Near space is that region of the atmosphere above 60,000 feet but below the accepted altitude of space, 328,000 feet. These altitudes make near space far more like earth orbit than the surface of the earth. Air pressure in near space reaches 99% of a vacuum or better. Air temperatures drop to a low of -60 degrees F or colder. Cosmic radiation is over 100 times greater than at sea level. Near space is located within the ozone layer and therefore is an environment of increased damaging ultraviolet radiation. Near space is reached by helium or hydrogen-filled weather balloons. Since it is far less expensive to send payloads into near space than earth orbit, organizations like NASA will send new designs into near space first, as a test.
The Great Plains Super Launch is the premier conference for near space explorers and enthusiasts dedicated to the education and study of aerospace science via Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning.
We represent a poor man's space program. We are comprised of a self-funded group of individuals and club members that are focused on reaching the edge of space and all the challenges the edge of space has to offer. The effort is technically challenging and socially fulfilling, the team members that work on ARBONET make up an excellent team. We gratefully accept club donations to help with costs, such as the fuel for our near space ship, (helium), and we welcome participation in the many areas of the launch and recovery, including chase planes and direction finding hobbiests.
We launch High Altitude Balloons with payloads of a diverse nature, but typically payloads related to communications and position reporting. The payloads often ascend to near or over 100,000 feet ASL and provide a wonderful platform for experimentation. These experiments are often focused on pure survival of the device or devices placed on board, since the ascent to the edge of space includes great variations in temperature and pressure, creating a challenging environment for electronics operation. We welcome participation by educators and students, from K-99.
Did you know? There is 14.696 Pounds of Pressure at Sea Level and only 0.16 Pounds of Pressure at 100,000 feet! That means 99.98% of the mass atmosphere is beneath the balloon! That is why it is called "Near Space".
The team consists of several Amateur Radio Operators and Individuals from many cities and counties near the Dallas and Fort Worth area, spanning from as far as you can go in North East Texas to places and spaces South West of Fort Worth. Several ham operator clubs and individuals participate in the program, and some have High Altitude Balloon progams of their own.
You can can be a part of the ARBONET team! We encourage Amateur Radio Club support as well as individuals that are interested in the high-altitude ballooning hobby!
Contact team ARBONET via email: arbonet at arbonet dot net