[amsat-bb] Balloon lost near Shrewsbury, PA

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Apr 7 07:47:40 PDT 2014

Short Story.  The balloon is lost near Shrewsbury, PA. But we are sure (now
after post processing) that we know where it is within about an acre.

See: http://aprs.org/balloons.html

Premature burst (or separation) caused the payload to descend at over 5000
feet per minute slowing to 4000'/min (nearly 50 MPH straight down)at last
posit.  We did not know this at the time, and wasted our time searching the
track 1/2 mile beyond the last data point assuming the much slower parachute
design rate of 600'/min.

When we got home, post processing revealed the high descent rate and the
more likely spot much closer to the last known position.  Also the high
impact is why it probably ceased transmitting.

Also we were looking for a balloon and parachute in the trees, not (as it
turns out) for the football sized Styrofoam box (mostly covered in black
duct tape!) somewhere on the ground in the underburush.  We would not have
noticed that between other occasional trash in the area.

Contact info is on the balloon.



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