2015 Welcome Email

Welcome to the Canada Wide Experiment, in partnership with the University of Regina’s High Altitude Balloon Project (CWE-HABEX)

We are very excited to have you and your team aboard on this opportunity to explore the edge of space! We will be in touch over the next few weeks to fill you in on more details and to help you out after you get your kit.  It takes a lot of preparation to launch a balloon, and before we all launch in the third week of April, we’d like to help you get started today with a few simple tasks:

1. Assemble your team and choose a leader. The leader will supervise the launch and coordinate with Transport Canada. You’ll want at least 4 people in your team to make the launch go smoothly.  We’ve done a launch with three but it’s tricky.

2. Keep an eye on the third week in April.  We’d like everyone to launch within a few days of each other, before April 27, and since the weather and team timelines can be tricky, start thinking about finding time now.

3. Pick a launch site. You can use http://predict.habhub.org to run predictions for where your balloon might go, based on wind, weather and other factors.  Things to look out for:
– you should be at least 10 km from any airport, and your flight path should not come within 10km of an airport at any time;
– your site should be free of obstructions like buildings, trees, and power lines. A large open field is best;
– you’ll want to run predictions for different days and times of day to get a feel for possible retrieval locations. Early in the morning is best (Note the predictor uses UTC). If it looks like you payload might land in a dense forest or a lake or in the U.S.A, you may want to rethink your launch site.
– Have a look at the jet stream to get an idea of the main direction and speed of travel of your balloon, and try to pick a day when the jet stream is light where you are: http://squall.sfsu.edu/scripts/namjetstream_model_fcst.html
– NOTE: Balloons can travel 150km or more,  and usually travel from west to east here in Canada.

4. Send us your launch site! When you have a good idea of where you will launch from, email the GPS coordinates and a description of the site to teams@s2ss2s.ca

5. Register for the Global Space Balloon Challenge (www.balloonchallenge.org). This is optional but highly recommended! Please include the word “CWE-HABEX” in your team name or description when you sign up. The Global Space Balloon Challenge has some great resources to help you familiarize yourself with High Altitude Ballooning, and to see what other teams around the world are doing.

We will be shipping out the kits soon, and publishing how-to guides which you can use to familiarize yourself with the process and the equipment.  We’ll also provide you with a list of milestones that you should follow as the launch dates approach.

A note on Helium: We are working with Praxair to coordinate delivery of helium for the launches. If you have a preferred helium supplier you would rather use, please contact us directly at teams@s2ss2s.ca to make arrangements.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas please feel free to contact us!

You can email  teams@s2ss2s.ca

or contact:
David Gerhard: gerhard@cs.uregina.ca, 306-585-5227
Stephen Cheng: stephen.cheng@uregina.ca,
Jessica Sonnenberg:  jessica.sonnenberg@sciencerendezvous.org

Also if you have the time, please watch and share our video submission to NSERC’s Science, Action! contest. If we get the most shares, we’ll win!

Thank you for interest, and once again, welcome to CWE-HABEX!

Best Regards,
– The CWE-HABEX Team

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