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Logo AMSAT Logo LU2HDX Club de Radioaficionados Lago San Roque

A brief history

The 'Globo' project started off as a collaboration between our local club (Club de Radioaficionados Lago San Roque, LU2HDX) and the Argentinian branch of AMSAT (AMSAT Argentina. LU7AA), in 1994, following the proposal by Mario Basavilbaso, LU3HEF, and John Coppens, ON6JC.

Later, I decided to present the project as a practical work to my students at the Universidad Católica de Córdoba, in the hope that this would stimulate their interest in real-world projects.

The main goals of the project

- Promote cooperation between radio amateurs
- Experiment with electronic payloads at low temperatures y high altitudes
- Provide incentives for experimentation for students and hams
- Gather experience with the components for space use
- Communicate with similar groups in other countries

What has been done

The first flight, without any experience, and almost no real knowledge, failed at 15000m (45000ft), but gave us enough information to correct our design for the next flights. This first flight transmitted temperature, pressure, and humidity, in an analog format, easily decodable with a simple interface.

The second flight (really 2bis), reached correctly the planned 28000 meters (85000 ft) height, and transmittedthe data in AX.25 type packet radio. It had also an analog repeater on board, converting 80m SSB into 2m FM.

The third flight (also two intents) was launched on March 21th, 1995, and had a photographic camera, a telemetry transmitter with meteorological info, a several channels with internal parameters. The SSTV (Slow Scan Television) generator failed at the actual moment of the launch.

What's coming?

At the moment, we're planning the payload for the fourth flight. Two principal goals here:

- Modularize the electronics, to ease modifications and add-ons in the future,
- Add a television camera, and transmit the images live. (Or converted to SSTV - almost live)

In the pages you'll find some help about things I found difficult to assess. We'll be adding more info as things grow, of course.

The launches were executed from Córdoba Airport, with the help from the staff of the Meteorological Office. Thanks to all of them, and to the data they provided to us to make a nice prediction of the impact point.

Each flight receives the help of many radioamateurs, in the whole of the country, and even from Uruguay, where signals were captured from the second and third flight. Without their help, it would have been impossible to obtain the complete flight data. The project would not make any sense without them.

Launch announcements, transmission formats, decoding programs, flight results, were distributed by the packet radio network, in the forma of a series of bulletins. These bulletins were kindly incorporated in the national AMSAT bulletins by José Plano, LU2FCY.

The people

A special thanks to all stations reporting telemetry, and reception reports. Thanks to all who somehow supported the project! It would not be fair to some if we would try to recall all those who participated. There were just too many of them!

Thanks!

A small tribute - because of lack of material - to other ballooners in the rest of the world. Thanks to those who helped us out!


(c) John Coppens ON6JC/LW3HAZ mail