[islandlabs] Weather Balloon Prediction (no island labs meeting next week)

Burns, William burns
Thu Dec 22 19:19:29 EST 2011

Island Labs meetings will resume at the regular Wednesday @ 8:00pm @ Farmingdale time+place in January.

The last meeting was a HAM radio show-n-tell that was fairly successful.
The Red Cross Comm team was in attendance, and it looks like there are 4 people interested in buying dual-band handheld 2-meter/440Mhz radios.
We also have a preliminary design for briefcase HAM radios


Here (Below) are Proposed Weather Balloon Prediction instructions for new chase-team members:
Does everyone think these are good instructions?
Please let me know before I distribute this to new chase-team recruits.


1) get the lon/lat coordinates of a potential launch location.

search "roscoe diner ny"
zoom in on your launch location.
Click the "link" symbol.
Copy the URL:
extract the coordinates from the URL:


Choose a forecast period that's far enough in the future to be a good weekend/holiday launch time.
Paste latitude + longitude values from the google maps URL
click "submit"
Wait for output.

3) Look for the "Impact" location.

Either view the output in google earth (if you have it installed)
Or.. plug the final impact coordinates back into a google maps URL.


4) Zoom in and evaluate the impact location. 

Do a quick evaluation of the landing location and flightpath:
a) Is it accessible?
b) Is it clear of water?
c) Will there be cell-phone coverage in that area?
d) Is the balloon route clear of airports?
e) Is there a good barbecue eatery nearby?


Consider finding/using other weather balloon prediction sites like:

Did you get the same/similar landing site results?
If not, why?

Got a good launch + landing solution?
Touch base w/ the group.

Find out:
Is this a good weekend/day for the entire team?
What balloon is in inventory?
Is there helium on-hand?
What will the actual ascent rate be?
What will the real burst altitude be for that balloon?

Repeat the forecast procedure as the potential launch date approaches.
Keep the team informed.

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