Teachers in Space, Inc.

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Fly It

Payload Specifications
(For Balloon Missions Designed to Reach Between 90,000–110,000 Feet)

The “High-Altitude Achievement” (HAA) is a project of the Gloversville Enlarged School District in New York that provides high-altitude balloon missions for students in Gloversville and the surrounding areas. HAA also flies educational payloads for TIS.

Our balloon missions typically last about 2 hours, rising from the ground to an altitude between 90,000 and 110,000 feet in over 90 minutes, depending on the weather, lift gas, and other variables. At peak altitude, the balloon bursts, and the payload(s) attached by a cable to a parachute fall back to Earth. We use radio communications and telemetry to track the flight and touchdown of the payload. Depending on to the terrain in which it lands, we typically recover the payload within 24 hours.

Your payload’s success depends mainly on the quality of your preparation. Please pack and crash test your payload carefully and pay particular attention to the following specifications:

  1. A packed payload must not exceed 6lbs. (2700g).
  2. We cannot free fall objects from any altitude, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  3. All electronics, including tracking, must meet all Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and FAA regulations.
  4. We use the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) for tracking purposes so that any electronics must not interfere with our device. (1-Watt VHF)
  5. The payload cannot have any explosive or volatile items.
  6. The payload instructions should note the orientation of the flight.
  7. The payload should be shipped “ready to fly” except for connections and electrical starts and stops.
  8. Payloads should be able to connect from top and bottom. This should be noted in the diagram.
  9. The payload should be fitted with connectors that will hook to lock ring connectors or loops.
  10. A diagram of payload and its parts should be included, and pictures of actual equipment are preferred.
  11. Have detailed start-up and shutdown procedures for before and after flights.

Email us at [email protected] to get started.