Following our Santa Sleigh Test launch at the end of 2013 and the fantastic response to the subsequent video, we knew that interest in High Altitude Balloon experiments was still as great as ever. We made two presentations at the beginning of this year – one to Worcester Radio Amateurs Association and the other to students at Highgate School in London. Both were fantastic audiences and we were thrilled to be asked. Hopefully we have inspired some people to become interested in the electronics and science behind the hobby!
However this is where a lot of other things took over most of the HAB activities. In between holidays to Australia and Florence, I have progressed to two new jobs and have spent some time working on UKHASnet nodes and a Raspberry Pi IP CCTV Camera. Not forgetting weekends at Glastonbury Festival, the UKHAS Conference and EMF Camp!
This year has seen some fantastic launches from the other members of the HAB community. One that requires a special mention is the B-64 flight from Leo Bodnar which was launched on the 12th July this year and is STILL FLYING now! It has circumnavigated the globe many times and has even had a detour to the North Pole. It is a fantastic achievement and with a flight time record that keeps on getting longer, I think this is going to be a hard one to beat.
So what next? Well, in between the above, we have managed to build, design and test STRATODEAN Four. It’s taken many weeks of work to get to where we are, however, the mission is still under wraps as we hope it will be a ‘first’ of some kind, but that’s all we can say at the moment - Exciting! I guess its stealthy development has also been a factor in the lack of updates! However, all will be revealed as soon as we launch in the coming weeks. Assuming the weather is good, fingers crossed for January!