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'[OT]: British balloon man's amazing space photo'
2010\03\25@192700 by ivp

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uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20100325/tuk-british-balloon-man-s-amazing-space-dba1618.html

Funny, I was talking to someone only yesterday about realtors using
balloons for property photos and we wondered how high you could
get a tethered camera

This free-floating one goes to 21 miles. The balloon expands to 22m
and eventually pops. The camera parachutes back down and he tracks
a transmitter to recover it. Sounds like a fun day out

He says each 'mission' costs around UKP500, compared with 300
million for a shuttle flight. A good rate if a photo is all you wanted,
although even 500 sounds expensive. Surely the only expendable
is the balloon and gas

Not sure if I'd want it to inspire hundreds of similar school science
projects though !!

2010\03\25@193426 by Tamas Rudnai

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Just wondering if it is cheaper because you do not need that much fuel
and stuff or because you do not need to worry too much about loosing
your ship?

Tamas


On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:26 PM, ivp <spam_OUTjoecolquittTakeThisOuTspamclear.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\03\25@193822 by John Gardner

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Joe -

The man's a father of three - perhaps you lack perspective :)

<ducking>

Jack

2010\03\25@194548 by ivp

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> Just wondering if it is cheaper because you do not need that much fuel
> and stuff or because you do not need to worry too much about loosing
> your ship?

The camera he showed in the news clip is just a little point-and-click, so
you might not be too bothered. Then there'd be some sort of altimeter,
perhaps just a simple pressure gauge, something to trigger the camera,
a locator signal and a parachute deployment system. Maybe he doesn't
DIY and gets someone to build them for 500. I really don't know the
history of his experiments and losses, but if it were me I think I'd send
up a good camera with a few smarts

My guess is that now he's made the news he'll be shut down ;-(

2010\03\25@195203 by ivp
face picon face

> Joe -
>
> The man's a father of three - perhaps you lack perspective :)
>
> <ducking>

Ha !!

Well, I'd rather be known as THAT balloon man than that Richard
Heene dips**t

2010\03\25@195735 by Tamas Rudnai

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On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:45 PM, ivp <.....joecolquittKILLspamspam@spam@clear.net.nz> wrote:
> My guess is that now he's made the news he'll be shut down ;-(

Not so sure about that. Nowadays space jumping is for example is no
longer of monopoly of Russian or US super nations.

For example here in the UK Sir Richard Branson is working hard to
achieve affordable space jumps:

http://www.virgingalactic.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Galactic

Tamas


> -

2010\03\25@200418 by Marcel Duchamp

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On 3/25/2010 4:45 PM, ivp wrote:

> The camera he showed in the news clip is just a little point-and-click, so

> if it were me I think I'd send up a good camera with a few smarts


The camera of choice for these projects is both: a cheap point-and-click
and also has a few smarts.  Canon point and shoot pocket cameras can be
programmed with a script file on the SD card.  See google for CHDK:
canon hack development kit

2010\03\25@200446 by Tamas Rudnai

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Hmm, I am always surprised about finding so many good Hungarian
scientists all around (Hungarian born actually, and many times ended
up in the US so we may also can say American):

"The line was named after Theodore von Kármán, (1881-1963) a
Hungarian-American engineer and physicist who was active primarily in
the fields of aeronautics and astronautics."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_line

Tamas


On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:57 PM, Tamas Rudnai <tamas.rudnaispamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2010\03\25@201456 by ivp

face picon face
>> My guess is that now he's made the news he'll be shut down ;-(
>
> Not so sure about that. Nowadays space jumping is for example is no
> longer of monopoly of Russian or US super nations.
>
> For example here in the UK Sir Richard Branson is working hard to
> achieve affordable space jumps:

You might be right, but the news clip did say he takes it to a place
where he (himself presumably claims) won't interfere with air traffic.
Why you'd release it at a remote location is obvious, but it wasn't
said if he had any sort of permission to do so. People like Branson
will have jumped through all kinds of ministry hoops

A balloon would be an uncontrollable hazard and could quite easily
drift. For example when Mythbusters do any sort of aerial hi-jinks
they are required to get well away from air traffic and tether balloons

I'm sure even low-altitude amateur rocketeers' proposals are subject
to approval

2010\03\25@201546 by ivp

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> Canon point and shoot pocket cameras can be programmed with
> a script file on the SD card.  See google for CHDK:

Really ? I didn't know that. Thanks

2010\03\25@210029 by John Gardner

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Marcel -

> Canon point and shoot pocket cameras can be programmed with
> a script file on the SD card.  See google for CHDK:

Likewise, thanks.

best regards, Jack

2010\03\25@211001 by John Gardner

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Tamas -

> I am always surprised about finding so many good Hungarian
> scientists all around ...

Here in the States we've rather got used to it :)

No doubt the reason Public Education has collapsed. Who needs it?
We've got Hungarians...

