Graphs from Telemetry

EOSS has flown various sensors on each of its missions. The telemetry from these sensors is captured via packet radio during each mission.

Each mission's telemetry is slightly different, however the similarities overwhelm these minor differences. Here for your inspection are the graphs generated from EOSS-18.

Altitude vs. Time graphs for most flights will look very similar to this. The balloon essentially ascends at a fairly constant rate. Very tight examination of the ascent rate usually shows a slight increase in the rate of ascent. This may be due to the decreased friction created by the more rarified atmosphere at upper levels.

When the balloon bursts, the lack of atmospheric pressure makes parachute braking practically nonexistent. And so, the balloon begins its descent at high speed. However, as shown by the graph, as the balloon falls into the denser lower atmosphere, the parachute begins to have a braking effect, slowing the descent.

Weather buffs will know about the temperature characteristics of the atmosphere, but, it's fun to actually sample them for yourself. As this graph shows, temperatures steadily decrease as you approach the tropopause. Once thru this boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere, the temperatures begin to rise again. This is clearly seen on the graph. A second sensor aboard our payloads monitor's the temperature inside the payload's foamcore container.

Another interesting item on these temperature graphs, the quick chilling after the payload begins it's rapid descent.

During a flight the balloon's airspeed is essentially zero. That is because it moves "with" the wind. So, the balloon's speed is an excellent indication of the speeds of upper level winds. In this graph, the jet stream winds are easily identified. However, this graph also shows that there can be very strong winds at high altitude too.

We fly electronic navigation systems onboard our Shuttles to help track them. It's easier to find them, if we know about where they went! This graph is an x/y plot of the latitude and longitude as determined by our LORAN-C onboard radio. As can be seen in this graph the direction of the upper level winds is very changable. In the lower atmosphere, the winds were out of the west, however the winds above 60,000 feet turned 180 degrees around and came out of the east.

Even at low levels, the wind direction can be somewhat changeable. In this graph of the final descent of EOSS-18, you can see how the winds dramatically changed direction under 15,000 feet.