Easter Balloon Launch

Posted by Sam on April 02, 2016.

During this week of easter holidays the Octanis 1 team was happy to complete their first balloon mission successfully, after they launched a weather balloon carrying a replica of the rovers electronics to near space. The goal was to test the functioning of the rovers hardware in flight. This is a first step on the way to being able to launch the complete rover on a balloon, landing safely with a parachute, detaching and driving around.

The balloon was launched at Parc Russel, St Sulpice, Switzerland where it began its journey over western Switzerland. It flew over 150km above the cantons of Vaud, Fribourg, Neuchatel, Bern, Solothurn and landed safely with a parachute in a forest in Aarau, canton of Aargau. The payload was found but not yet retrieved as it is currently entangled in a very high tree. Telemetry data was successfuly transmitted live during the flight over LoRaWAN and GSM. LoRaWAN was used at high altitudes, where GSM was no longer working.

Live image transmitted via GSM

At the moment the team is busy with data analysis and compiling results and lessons learned from this launch. The payload will be retrieved in the following days revealing more findings. For now we know that the two almost identical payloads the flew were functional until landing and kept working on battery power for a long time after.

Octanis Association would like to thank Carbagas and u-blox for making this launch possible!

More details on the balloon launch on our wiki.

Extract from the telemetry feed (more here):