Come to think of it, I've got an ethnic-German Hungarian ancestor
myself - Not that I'm anything to brag about... :)

best regards, Jack

2010\03\25@213426 by Sean Breheny

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On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 7:26 PM, ivp <EraseMEjoecolquittspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTclear.net.nz> wrote:
> He says each 'mission' costs around UKP500, compared with 300
> million for a shuttle flight. A good rate if a photo is all you wanted,
> although even 500 sounds expensive. Surely the only expendable
> is the balloon and gas
>

Helium is very expensive. I once bough enough to fill three 1meter
diameter balloons (total of about 1500 liters) and it cost about $25
US. Another $20 or so for the tank rental. I'm sure it can be had for
around 1/10th the price if you are a high-volume industrial user but
this guy isn't.

2010\03\25@214201 by ivp

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> Helium is very expensive. I once bough enough to fill three 1meter

That was for your targeting system wasn't it ?

2010\03\25@214902 by Bob Blick

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face

On Fri, 26 Mar 2010 14:40:45 +1300, "ivp" said:
>
> > Helium is very expensive. I once bough enough to fill three 1meter
>
> That was for your targeting system wasn't it ?

I bet it was to relieve some of the load on his robots, so he could
continue to use the neoprene wheels :)

Cheers,
Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Access all of your messages and folders
                         wherever you are

2010\03\25@232709 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Wow, you must work for the FBI if you remember that! :)

Yes, it was for my experiment to see if I could hit balloons with a
model rocket. It wasn't a success, although the balloons were
impressive!

Sean

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 9:40 PM, ivp <joecolquittspamspam_OUTclear.net.nz> wrote:
>
>> Helium is very expensive. I once bough enough to fill three 1meter
>
> That was for your targeting system wasn't it ?
> -

2010\03\25@232801 by Sean Breheny

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Yes, that's it. I'll propose that each 850 pound robot have sufficient
balloons attached to reduce the loading to half the weight. :)

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 9:49 PM, Bob Blick <@spam@bobblickKILLspamspamftml.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\03\26@000305 by ivp

face picon face

> Wow, you must work for the FBI if you remember that! :)
>
> Yes, it was for my experiment to see if I could hit balloons with a
> model rocket. It wasn't a success, although the balloons were
> impressive!

I also remember the video of you guys out in the field

2010\03\26@050755 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
> The camera of choice for these projects is both: a cheap point-and-click
> and also has a few smarts.  Canon point and shoot pocket cameras can be
> programmed with a script file on the SD card.  See google for CHDK:
> canon hack development kit

It is a Canon that he uses.

A number of the photos here ...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_8580000/newsid_8587600/8587683.stm

News item here ...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/8587749.stm

This one (from link on above) has a picture of the camera in its loft
insulation box ...

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/Leeds-boffin39s-DIY-space-odyssey.6179348.jp

This one laso has a series of photos, including the camera box ...
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7074839.ece

There is also this one by some Cambridge University students back in 2006,
doing something similar with a balloon.
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/5357966.stm


2010\03\26@051005 by Alan B Pearce

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> You might be right, but the news clip did say he takes it to a place
> where he (himself presumably claims) won't interfere with air traffic.

He has been operating from a couple of places reserved for doing such
things, so they don't interfere with aircraft. I had the impression that he
would like to try from some other sites as well.

2010\03\26@051151 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
> Helium is very expensive. I once bough enough to fill three 1meter
> diameter balloons (total of about 1500 liters) and it cost about $25
> US. Another $20 or so for the tank rental. I'm sure it can be had for
> around 1/10th the price if you are a high-volume industrial user but
> this guy isn't.

In that case I would be tempted to use hydrogen ...

2010\03\26@081816 by Russell McMahon

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> http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20100325/tuk-british-balloon-man-s-amazing-space-dba1618.html

> This free-floating one goes to 21 miles. The balloon expands to 22m
> and eventually pops. The camera parachutes back down and he tracks
> a transmitter to recover it. Sounds like a fun day out

Reminds me of a line of thought I had a few months ago when i was
wondering if I could send notes etc to my children by such a means.

Adding two pivotable drag fins at 90 degrees a bit of anti spin
finning should allow you to achieve basic guidance. Fly home to launch
site, or somewhere else, without two much effort. Std GPS stops
working at I-forget metres so you may have to get clever with
topographical recognition, but that should not be too too hard, and a
compass would be enough for direction and the simplest of radio
beacons give you approximate "where am I " capability until GPS was
usable. If you were aiming at substantial; cross range then RDF on eg
a televsion transmitter until the GPS returned would be enough.

At 20 miles / 100,000 feet / ~30 km a 1:1 glide ratio gives you 1:1
downrange range.

Drop a suitably wingy glider at apogee with a 10:1 glide ratio and you
start to go places.

