EOSS Handbook Chapter 5

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  • 5.1. Altitude
  • 5.2. Duration
  • 5.3. Distance traveled
  • 5.4. Direction of travel
  • 5.5. Cost
  • 5.5.1. Recurring Costs
  • Balloons
  • Helium
  • 5.5.2. Non-recurring Costs

5. Typical Flights

5.1. Altitude EOSS balloons can carry payloads to over 107,000 feet (approximately 20 miles) above sea level --literally to the edge of space.

5.2. Duration

<<Merle McCaslin>> Typical flight duration is about three hours but we have also had a derelict that flew for 18 hours. Typical ascent, at altitude and descent times are given in Table 2 as a function of the EOSS flight classifications.

Table 2. Approximate Flight Durations

Ascending    Class A,B,C,D     90 minutes
At altitude  Class A,B         0 minutes
At altitude  Class D           until flight
Descending   Class A,B,C,D     60 to 90 minutes

5.3. Distance traveled

Distance traveled varies with the winds aloft. We have flights that have gone as few as19 miles surface distance from liftoff to going over 200 miles into Nebraska. Typical distance is 50 miles.

5.4. Direction of travel

Direction of travel also varies with the winds aloft. We have traveled in all directions east of the Rocky Mountain chain.

5.5. Cost

<<Merle McCaslin>> EOSS owns or has some donated equipment it uses for many flights. There are also some expendables resulting in costs for each flight. The big expense items include helium, balloon, and batteries.

5.5.1. Recurring Costs Balloons

The cost of flying balloons varies widely based on the mission. Listed here are examples of the cost EOSS has incurred to date for the recurring portion of the flights.

The 105G 1200 gram balloon EOSS normally flies is $68.00 from Kaysam and a minimum of a 100.00 order. The 2000 gram balloon flown on the University of Colo. flight was a $200.00 balloon.

EOSS has flown two zero pressure balloons manufactured by Raven. The cost of the first one a 19,000 cu. ft. balloon was $375.00 and the second one was a 54,000 cu. ft. which cost $572.00. Helium

Cost of Helium ranges from $48.00 per bottle to $80.00 per bottle. A minimum of two bottles required for the 105G and four required for a second balloon in case of a failure. The larger Raven balloons required five to six bottles of helium for the weights we were flying.

Using these figures you can estimate a minimum of $150.00 to $200.00 for a simple flight for the recurring cost.

5.5.2. Non-recurring Costs

The non recurring costs would need to be estimated on an individual basis. They depend on the complexity of both the payload and the experiment to be flown.

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