This blog will document and share my experiences in the launching of a payload into the high reaches of the atmosphere also known as near space.

The payload loaded with various sensors and camera equipment will be carried by a helium balloon into near space. Whilst in flight its GPS location will be transmitted back to earth as the balloon begins to expand in size. In the upper atmosphere the air pressure is much lower so the balloon will more than double in size, until it eventually bursts. On bursting a parachute will carry the payload safely back to earth where it can be recovered.

The tracking and recovery is the part I look forward to most. But once the balloon is in flight you have no control over it, so ensuring that all the parts will work and survive the harsh conditions of the upper atmosphere is very important.

The payload will be tracked via Amateur Radio allowing a minute by minute transmission as to the payloads location.

After the chase and the payload has been recovered the data collected by an internal data logger can be processed. The camera equipment can also be recovered and inspected to get a real perspective of how the project went.

I’ve been wanting to launch a High Altitude Balloon for sometime now and have been slowly building my own tracker. Family and other commitments have taken priority thus progress has been slow.

I’m certainly no expert and will be learning every step of the way.

I have a interest in Computers, Electronics and Amateur Radio just to name a few of which go hand in hand with this project.

Feel free to leave me a comment if you wish to get in contact with me

David Catterall
Email: ozhab73 at