Members of the Athens State American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Student Branch in conjunction with the local Athens Amateur Radio Club will launch up to two high altitude telemetry balloons on Saturday, June 25. The event, one of several local activities celebrating Ham Radio Field Day, will support training of Aerospace Systems Management students in Mission Control and Communications. It will also support a course of the same name being taught this summer and serve as one of their planned mission simulations.
The balloons, expertly supervised by renowned ham Bill Brown (NASA Artemis Risk Management), may even circumvent the Earth if they can ‘catch’ the Jet Stream. Athens State’s Mission Control team of students will track the balloons that report GPS coordinates, altitude, speed, and other metrics. “It’s a great opportunity to involve our ASM students, local STEM students, and others in a real mission,” said ASM Professor Dr. Wayne McCain. “It’s also good training for our future STEM-SAT1 (Radio-Astronomy CubeSat) launch scheduled for 4th quarter 2023 on a Vaya Space Dauntless rocket.”
The local balloon launch is tentatively scheduled for 10:00 AM on June 25 at Swan Creek Park, adjacent to Athens Middle School. The public is invited to attend.