According to me in December 2007
old.nabble.com/U2-flight-to-70,000-feet---superb-td14453905.html
a U@ achieved 28:1 glide ratio for 200 miles glide range from 70,000 feet.

To reach my son from here I'd need about 50:1 glide ratio
(Christchurch NZ) which is hardly seriously doable and to send
brochures to my daughter needs about 100:1 + (Canberra Oz) . So both
seem safe from this form of missive delivery.

English Channel type ranges would be very doable.

Model-glider + balloon launch systems could be a lot of fun - and GPS
would be available at all sensible altitudes.

It would be interesting to see what sort of return accuracy GPS would
allow with simple guidance. Possibly too interesting :-(.  Presumably
many people have though of this and similar already.


     R

2010\03\26@085659 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
They do use hydrogen for some weather balloons. It is also even more
buoyant (slightly).

On Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 5:12 AM, Alan B Pearce <KILLspamAlan.B.PearceKILLspamspamstfc.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Helium is very expensive. I once bough enough to fill three 1meter
>> diameter balloons (total of about 1500 liters) and it cost about $25
>> US. Another $20 or so for the tank rental. I'm sure it can be had for
>> around 1/10th the price if you are a high-volume industrial user but
>> this guy isn't.
>
> In that case I would be tempted to use hydrogen ...
> -

2010\03\26@092255 by BOB

picon face
I seem to remember from my younger days that it is quite easy make
hydrogen your self.  Just water and an electrical power source and a
couple other items. Very flamible though and dangerous to have around.

Bob




Sean Breheny wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> --

2010\03\26@092608 by Walter Banks

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Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

A group of MIT students did a similar balloon camera project a few months ago.
They had great use of technology in their project.

http://space.1337arts.com/

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/09/21/space.camera.icarus.ireport/index.html

Gliding down from 100,000 feet is a complex project.

At 100,000 feet 99% of the earths atmosphere is below you.
By the time you get to 50,000 feet 90% of the atmosphere  is still below you.

Then you get to play with all the fun things.
Back of old envelop calculations below the stall speed

Lift is proportional to velocity squared

Lift is proportional to angle of attack

Drag is proportional to velocity squared

Drag is proportional to angle of attack

Drag is proportional to air density

Lift is proportional to air density

lift / drag is aerodynamic efficiency  essential to keeping high glide ratios

Lift  is effectively an upward acceleration offset by gravity's relentless
pull together they determine both loss of altitude and velocity.

Distance is integration of velocity until the altitude runs out.

Sending a Dad's note to his daughter priceless.
Figuring out how to do it mind boggling.

w..







2010\03\26@100031 by Russell McMahon

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> Gliding down from 100,000 feet is a complex project.

It's only rocket science :-)



       Russell

2010\03\26@111114 by Gary Crowell

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Not sure why this particular guy made such a splash on the news, it's been
done by amateurs for at least ten years or more with similar results.
Google 'near space balloon' for hits on a dozen or more projects.  I believe
there was also a series of articles in Nuts&Volts on near space.

Gary


----------------------------------------------
Gary A. Crowell Sr., P.E., CID+
http://www.linkedin.com/in/garyacrowellsr

2010\03\26@163310 by Vitaliy

face
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face
Sean Breheny wrote:
> Wow, you must work for the FBI if you remember that! :)
>
> Yes, it was for my experiment to see if I could hit balloons with a
> model rocket. It wasn't a success, although the balloons were
> impressive!

Sean, do you have videos of this project?


2010\03\26@194125 by Ruben Jönsson

flavicon
face
> > uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20100325/tuk-british-balloon-man-s-amazing-space-db
> > a1618.html
>
> > This free-floating one goes to 21 miles. The balloon expands to 22m
> > and eventually pops. The camera parachutes back down and he tracks
> > a transmitter to recover it. Sounds like a fun day out
>

What's stopping it from ending up in the ocean?

Isn't the chance at landing in the water a lot bigger than landing on land when
launching from anywhere in England?

/Ruben==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
spamBeGonerubenspamBeGonespampp.sbbs.se
==============================

2010\03\26@201834 by Vitaliy

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Ruben Jönsson wrote:
> > uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20100325/tuk-british-balloon-man-s-amazing-space-db
> > a1618.html
>
> > This free-floating one goes to 21 miles. The balloon expands to 22m
> > and eventually pops. The camera parachutes back down and he tracks
> > a transmitter to recover it. Sounds like a fun day out
>

>What's stopping it from ending up in the ocean?

Isn't the chance at landing in the water a lot bigger than landing on land
when
launching from anywhere in England?<

Apparently it rises fast enough to pop before reaching the ocean.

Vitaliy

2010\03\27@031152 by Peter

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Russell McMahon <apptechnz <at> gmail.com> writes:
> Drop a suitably wingy glider at apogee with a 10:1 glide ratio and you
> start to go places.

Already done in 2005:

http://members.shaw.ca/sonde/index.htm

-- Peter


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