FAQs

Here is a list of commonly asked questions. If you have other questions please feel free to contact us or leave a comment! We'll add your question to the mix. 

Q: Where can I find information about the BARREL Project?

A:There are a few different BARREL Websites which all have some great information. 
1) Main Project Website 
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~barrel/
project information and links to all the pages listed below

2) BARREL Blog (You are already here!)
http://relativisticballoons.blogspot.com (or our science blog barrelscience.blogspot.com)
Best place to go for current news. We'll be posting information about upcoming launches, launch times, interesting observations, ect. 

3) Archival Data Access 
http://Barreldata.ucsc.edu/data_products/v04

Q: What Height do the balloons fly at? 

A: ~30 km or ~ 18.6 miles high. This isn't a constant altitude of the balloons, but our estimated range is between 30 - 35 km. For reference, the guy who jumped from "space: and broke the sound barrier, Felix Baumgartner, he jumped from 39 km. He could have hit one of our balloons! 

Q: What time zone are SANAE IV and Halley 6 in? 

A: Although the stats ions are in different time zones, they are both using GMT (or UT = Universal time. )

Q: What time zone is Kiruna Sweden in? 

A: Central European Time Zone UT + 1 hour)


Q: When did the 2015 campaign start? 

A: We are currently in Sweden waiting for a chance to launch our first balloon.  

Q: How long will the 2015 campaign last? 

A: We don't know. This campaign will be shorter then the last two as it's during a time called turn around instead of during the circumpolar winds. This is when the circumpolar winds change direction, allowing us to launch a balloon and have it stay in relatively the same spot. However this will last at most around two weeks.  

Q: How many balloons are you launching in the third campaign? 

A: We will launch 6 payloads. They will be called 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E, 3F

Times of launch and termination To be determined... 

Q: When did the 2014 campaign start? 

A: We were able to launch our first payload on December 27th 2013, about a half a week earlier than last years campaign. 

Q: How long will the 2014 campaign last? 

A: We don't know, probably close to the middle or end of February. Depending on the weather we may be able to launch our last balloon by the beginning of February. However once we launch the last balloon, the campaign isn't finished. The balloons can stay up for a week or two after they've been launched (look at 1I from the first campaign, it had the longest duration, 38 days!) Of course the work doesn't end here either. We have to analyze all the data, write up the papers, present our findings, and collaborate with others; Oh and of course we still have to decide if we'll have a plan a third campaign. 

Q: How many balloons are you launching in the second campaign? 

A: We plan to launch 20 balloons; 10 from SANAE IV and 10 from Halley 6. Easch payload name starts with 2 (for the second campaign) and is followed by a letter. These letters were given to the payload as they were started to be built. Those in blue have been launched, those in red have been cut down, and those in black have yet to be launched. 

Payloads at Halley 6: 
2I, 2K, 2L, 2M, 2N, 2O, 2P, 2Q, 2R, 2T
Payloads at SANAE IV: 
2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 2J, 2X, 2W, 2Y

There are also spares at each location (not listed here until they have launched). These are extras. We may use them for parts, we may use a  full payload in case one crashes before we get any real amount of data. We may also use them for a third campaign. 

Times of launch and termination 
2T - Launched on Dec. 27th 12:08 UT. After ~22 days 2T was terminated at 7:26 UT on January 17th. 
2I - Launched on Dec. 31st 11:44 UT. 2I was terminated at 21:28 on January 14th. 
2W - Launched on Dec. 31st 17:35 UT. It was terminated on Jan 11th at 12:27 UT. It was up for ~12 days, not bad at all. 
2K - Launched on Jan 4th 12:29 UT. It was terminated on Jan 13 at 9:30 UT. It was up for ~9 days. 
2X - Launched on Jan 4th 19:07 UT. It floated around Antarctica for ~ 18 days before being terminated on Jan 22 at 08:00 UT. 
2L- Launched on Jan 6th 16:57 UT. It was cut down early on the morning of Feb. 3rd at 08:49 UT. It stayed up for 28 days. 10 days shy of last years record but currently holed this year's record for longest flight. 
2M - Launched on Jan 11th 11:12 UT. It was a slow leaker and ultimately terminated at 9:45 
UT on Jan 13th. It was up for 2 days. 
2Y - Launched on Jan 11th at 19:32 UT. It was terminated on Jan 19th at 1800 UT
2A- Launched on Jan 16th at 13:27 UT. 
2B - Launched on Jan 17th at 19:24 UT

2N - Launched on Jan 18th at 12:48 UT. It was a slow leaker and ultimately terminated at 02:20 UT on Jan. 19th 

2C - Launched on Jan 20th at 18:16 UT. We lost contact with 2C on Jan 25th. It should have self terminated by Jan 27th. 

