Members of the Housatonic Amateur Radio Club, Stratford CT, Dr. J. Pallis, KC1MHU, Gary Moyher, WE1M, and Larry Reed, AB1JC, along with University of Bridgeport and University of New Haven faculty and graduate students met at the University of Bridgeport’s Marina Park on September 22, 2023. There they put together the components of a balloon they will launch in Texas next month during the annular solar eclipse as part of NASA and Connecticut Space Grant Consortium’s 2023/2024 Solar Eclipse STEM projects. Here they tested the equipment with a tethered balloon full of helium.
It is estimated the balloon reached several hundred feet, which was sufficient to test the balloon, ground station, and the connections to University of Montana. The students practiced on the actual hardware they will use next month. All worked well, all was recovered and data was captured. This was a highly successful test. Students, university faculty and club members will fly to Texas next month to launch this payload during the annular solar eclipse and again fly to Texas in April, 2024, to launch another payload for the full Solar Eclipse.