West Point Annual Balloon Satellite Launch
The West Point Astronomy and Amateur Radio Clubs joined for their annual Balloon Satellite Launch. Thirteen cadets from across the academic spectrum were joined by three faculty members (Astronomy: Dr. Paula Fekete, LTC Diana Loucks, HAM Radio: LTC Stephen Hamilton) as well as other HAM operators from across the community for the operation. The official launch time was 1:59:00 EDT from Salt Springs State Park in Pennsylvania, and the last official transmission prior to landing was at 5:27:30 EDT on Limeridge Road, Poughquag, NY, for a total flight time of 3 hrs. and 28.5 minutes.
The payload (the big white Styrofoam box) achieved an altitude of 103549.2126 ft prior to balloon burst and included several experiments and fun items including a Geiger-counter (highest measurements were 3668 CPM and 220080 μSv/hr pending post processing), and a WiFi detection experiment detected MySpectrumWiFib8-2G at 32852.69029 ft. A few other experiments were on board including a weather sensor to detect pressure and temperature, as well as imagery devices to include the first ever Pi-cam.