Weather Balloon– A balloon filled with helium which is often used to assess the weather from high altitudes.

A fantastic website with lots of help:

The weather balloon that we will be using for the launch is an 800g Totex balloon from
The balloon will be filled to a volume of 3 meters3 (if our payload remains at it’s 800g weight.). At it’s highest point, it will expand to around 20 meters before finally bursting, deploying the parachute.

A helpful tool I used to calculate the speed of ascent/decent, burst altitude and helium required was this online calculator made by the Cambridge University Spaceflight group, found here:
You can see our results if we were to go ahead and fly with an 800g balloon and 800g payload:

For more information on weather balloons, click here.

At the moment, we may change the payload weight and get a bigger balloon to handle it. This is because we have been kindly offered an arduino (a custom computer to track our flight and altitude) by one of the best high altitude balloon people out there. He has offered to help is out by providing the arduino and helping us on the flight, also providing helium.
His arduino system is roughly 300g which means that we can either:
– add that to our 800g balloon and make our payload only 500g.
– get a bigger balloon to compensate for our 800g payload and his 300g arduino set up.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Also, let me take this opportunity to thanks Steve for helping us out. Without him, I don’t think we’d be able to complete the project this year! Thanks Steve!

As we’re only at the beginning of the design and build process, we may encounter problems or decide to change the design based on other factors. We’ll try to keep everyone updated on the changes and will explain why we have done so.
Please leave a comment or if I have missed any vital information, let me know and I’ll edit it!

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