Recap of EOSS-52

LAUNCH DATE: October 20, 2001
LAUNCH TIME: 15:00 UTC, 09:00 MDT (on time)
LAUNCH SITE: Calhan, Colorado (directions)

Flight Track Recap

The Black line (partially covered by the prediction) is the actual flight track.
The Blue and Red Dots are the predicted path. Prediction based on data gathered during ascent.

Balloon Track for Windows                                Version 1.7.2
Flight Recap
Saturday, October 20, 2001         EOSS-52          DNR_01_10_20_1200Z.dat
11:33:36 AM                        Calhan                     wbaltrak.ini
Launch Site - Calhan
Launch Point: 39.0285� lat.   -104.2942� long.
Ascent Rate: 1112 feet per minute
Descent Rate: 1230 feet per minute
Altitude: 6558 feet
VOR Station - Hugo
Latitude: 38.815� lat.
Longitude: -103.6261� long.
Magnetic Offset: -12.0� from True Degrees
Predicted Landing Site
Landing Point: 38.8412� lat.  -103.0574� long.
Altitude: 4501 feet
Flight Time: 110 Minutes
Bearing: 100.6� True
Range: 67.7 Mi.
Actual Landing Site
Landing Point: 38.9611� lat.  -103.3223� long.
Bearing: 94.8� True
Range: 52.4 Mi.
Difference from Predicted to Actual Landing Site
Bearing: 300.3� True
Range: 16.5 Mi.


  • Preflight Net:
    • 147.225 MHz 8 pm MDT Friday October 19, 2001
    • 146.640 MHz will serve as a backup frequency
  • HF Net during Flight
    • 7235 KHz starting at 14:30 UTC (8:30am MDT)
  • Beacons:
  • ATV
    • 426.250 MHz
  • Cross Band Repeater (Rocky Mountain Radio League repeater)
    • Mark K�YG will be net control
      • 445.975 MHz Input Frequency
      • 147.555 MHz Output Frequency
  • APRS (two sources)
  • Packet Digipeater
    • 144.340 MHz (see notes!!)
  • Tracking and Recovery Operations
    • 448.450 MHz (100 Hz tone required) PPFMA Repeater
    • 146.640 MHz DRL Repeater (backup)
    • 146.970 MHz PPFMA (100 Hz tone required) (2nd backup)
    • 146.580 MHz simplex (in field use, usually at recovery site)
  • Simplex at Launch Site
    • 146.550 MHz


  • Stratosnooper 35mm camera (the packaging of this payload may be substantially altered prior to flight to include some new capabilities)
  • CSXT Radiosonde (no freqs available - not on amateur bands)

Post Flight Notes

Two Ballooning Records Achieved

We managed to set these records with some greatly appreciated help from Craig and Rex at Ralph Wallio's  Balloon Records Page.

Telemetry Distance Record

OBSERVERS: Craig McManus, KC�IUW, and Rex Easton, KC�IUY
LOCATION: 38d 52m 30.2s -96d 18m 59.2s 1,496ft ASL (Approximately 23 miles SE of Manhattan, Kansas)
SYSTEM: TM-D700A and 13 element Yagi

(VHF/UHF near line-of-sight category): 394.1 miles (great circle)

GPS Telemetry frame transmitted from EOSS-52:



Highest Continuous Ascent Rate (averaged over >10,000ft)

Between these two packets we averaged 1445.4 fpm:


Thanks go to Mark Conner, N9XTN, for spotting the possibility and getting me to work on it!


Webmaster Notes

More complete notes will appear as information arrives. Specifically, I'm still looking for early packets from the RMRL repeater's APRS telemetry. I have no packets below 10,000 feet in either the ascent or descent phases of the flight.

Mark, KC�JHQ, reports that the Stratosnooper/Cutdown box worked well. Gary, N�QAM and Mark redesigned the payload to include TWO 35mm cameras. See their recap and a link to some of the photos below.

Mark K�YG, ran a great net control on the Cross-band repeater. Mark's log of the flight is posted below

There were 30 boy scouts at the launch site and they remained on site for the entire flight. It has been reported that they were mightily impressed by the whole experience, especially the ATV.


Deep Space Exploration Society (DSES):

The EOSS had a launch this morning from near Calhan, Colorado with a projected touch-down site near Haswell Colorado. Refer to EOSS data for specifics. Scheduled launch time was 09:00MDT.

