Fergus Noble

Member Since: January 22, 2008

Country: United States

  • Just found this guide, glad to know the predictor is proving useful to people. One tip, it is quite sensitive to the ascent rate and burst altitude parameters. We find it to be a lot more accurate when we run it with an estimate of the true ascent rate and burst altitude.<br />
    <br />
    There are some tools here which help to calculate these parameters:<br />
    http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:balloon_data<br />
    <br />
    One of which is our online calculator (based on the 'burst1a' spreadsheet by Steve Randall):<br />
    http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~cuspaceflight/calc/<br />
    <br />
    However nothing beats making an estimate from the telemetry once the balloon is in the air. We usually re-run shortly after launch with an updated ascent rate and then after burst with an updated burst altitude.<br />
    <br />
    This can be remarkably accurate, we have seen the payload land from the predicted spot before and usually it gets you close enough to pick up the radio on the ground.<br />
    <br />
    Fergus (CU Spaceflight)

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