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Near Space Weather Balloon Project


Hello Makers, those of you interested in space, aviation, or just kind of cool stuff, MakNet plans to assemble and build a weather balloon this semester to gather photographs from near space, and to potentially gather interesting scientific data along the way. This should be a cool project, that will involve all sorts of skills that will be learnt along the way, so even if you don’t know anything about electronics, weather balloons, or space yet, this is a great way to learn new skills and work on a super cool project.


If you are unfamiliar with weather balloons and what they are used for, weather balloons are small helium filled latex or sometimes other material balloons that carry a payload of between 200 and 500 grams up into the upper atmosphere. Sometimes they reach upwards of 35 km (~22 miles) into the air, going high above the clouds and into the stratosphere! NOAA and the national weather service utilize weather balloons quite often (usually daily launches from many major airports) to collect data from the upper atmosphere about wind speed, humidity, temperature, and GPS information.


To do this project this semester will be a large undertaking, but will be very rewarding, as we will learn about ultra long range radios, electronics, temperature management, and even some aerospace concepts as we plan to fly our balloon later this semester. If you’re interested in joining this project, we will meet next week on Monday, February 13th at 5:00pm in the Murray Maker Space to first determine what materials to use, and what the regulations there are about launching our balloon, which will be a great introduction to the world of aerospace, radio technology, and making in general.


To participate, contact Christopher Jadelis,|919-449-6867