University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club
UTARC is launching a weather balloon Saturday night (March 31st - 10:00 PM). They need hams in North Carolina to monitor the flight. The balloon will be sending RTTY on 20 meters. They have created an interesting piece of software that you can use to decode the RTTY. The software then automatically sends the information received to UTARC. All you need is something that will receive 20m SSB, a sound card interface and a computer running Windows 98 or higher.
You can download the software here
The work on CarolinaEOS2 is now almost complete. This flight will broadcast pictures via slow scan TV. The payload contents will include a small PC computer (Soekris board) to do the processing of the SSTV images. The operating system is Linux. CarolinaEOS2 will launch in late March or early April.
CarolinaEOS got started when a group of us discovered that there were individuals and groups doing some very interesting weather balloon experiments. Being amateur radio enthusiasts, pilots and also just being interested in science in general we thought it would be fun to launch some balloons ourselves and see what we could learn. Our plan was also to involve school children in the hopes of getting them interested in amateur radio, science and the world in general. We have created this site to document our efforts.
Our first balloon launch (CarolinaEOS1) occurred Saturday March 18, 2006. It was a simple payload containing a GPS, TNC a small 2m transceiver, two digital cameras and a simple BasicX computer to control the cameras. Details of the assembly of the payload and of the flight are available via the CarolinaEOS1 link above.
We have since then assisted The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) with a balloon launch. Professor John Chadwick of the Geography and Earth Sciences department taught a class on weather balloons. Students in the class built experiments for the payload. CarolinaEOS assisted with the APRS equipment and with tracking and recovering the payload. The balloon was successfully launched and recovered on December 9, 2006. The balloon reached an altitude of 83,700 feet. All data from payload experiments was successfully retrieved.
The University of Tennessee Amateaur Radio Club (UTARC) launched UX-9 on December 19, 2006. The balloon landed North of Charlotte near Sherrils Ford. CarolinaEOS assisted with the recovery by locating local resources to help in the recovery effort. Phil K4ATM, Bill W4GRW, Randy K4RKZ and the Sherrils Ford Volunteer Fire Department recovered the payload.
We continue to give presentations about ham radio and weather balloon projects to school groups. This is one of the main reasons for the existence of CarolinaEOS. We want children to know just how interesting science can be. We also want them to know that when it comes to science, they can be a participant. We have given presentations to classes in public schools three times. We have also given one presentation to a group of home schooled students. We will be giving a presentation to another home school group in the near future.There is a great deal of information on the web concerning weather balloon projects and we wish to thank all of those individuals and organizations who have preceded down this road before us and assembled this wealth of information. Links to sites we found helpful