DSES support was not planned but as the site needed some service, the opportunity was taken to track this EOSS mission. Present were Slate, N0TQN and Tom Walsh, W2CO, who arrived at 10:10.

Slate arrived at 08:40. Initial bearing was obtained with the GPS by noting that the indicated range/bearing from the DSES site to launch was 99.1 miles @ 147 degrees.

Neither Slate nor the dish was quite ready at launch time. AOS was acquired several minutes prior to 09:14 and the ATV signal was excellent. The impression at the moment of AOS was that the video had just turned on. (On assent, below around 50,000 feet the video runs a two minutes on, two minutes off cycle. I might suggest for future flights that the launch be delayed until the video has just cycled on.) Regardless of the video cycle, I wasn't ready.

Good video signal was maintained thru burst until 10:42:40 when LOS happened rather suddenly at a bearing of 126 degrees. LOS was expected relatively high due to the range and the balloon being "over the horizon" over the Palmer ridge. I do need to know what the altitude was at that time though.

Critical review:

Lack of preparation delayed AOS and prevented audio on the ATV recording. The audio, either of the cross-band repeater or the APRS is very desirable and provides a time stamp.

The new VF (variable frequency) drives installed hash on the video recording although it did not affect the reception. For most of the flight the VF drives were turned off to overcome the hash.

Due to range and bearing, tracking during the flight was mostly hands off. Total azimuth travel was from 147 degrees at launch to 126.0 at LOS. Maximum elevation was 6.5 degrees at burst. Beam width is 3.5 degrees and the center is very easy to determine.

Initial bearing was very accurate.

My opinion is still that the field of view on the "up" camera is to wide. Also, sun glare still affects the "up" camera although the contrast control was significantly better than in the past. Both cameras seem to lack clarity (resolution?). I also miss the horizon views we've had in the past.

Overall, considering the lack of preparation, EXCELLENT RESULTS.

Robert "Slate", N0TQN


Tracking and Recovery

Well, what a successful flight we had.

The landing site was just 20 yards from a dirt road. Mike KC�CNT and Geralyn KC�DYN weren't far away, and took some pictures of the payload hanging on the power line. It came off pretty easily.

Larry N�NDM wasn't far behind. Larry K�ANI was there also.

The landing site was just west and north of Boyero, CO.

The flight was uneventful from the trackers point of view. Marty and Russ had a hard time finding the landing site, Ha! I think they turned south instead of north at least once.

We had six trackers in the field. Marty, WA�GEH was head coordinator alone in his vehicle and I, W�CBH was backup coordinator and landing site coordinator with a driver/trainee in my vehicle.

We performed three practice bearing sightings before burst, and had two to three before los.

Several beacons were on board EOSS-52. Two were being tested for signal strength and quality of signal reports were given during the flight.

Mark's (KC�JHQ) beacon was especially loud, and is controllable from the ground

All of the flight packages were in good shape after landing. The tracking crew headed back to Limon, CO where we had lunch at Wendy's.

I want to thank the trackers who participated in this event.

  • KB�UBZ
  • KA�ULN
  • WA�GEH
  • N�NDM
  • K�ANI
  • KC�JHQ
  • KC�CNT
  • KC�DYN
  • W�CBH

Hopefully, pictures will be forthcoming.

73 - Benjie, W�CBH



Thanks for the opportunity to fly the 'cutty-snoop' payload yesterday. All in all, the EOSS experience was a blast.

Gary Snyder and I put together a payload that can be commanded from the ground with DTMF tones. It has four channels (reed relays) that can be operated continuously or momentarily, and has a 'dumb beaconing' mode (DFing tone 50 sec on, 25 sec off, forever until you tell it to do something else or the batteries run out) and a 'smart beacon' mode (upon your request it sends out 30 second tone for DFing purposes, can save batteries if used in this mode).

For this flight, we had one channel configured to cut away the balloon (the 'cutty') and two channels configured to click off frames on the two cameras (the 'snoop').

One camera was looking down, the other to the side. I fired off 6 frames on the downward cam as the EOSS balloon climbed out from the Calhan launch site, but saved most of the film for use near apogee, with a reserve for use right above the ground on the way down. The cameras worked fine and we had a perfect one-to-one correlation of frames exposed versus shutter click commands sent. We kept a log of times that pictures were clicked and have been able to accurately determine altitude at which different frames were exposed.

