Archive for May, 2014

How do you launch a high altitude radiosonde from a remote location without on-site personnel? As part of the ASTRA initiative, 4th year MEng Aeronautical Engineering students from the University of Southampton designed a lightweight, compact and portable radiosonde launcher, which can be deposited at a remote site, to be triggered via a text message when a sounding is required.

Applications include observing transient phenomena (e.g., via triggering the launch remotely when convective activity is observed at any of the sites where automated launchers had been placed) or sending very large amounts of data (on hard drives) back via a high altitude balloon borne pod from inaccessible locations (e.g., marine buoys, underwater vehicles surfacing to perform a data ‘upload’ via balloon launch).

The video shows the test flight of the prototype – the balloon inflation takes about five minutes, with the actual release at 5:40.


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