daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Continental Forums > North American Skyscrapers Forum > Canada > Prairie Provinces


Thread Tools
Old September 4th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #1
Salad Days Are Here
Xelebes's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Едмончук/Oil Capital of Canada
Posts: 3,571
Likes (Received): 367

Edmonton men reach edge of space on balloon string

Thought this was kinda neat. I mean, we eventually want to build space elevators and spacescrapers and the sort...


Local men reach edge of space on balloon string
Anna Mehler Paperny, The Edmonton Journal
Published: 1:35 am

EDMONTON - Tony Rafaat didn't send an object into space, but he came pretty close.

Almost 120,000 feet (36,000 metres) above sea level, to be exact.

Rafaat and several of his friends, all amateur radio aficionados, launched a weather balloon into near-space earlier this month. It was the sixth-highest launch of its kind in the world.
Email to a friendEmail to a friendPrinter friendlyPrinter friendly

* *
* *
* *
* *

They have the photos to prove it.

"It was a real dream for me," Rafaat said. "I guess it was my baby to a large extent, but it wouldn't have happened without others' help."

After reading an article online about someone in California who launched a weather balloon attached to a camera, radio transmitter and tracking device, the schoolteacher couldn't resist the project's educational potential.

"I thought, 'Wow, that's really neat,' " he said. "From an educational perspective, this type of a project encompasses many subject areas. Of course science, mathematics, geography. You can also get into (a language arts) component -- you could do poetry, you could do art."

Rafaat connected with several like-minded Albertans to form SABLE -- the Southern Alberta Balloon Launch Experiment. The aim was to launch a helium-filled weather balloon attached to a parachute and to a container with a camera, a GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking device, a radio transmitter and an antenna.

The camera took one photo per minute and the GPS device monitored the balloon's location. The radio transmitter and antenna relayed the information back to the crew's radios on the ground.

There was much groundwork to be laid, however, before liftoff could take place.

The crew needed to determine how much helium they had to fill the balloon with and how to keep all the fragile equipment safe and functioning in a cold, low-pressure environment. Barry Sloan, a former technician, custom-designed an antenna and wiring that connected their GPS device to the radio transmitter.

Rafaat estimates the whole experiment cost around $400, with the most expensive item being a $130 digital camera bought off eBay.

After two unsuccessful attempts in the spring and summer of 2006, one of which resulted in the balloon becoming tangled in the branches of a tree, the crew tried for a third time on Aug. 11. They launched the balloon from a field near Sherwood Park. The experiment's third incarnation, SABLE-3, was a success.

"It was a really textbook mission," Rafaat said.

The balloon rose at a rate of 2,610 feet per minute (783 metres per minute), expanding to a diameter of 12 metres -- eight times its starting size -- as the pressure dropped.

"You could see what appeared to be a small, white dot rising through the blue of the sky," Rafaat said. "Of course you can see it, 'cause now it's the size of a bungalow."

At 120,000 feet, the balloon reached capacity and popped, landing in a farmer's field near Vegreville, about 100 kilometres from the launch site.

For Rafaat, who does photography on the side, the camera was an important component of their experiment. "That was a huge part of this: I wanted a photo from near space which contains both the black of space, the upper stratosphere and the curve of the Earth."


© The Edmonton Journal 2007
Xelebes no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old September 5th, 2007, 04:07 AM   #2
Registered User
Canadian74's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 539
Likes (Received): 0

Canadian74 no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:03 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.2.5 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!
Forum server management by DaiTengu