Monday, January 7, 2013

BARREL Status Report #11

BARREL Status Report #11
January 7, 2013

We had a busy weekend down South! Yesterday (6Jan), the SANAE team
launched two payloads (Payload 1L at 1357 UT and Payload 1M at
1803UT). We were interested in measuring small scale structure using
the overlapping fields of view of two payloads. Unfortunately, we lost
contact with 1L on the ascent. The balloon had a healthy ascent rate
and John and Brett could see it through binoculars many hours later.
Since we have not had contact with it, we expect it to self-terminate
at 0200 this morning. Payload 1M is doing very well and currently at
35 km altitude. We launched this payload with only two solar panels as
a test and it is working beautifully.

Payloads 1B, 1D, 1J, 1K are still up as well, though we anticipate
terminating 1B tomorrow. This balloon has shown a larger altitude
decrease than the others. So, we now have five payloads up! There
*still* hasn't been much geomagnetic activity - things have been
unusually quiet - but we expect some activity tomorrow or the next
day. Keep your fingers crossed.

The SANAE team has had an improvement in their weather forecast and
are looking at a possible launch opportunity tomorrow at 1400 UT
(1/8/13). The Halley team has been experiencing 25 knot winds but also
expects good conditions by late tomorrow/early Wednesday. We have
Payload 1I ready to launch here and 1G on the bench undergoing
testing.

Stay tuned!
Robyn