OLHZN-18 was the eighteenth high altitude weather balloon flight for Overlook Horizon High Altitude Balloons. This flight launched on July 25, 2019 at 10:00am EDT from the Canandaigua, NY area. This flight debuted our new live video transmission system to obtain and view live video from an on-board camera while the balloon and payload was in-flight. This new video was also featured in our live launch-day broadcasts so viewers could see and follow along with the flight live. The range on this new camera is was very much unknown. It has a theoretical range of over 20 miles so reception should be possible all the way until balloon burst, however, the reality of what we were able to reliable achieve was much different. This flight tested the video reception reliability and antennas, which we identified needed to be setup a bit differently for future flights. Future flights will implement a patch antenna type for the on-board antenna improve ground reception. We’ll also be upgrading to a parabolic ground based antenna for better receiving. We did not expect to have live video during the descent phase of the flight due to the payload being very unstable during descent as it spins and oscillates violently which will make signal transmissions very unstable, but to our surprise, we were actually able to obtain some footage. Eventually, the launch team needed to be on its way to recovery so we had to tear down the reception equipment during the descent phase. The entire live video process was very much experimental so we had relatively low expectations, but we were pleasantly surprised and encourage to proceed with further future tests!
This flight also featured a BalloonSat customer and launched with a set of bookplates on-board to celebrate a new book release from Phil Stamper called, The Gravity of Us. Books that are pre-ordered by 2/4/2020 will be eligible to receive one of these unique bookplates that have traveled to the edge of space!
New Technology Added:
The maximum altitude achieved for this flight was 103,300 FT. (31,486 m) MSL which occurred 94 minutes into the flight at 12:04:38pm EDT (16:04:38 UTC).
This payload landed 5.75 mi. (9.26 km) downrange from the launch site. The final landing occurred 2 hours, 5 minutes & 47 seconds after launch at 42.933315, -77.242531 at an altitude of 654 FT. (199 m)
The minimum recorded temperature was -50 °F (-45 °C) which occurred at an altitude of 50,988 FT. (15,541 m)
The maximum recorded temperature was 80 °F (26 °C) which occurred at an altitude of 604 FT. (184 m)
The maximum recorded horizontal ground speed was 62 mph (99 km/h) which occurred at an altitude of 91,618 FT. (27,925 m)
The fastest vertical free-fall speed achieved after balloon burst was recorded at 197 mph (317 km/h). This measurement occurred at an altitude of 98,665 FT. (30,073 m) shortly after the balloon burst event at 103,300 FT. (31,486 m) MSL
This flight will add new technology to incorporate a live in-flight video feed:
Balloon Sat Payload
This flight will also carry a BalloonSat customer payload and will have bookplates for the book The Gravity of Us.
Flight Prediction vs. Actual Path
The map shows the flight prediction (green) vs. the actual flight path (red):
Launch Time: July 25, 2019 at 10:30:01am EDT (14:30:01 UTC)
Launch Location: 42.988541, -77.327484 at 604 FT. (184 m)
Ascent Rate: 1,085fpm (5.51 m/s)
Burst Altitude: 103,300 FT. (31,486 m) MSL
Time to Burst: 94 minutes
Descent Time: 31 minutes
Descent Rate: 1,227fpm (6.27 m/s)
Landing Location: 42.933315, -77.242531 at 654 FT. (199 m)
Downrange Landing Distance: 5.75 mi. (9.26 km)
Landing Time: July 25, 2019 at 12:35:48pm EDT (16:35:48 UTC)
Total Flight Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes & 47 seconds