Two of three Senior Projects Class balloon payloads recovered in Georgia

Upper winds Saturday, March 30, carried the payloads from BalloonSats launched from 10-11 a.m. by The University of Alabama in Huntsville's EE494 Senior Projects Class 122 miles away into Georgia near the town of Calhoun.

Payload chasers tracked the courses of the 57th, 58th and 59th BalloonSats launched by UAHuntsville senior design classes. One of the payloads landed on the ground near a new home under construction and was sighted by some of the workers on the site. Another was found in a tall tree behind a residential area, and the third rested in a very tall tree near a road and power lines.

The first and second payloads were recovered but the third is still in the top of the 70-foot pine. An initial attempt to retrieve it was not successful. Another attempt is planned.

Team Airspache launched a series of four identically built boxes to measure the effect of various internal heating elements and external coverings on internal temperature; Teams FiveStar and JEGS mounted video cameras on motors to compensate for payload spin.

Members of the Five Star Group with their balloon and payload prelaunch.


Members of the FiveStar team with their balloon and payload prelaunch.

Volunteers who provided assistance with balloon tracking and payload recovery were Jason Winningham, who built new tracking packages; Bill Brown, who lent a couple of back-up trackers and his balloon launch services; Don Robinson, who found the first two payloads; Gary Dion, who co-piloted a chase vehicle; Shane Wilson, who ascended a tree and retrieved a payload; and Wes Cantrell, who inflated the balloons.

Course instructors Dr. Charles Corsetti and Dr. John Piccirillo travelled with the retrieval team. The Alabama Space Grant Consortium is a funding sponsor of UAHuntsville student BalloonSat projects.

For more information contact
Dr. Charles Corsetti


Dr. John Piccirillo


Jim Steele