Nova Launch

On the 10th of October 2013 we launched bobblehead incarnations of Nova 106.9 presenters Ash, Kip and Luttsy to near space from Coonabarabran, NSW. The launch was a great success, with the craft, dubbed “Jobbernaut One”, reaching a maximum altitude of 31180 metres after 1 hour and 40 minutes. Using two independent tracking systems the craft was found to have landed in a wheat field. After a 3.3km trek, Jobbernaut One was recovered and the amazing footage retrieved. Take a look at the brilliant edit by Nova below.

This project was an amazing experience for the whole Helios team. We really do have to thank the whole Nova 106.9 team for being so supportive in this project. We will be constantly grateful for your willingness to place the responsibility for the launch in the hands of two high school students. In particular, we thank Jay Walkerden, Dee Curtis, Luke McKew, Scott Tonges, Nathan Ryan, Mitch Lewis, Ash Bradman, Kip Wightman and David Lutteral. We also thanks John Press, Ashley Anderson and Mark Austin of the Tamworth Amateur Radio Club for their continued maintenance of the brilliant central NSW APRS network which allowed us to track the balloon.

Technical Specifications

  • Tracking
    • APRS
      • Argent OpenTracker USB
      • Garmin GPS 18x LVC
      • Friendcom FC-301/D Data Radio - VHF
    • SPOT GPS Messenger
  • Cutdown System
    • Arduino Micro
    • Custom MC145436 based DTMF interface
    • Nichrome hot wire
  • Cameras
    • 3 x GoPro Hero 3 Silver
  • Power Supply
    • 16 x Energiser Ultimate Lithium L91 AA batteries
    • 3 x TSR 1-2450 5V switching regulator
  • Balloon
    • Hwoyee 1200 gram
  • Parachute
    • Spherachutes 1.5m diameter parachute
  • Capsule
    • Laser cut MDF and acrylic covered in 20mm styrofoam