The process of organising the launch and finishing of the Balloon payload is taking a long time to do. Many of my work an family commitments mean that I’m only to progress things slowly. The following are the main areas of concern
1. Obtaining a vehicle to transport self and equipment and others to site
2. Confirming whether SPOT3 or SPOT2 is the best Messenger to add to the payload
3. Investigating procedure to fill the balloon
4. Investigating what the best way is to ‘test’ the fill procedure, with least expense, but most realistic setting
5. Touching up on the document for CASA, requesting approval
6. Obtaining a radar reflector
7. Obtaining a spare Totex 800Gram balloon
8. Determining the best way to include Family (esp Jeremy), if the decide they’d like to be at the launch.
As one can see, there is still very much that needs to be done. I am getting a little more confident with these points.
1. Still need to test drive a Toyota Hilux, but thinking that a Ford Ranger will be the one to go for
2. The SPOT3 Messenger in ‘Tracking Mode’ apparently won’t turn off for 24hrs
3. I’ve found a UK site that describes a PVC like http://wiki.ukhas.org.uk/guides:fill_tube
4. I am thinking I will purchase an Air Cylinder from BOX (~$60) and use that as if it were Helium. I’ll need to make sure the same connetions, pressure, regulator are used for it as the He cylinder.
5. I’ve confirmed as long as I’m out side the range of the Cairns Secondary Radar (474km), I do not need a transponder. This means I need to be a LONG way west. Normanton is 505km West
6. The CASA regulations state that for a Medium Balloon, a radar reflector is required. I’ve located one http://www.sky-probe.com/Accessories-Radar_Reflector.html#!prettyPhoto
7. I might have to purchase one through UK again. A bit wasteful to have to buy it through a second purchase…a bit of an oversight
8. Looking at possibly flying family to Normanton and they can hire a car. Will see.