,006 m) shortly after the balloon burst event at 104,084 FT. (31,725 m) MSL
The map below shows our predicted (purple) flight path vs. our actual (red) flight path.
Launch Time: June 24, 2019 at 11:37:41am EDT (15:37:41 UTC)
Launch Location: 43.030022, -77.652374 at 686 FT. (209 m)
Ascent Rate: 1,142fpm (5.80 m/s)
Burst Altitude: 104,084 FT. (31,725 m) MSL
Time to Burst: 90 minutes
Target Helium Volume: 147.2 cu ft.
Payload Mass: 1712g (3.77 lbs)
Target Neck Positive Lift: 888g
Descent Time: 33 minutes
Descent Rate: 1,260fpm (6.38 m/s)
Landing Location: 42.919743, -77.151932 at 730 FT. (222 m)
Downrange Landing Distance: 26.45 mi. (42.57 km)
Landing Time: June 24, 2019 at 1:41:30pm EDT (17:41:30 UTC)
Total Flight Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes & 49 seconds