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: