Introduction to Stratospheric Ballooning Resources
- Check out these tutorials to help get your team rolling!
- Balloon Safety
- Become familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for moored balloons, kites, amateur rockets and unmanned free balloons
- Become familiar with the regulations for the transportation of helium.
- Understand that shipping papers (for editable version, click here) must be included in the transporting vehicle when more than 440 lbs worrth of helium tanks (but remember not to exceed 1000 lbs worrth of helium tanks) are being transported.
- Emergency Response Guide (ERG) – Helium 2016
- Become familiar with preparing your ground station location and launch location/time
- Become familiar with balloon filling equipment and fill amounts
Below you will find resources to help you find suitable launch sites:
- Cloud Cover: Anticipate the likelihood of clouds for your preferred launch site.
- This aeronautical map may prove useful.
- Get Google Earth
- Google Earth Eclipse Overlay: Eclipse overlay kmz files for Google Earth.
- Restricted Airspace Overlay: *Note* This does not include Military Operations Areas (MOAs) or other restricted areas possessing altitude restrictions
- State Land Status Overlays: Download Google Earth Land Status overlays for individual states (National Park Service land, National Forest Service land, etc.).
- USGS Topographic Overlay for Google Earth: Topographic overlay for Google Earth to help determine landing site terrain.
- Predict HAB Hub: Online balloon prediction software. KML and KMZ export are both supported. Please note, we do not recommend using this resource as a “calculator” for calculating balloon fill amount.
- Balloon Prediction Software: Download Jordan Allen’s Balloon Prediction Software to make your own launch site predictions. Once the software is installed, enter your site lat/lon/alt, choose one of the “bursting” rise rate defaults, choose a time and press a “make prediction” button. Jordan Allen prefers GFS Model predictions these days for accuracy and time coverage, and the ability to forecast up to a week ahead. Disclaimer: The availability of this tool to the general public does not condone attempts to recover balloon payloads that land on private property, government property, or hazardous locations. Predicted trajectories and landing zones are only approximate, therefore active tracking is required to accurately locate launched payloads. These predictions can be exported as kml files which can then be imported into Google Earth.