NOVA21 and NOVA22

On Wednesday 28th March, we flew NOVA21 and NOVA22.


NOVA21 went up at around 1330BST carrying JOEY-M, Squirrel (the Android project) and a special guest. It got to 27.2km altitude before burst, landing near Braintree.

The flight was mostly a test of the new Joey and Squirrel flight code. Joey performed well, though there was a lot of interference on the 433.8MHz frequency it was using, so later revisions will swap to a higher frequency. Squirrel was great up until around 8km when for a yet-unknown reason the flight software cut out, which meant the radio and camera were disabled. However, after landing we were able to reactive Squirrel remotely, getting some tweets of photos from the field it was in and its GPS position. The payloads were recovered successfully.


NOVA22 launched at around 1500BST carrying Wombat along with ASTRA from the University of Southamption with an experimental HF transmitter on 27MHz and a balloon neck flight computer with a differential pressure sensor to log the balloon’s pressure.

NOVA22 reached 21km before burst (on a smaller 350g balloon) and landed close to NOVA21. Wombat worked much better than on NOVA20, being successfully decoded by many people in the listener network. ASTRA’s experimental radio also worked, though unfortunately the payload lost GPS lock for a part of the flight. The balloon neck flight computer was a success, getting back valid pressure data for the balloon.

Again NOVA22 was recovered successfully.


Photos from the launch: Flickr