Abstract

The University of Maine High Altitude Ballooning (UMHAB) team launched two balloons during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, producing a consistent online video stream of the eclipse to an altitude of 110,000 feet. This paper discusses the key factors that lead to a successful launch and recovery, such as thorough testing procedures, redesign of components, choice of launch site, and a touch of luck. In preparation for the event, the team tested the equipment and code over eleven balloon launches. Airplane based testing and land testing were conducted for the tracking and video stream components. The payloads and nozzle were redesigned to improve efficiency and ease of use. Moreover, the launch site was scouted ahead of time, establishing a good relationship with the host and garnering excellent support for the event. Along with the successful video stream and experiments, the paper will cover the various points of failure and lessons learned from the event.

 

University of Maine High Altitude Ballooning Eclipse Experience

The University of Maine High Altitude Ballooning (UMHAB) team launched two balloons during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, producing a consistent online video stream of the eclipse to an altitude of 110,000 feet. This paper discusses the key factors that lead to a successful launch and recovery, such as thorough testing procedures, redesign of components, choice of launch site, and a touch of luck. In preparation for the event, the team tested the equipment and code over eleven balloon launches. Airplane based testing and land testing were conducted for the tracking and video stream components. The payloads and nozzle were redesigned to improve efficiency and ease of use. Moreover, the launch site was scouted ahead of time, establishing a good relationship with the host and garnering excellent support for the event. Along with the successful video stream and experiments, the paper will cover the various points of failure and lessons learned from the event.