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High Altitude Balloon Flight in HD - Near Space Photography over Colorado

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Published on Jun 26, 2010

This is a short slide show with photos taken from a balloon flight over Boulder, Colorado in June 2006. A couple coworkers and I rigged up a small 3.2Mp digital camera with external shutter control and heaters to take a photo approximately every 25 seconds throughout the balloon flight. We successfully captured around 250 photos from the launch elevation of 5000 feet to where the balloon turned around with a small pressure activated release valve at nearly 100,000 feet above sea level. The balloon was carrying a NOAA FPH water vapor instrument as well as an ozonesonde. The package had a GPS unit sending data back down to earth via a 403MHz radiosonde transmitter which we used to track down the package for recovery. This was our the first attempt at taking photos from high altitude and we very pleased with the results. We were very lucky that the balloon floated over the mountains to obtain such great shots with such nice clear skies. We have since flown this camera 3 more times. One of those flights was in the middle of Greenland at a research station. Those photos are saturated because the ice and snow are too bright. I thought it would be more interesting in Greenland than it turned out to be unfortunately. We hope to launch a high altitude balloon camera from Lauder, New Zealand in the future. For more information please view our website at:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ozwv/wvap/

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