I’ve recently been experimenting with weight reduction. Having built and launched two payloads, whose flights ended very early, I have been able to learn more about how much weight can be removed before the payload becomes too flimsy to handle the conditions of flight.
After Kaizen 2 splashed down in the Mediterranean Sea, I began building my next picoHAB payload, ‘Bouken’. During Kaizen’s flight, I had spoken to a number of friends about the issues she suffered and we came to the conclusion that there must be an issue with radio frequency interference.
A wise man once told me that the true definition of insanity is someone doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. With this in mind I set out to change a few parameters, one of which was the weight of the payload, which meant I needed to design my own tracker board.
After the success of Tabi and the failure of my second attempt Kido, I spent a few days preparing a new payload for another shot at flying around the world. This would also give me an opportunity to test my newly developed launch checklist. I decided to retain the name and call this payload Kido 2.
After my first floating payload “Tabi” successfully travelled approximately 14,500 miles, I decided to give it another go. Tabi weighed in at around 11g, which is like a brick in comparison with most payloads that people float.
Building a working picoHAB payload is one challenge. Getting that payload prepped for it’s flight around the world is a completely new challenge!
With a fleet of pico trackers built and a few weeks of sunshine forecast it was time for me to get a tracker flight ready. So I picked a tracker off the shelf and began testing it to make sure it was calibrated and to make sure there were no apparent faults with it.
A couple days after I had successfully recovered my first HAB Choten, I emailed the UKHAS mailing list to say thank you to everyone who supported me by tracking the balloon. One of the members who was tracking my balloon told me of another that was floating near to the landing site of my balloon that had just achieved its fifth circuit around the world.
This peaked my interest and led me to researching how it was possible and that’s where I discovered the Picohab group full of habbers developing payloads that weigh less then a £2 coin (12g).