2O - Launched on Jan 26th at 17:40 UT. 

2D - Launched on Jan 27th at 15:52 UT. 2D was terminated on Jan 29th at 03:31 UT. It was a slow leaker but still saw some of the flares occurring over the last day. 

2P - Launched on Jan 30th at 11:25 UT. 

2E - Launched on Jan 30th at 16:00 UT. 

2F - Launched on Feb. 1st at 16:11 UT. 

2Q - Launched on Feb. 2nd. 

Q: How long was the 2013 Campaign? 

A: The campaign began with the first launch on January 1st 2013 and ended on February 16th 2013 when 1I was cut down. There are a few payloads still on the ice calling home, but they are now acting as ground magnetometers. At some point they are likely to be covered in snow or not get enough sunlight so that their batteries will die and we'll no longer hear from them.

Q: How many balloons were launched in 2013?

A: We launched 20 balloons; 13 from SANAE IV and 7 from Halley 6. Each payload name starts with 1 (for the first campaign) and is followed by a letter. These letters were given to the payload as they were built.

Payloads launched from Halley 6: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1G, 1H, 1I 
Payloads launched from SANAE IV: 1J, 1K, 1L, 1M, 1N, 1O, 1Q, 1R, 1S, 1T, 1U, 1V, 1W

Times of launch and termination
 1L - Launched from SANAE IV on Jan 6th 2013. Lost contact ~ 2 hours after launch. Expected to have self terminated at 0200UT on the 8th of Jan


1B- Launched from Halley 6 on January 2nd 2013. It came down after a good long run on the 9th of January at ~1030 UT

1M - Launched from SANAE IV on January 6th 2013. It came down on after 2000 UT on January 12th 2013.

1J- Launched from SANAE IV on January 1st 2013. It came down at 2035 UT on January 14th 2013.

1N- Launched from SANAE IV on January 8th 2013. It came down at 0805 UT on January 16th 2013.

1O - Launched from SANAE IV on January 9th 2013. It came down at 1138 UT on January 17th 2013.

1K - Launched from SANAE IV on January 5th 2013. It came down on January 21st 2013

1D - Launched from Halley 6 on January 4th 2013. It was the longest flight until 1H was cut down, lasting 17 days before being terminated on January 21st.

1R - Launched from SANAE IV on January 21st 2013. It was terminated at 1123 UT on January 23rd 2013.

1C - Launched from Halley 6 on January 16th 2013. It came down on January 26 at 03:40 UT 2013. It is now sitting on the ice working as a ground magnetometer.

1S - Launched from SANAE IV on January 22nd, 2013 it was terminated at 04:53 UT on January 27th 2013.

1G - Launched from Halley 6 on January 14th, 2013 and was terminated on January 27th at 08:15 UT.

1V - Launched from SANAE IV on January 30th, 2013. It was terminated at 01:50 UT on February 6th 2013.

1Q- Launched from SANAE IV on January 20th 2013. It was terminated at ~16:20 UT on February 6th 2013. It is now tied with 1D lasting 17 days!

1U - Launched from SANAE IV on January 26th 2013. It was terminated at ~04:21 UT on February 9th 2013.

1H - Launched from Halley 6 on January 19th 2013. It was terminated at 16:16 UTC on February 11th. It was up for 22 days, a new record... until I came along :).

1A - Launched from Halley 6 on January 28th 2013. It was terminated at 02:32 UTC on February 14th. 1A was up for 18 days!

1T - Launched from SANAE on January 24th 2013. It was terminated on February 15th at 22:56 UT. It was up in the air for 22 days!

1I - Launched from Halley Bay on January 9th 2014. It was terminated on February 16th. It was our longest flying payload at 38 days!