I will forward some of the photos to Rick for inclusion on the EOSS website and I will bring all the photos to the next EOSS meeting (say - isn't it almost time for an 11th aniversary party ?????). The downward camera recorded LOTS of clouds, but the horizontal cam captured several of those interesting black sky, blue atmosphere photos.

During the flight, the trackers took a couple bearings off the onboard beacon on 145.600 MHz. Although it was just a 300 mW Alinco DJ-C5 'credit card' transmitter, it apparently radiated very well with the J-pole antennea that Gary hooked up. One of the trackers said he had too much signal to DF on, and had to de-tune to attenuate it and another tracker joked that we had a rigged a 500W transmitter.

I was out with Larry K�ANI about 2 miles from the touchdown site immediately prior to landing. We didn't see the payload come down, but I did successfully take a couple photos just a few seconds before touch down.

After everyone had LOS from the EOSS beacon, my beacon was beaming out with a powerful signal. It turned out the parachute snagged on a power line and my box and transmitter were about 15' off the ground - pretty optimal conditions to radiate!

We drove right up to the payload train, and I managed to step under the 'strato-snooper' and take a self portrait before we cut it down.

I'll be keen to fly it again, particularly on a cloudless day.

After the flight, Larry, N�NDM has indicated possible interest in using the 'cutty snoop' for kite-photography application. It will be interesting to see that project come together.

All in all it was fun day.

K. Mark Caviezel, KC�JHQ


Cross Band Log:

by Mark Patton, K�YG

Time Call Name Comments
9:00 K�ANI Larry Tracking Team
9:04 KC5LXC Phil  
9:05 KC�FHN Bill  
9:06 KB�UBZ Ben Tracking Team
9:07 AA�P Jack Launch Site
9:08 N�KKZ Rick NW Elbert County
9:08 KA�ULN Russ Tracking Team
9:12 KC�EGL    
9:12 NA�E John Northglenn CO
9:15 K�CO Jack  
9:20 KB�RYY Gene Golden CO
9:20 N�TQN Slate DSES Site Longmont
9:21 K�TER Mike Launch Site
9:23 WB�WDF Dennis Canyon City CO
9:24 KC�HUY Rick  Aurora
9:27 W5VSI Mike Launch Site
9:31 K�UT Bill  
9:33 KC7YIZ Alan S of Wy Border, E of I25
9:34 KC�IUN Ray Longmont
9:38 K�RAW Richard Scottsbluff NE
9:40 KB�LP Dave Launch Site
9:42 KC�DTQ Carol Woodland Park
9:42 K�HBZ Wes Woodland Park
9:45 N�XGC Mike Near Akron
9:46 WD�JIM Jim Lakewood
9:48 W2CO Tom NE Longmont
9:51 WA�GEH Marty Tracking Team
9:52 KA�ZFI Ann Aurora
9:55 KC�JHQ Mark Tracking Team
10:05 N�WPR Paula Launch Site
10:10 N�TI Bob Thornton
10:13 KB�DSH Jeff Colo Springs
10:24 N�QXW Matt Mobile Denver

On Monday night's RMRL net Novak, N�VK told the net he heard Ann, KA�ZFI on the repeater while he was driving through Amarillo, Texas. Too bad he couldn't get back into the repeater.


These files are preliminary. Please forward along any log files you have so that I might flesh these out.



These files are complete, liftoff to touchdown


This file is quite complete. Liftoff to @6300 feet on descent

Street Atlas Version 8 Mapdoc

  • Mapdoc File Flight path and post burst prediction used to generate the above map. (complete)

Preflight Notes:

Boy Scouts Jamboree On The Air

This flight is in support of the Boy Scouts Jamboree On The Air (JOTA)

Dan Scott is the JOTA liaison to EOSS and he has prepared a flyer he plans to circulate in the scouting community. Here it is:


There will be telemetry concerning atmospheric pressure (baro), and the internal and external temperatures being sent down from the APRS/GPS beacon. The formulae for converting these values into real world measurements are posted on a page under the the GPS/APRS beacon page. Click here to go to that page.

CSXT Radiosonde

This payload is being tested to provide low level winds aloft information that will be used by the Civilian Space Exploration Team at their rocket launch site in Nevada.


We will open up the KPC3 on board the GPS/APRS payload to digipeat. When it is open you will see invitations to use it transmitted by a net control station.

The Digi Alias is EOSS52

Please check the information on the GPS/APRS Tracking Beacon page about digipeating. Also, DO NOT beacon unless invited, you may be interferring with stations in your area trying to receive the beacon and record the telemetry.