Suntracker Wayne State University ECE Dept. NASA Glenn
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*  Flights
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*  Suntracker I
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*  Suntracker II
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*  Suntracker III
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*  Suntracker IV
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*  Suntracker V
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*  Suntracker VI
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*  Suntracker VII
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*  Suntracker VIII
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*  Suntracker IX
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*  Suntracker X
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*  Suntracker XI
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*  Suntracker XII
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*  Suntracker XIII
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*  Suntracker XIV
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Suntracker Flights


Suntracker IX Launch

The Suntracker package has been successfully launched into the Stratosphere since August, 1999 to characterize a solar cell. The package has been launched from Findlay, Ohio and Portland, Indiana. The launch site is based on the forecasted balloon trajectory. Some of the balloon flights were cancelled due to strong surface winds. Balloon trajectory and surface winds forecasts are developed using the READY model on the NOAA Web Site . Hourly surface winds forecast are also obtained from the AccuWeather Web Site.

BalTrak software available at the EOSS Web Site is used to import READY generated forecast data and develop a balloon trajectory forecast for a given ascent rate and launching coordinates.



Suntracker I

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory

No data were downlinked during the Suntracker I flight nor was the trajectory recorded.

Date: August 29, 1999
Time: 10:30 A.M
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Ascent Rate: -
Burst Altitude: 87,000 feet
Descent Rate: -
Landing Location: Marion, OH
Range: 40 Miles

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Suntracker II

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Suntracker II was aborted due to a hardware failure.

Date: September 9, 2001
Time: -
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Ascent Rate: -
Burst Altitude: -
Descent Rate: -
Landing Location: -
Range: -

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Suntracker III

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Date: September 14, 2002
Time: 10:15 A.M
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Ascent Rate: 500 ft/min
Burst Altitude: 94,256 feet
Descent Rate: 7000-1000 ft/min
Landing Location: Greenwich, OH
Range: 55.2 miles

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Suntracker IV

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Date: October 12, 2002
Time: 10:00 A.M
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Ascent Rate: 400 ft/min
Burst Altitude: 87,103 feet
Descent Rate: 7000-1000 ft/min
Landing Location: Brunswick, OH
Range: 94 miles

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Suntracker V

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Suntracker V was aborted due to strong surface winds.

Date: November 9, 2002
Time: -
Launch Location: Portland, Indiana
Ascent Rate: -
Burst Altitude: -
Descent Rate: -
Landing Location: -
Range: -

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Suntracker VI

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Date: October 7, 2002
Time: 11:00 A.M
Launch Location: Portland, Indiana
Ascent Rate: 750 ft/min
Burst Altitude: 95,956 feet
Descent Rate: 7500-1200 ft/min
Landing Location: Canton, OH
Range: 186 miles

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Suntracker VII

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Date: August, 2003
Time: 10:00 A.M
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Ascent Rate: -
Burst Altitude: -
Descent Rate: -
Landing Location: -
Range: -

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Suntracker VIII

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


The Suntracker VIII flight was aborted due to strong surface winds.

Date: November, 2003
Time: 11:00 A.M
Launch Location: Portland, Indiana
Ascent Rate: -
Burst Altitude: -
Descent Rate: -
Landing Location: -
Range: -

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Suntracker IX

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Date: December 6, 2003
Time: 11:30 A.M
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Balloon: Kaysam 1500 gms
Ascent Rate: 750 ft/min
Burst Altitude: 110,918 feet
Descent Rate: 7000-2000 ft/min
Landing Location: -
Range: 100 miles

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Suntracker X

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Date: July 17, 2004
Time: 10:00 A.M
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Balloon: Kaysam 2000 gms
Ascent Rate: 730 ft/min
Burst Altitude: 111,509 feet
Descent Rate: 6000-1000 ft/min
Landing Location: -
Range: 15 miles

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Suntracker XI

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


The Suntracker XI flight was aborted due to strong surface winds.

Date: November 6, 2004
Time: 10:00 A.M
Surface Winds 19.2 mph
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Balloon: Kaysam 3000 gms
Ascent Rate: -
Burst Altitude: -
Descent Rate: -
Landing Location: -
Range: -

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Suntracker XII

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


The Suntracker XII flight was aborted due to balloon cutting off during launch.

Date: November 13, 2004
Time: 10:00 A.M
Surface Winds 10 mph
Launch Location: Findlay, Ohio
Balloon: Kaysam 3000 gms
Ascent Rate: -
Burst Altitude: -
Descent Rate: -
Landing Location: -
Range: -

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Suntracker XIII

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Launch Date: January 29, 2005
Launch Location: Portland Municipal Airport, Portland, IN
Launch Coordinates N40 Deg. 27.849 Min.
W84 Deg. 58.969 Min
Launch Conditions: Snowing with 4 Knot surface winds and air temperature of about 1 degree Celcius.
Balloon: Kaysam 3000 gms inflated in hangar with 240 cubic feet of helium and transported in a plastic bag to airstrip for launching.
Weight: 5.9 lbs. scientific package and 1.1 lbs. train.
Launch Time: 11:51 AM
Average Ascent Rate: 738 ft/min
Burst Altitude: 111,448 Ft.
Burst Coordinates: N41 Deg. 2.394 Min.
W83 Deg. 3.747 Min.
Burst Time: 2:20 PM
Landing Time: 3:05 PM
Landing Location: 4.8 miles South-Southeast of Norwalk, OH
Landing Coordinates: N41 Deg. 11.0862 Min.
W82 Deg. 33.8985 Min.
Retrieval Time: 4:08 PM
Range: 136.04 Miles


Suntracker XIV

Photographs    Raw Data    Data Analysis    Trajectory


Launch Date: April 16, 2005
Launch Location: Findlay, OH
Launch Coordinates N40 Deg. 58.39 Min.
W83 Deg. 36.84 Min
Launch Conditions: Clear skies with 10Knot surface winds.
Balloon: Kaysam 3000 gms inflated outdoors with hydrogen.
Weight: 5.9 lbs. scientific package and 1.1 lbs. train.
Launch Time: 9:06 AM
Average Ascent Rate: 764 ft/min
Burst Altitude: 60,325 Ft.
Burst Coordinates: N40 Deg. 50.186 Min.
W83 Deg. 30.096 Min.
Burst Time: 10:27 AM
Landing Time: 10:59 PM
Landing Location: 2.6 miles Southeast of Forest, OH
Landing Coordinates: N40 Deg. 46.3119 Min.
W83 Deg. 29.4791 Min.
Retrieval Time: 11:19 AM
Range: 15.35 Miles

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Suntracker