The ham radio club that I am a member of supported two high altitude balloon flights from the area of Glendo, Wyoming on August 21st, 2017.

Sun and the mood at totality – no filter

Arizona Near Space Research worked with Embry Riddle University and Arizona State University to launch two balloons with their scientific payloads, in support of the nationwide effort to provide NASA with real time video from near-space during the totality of the eclipse.

My assignment was to construct and operate the balloon tracking antenna system for the flight that would download still photos from one of the balloons. The Embry Riddle students would construct and operate the second tracking station, which would download the live video stream from the other balloon.  Other students and members of Arizona Near Space Research were involved in the launch and recovery of the payloads.

Here is a video of the construction of the ANSR ground station, in fast motion, to relieve your boredom…

And here is a video of ground station operations during the eclipse.  Totality occurs somewhere around 40 seconds into the video. Everyone stopped to observe the eclipse.

While the video download failed (students were speculating that the modem on the balloon lost power and failed to send the video down), we were able to download the still photos in near real time, and send a few along to NASA during the flight.  After the payloads were recovered, students found that the video was safely captured and stored onboard.  They were able to recover the video and are working on processing it to make for interesting presentations. To get more interesting and real experience we even created a list of top rated telescopes online, so the next time we will be able make records and watch it live through telescope.

The following are a series of photos, courtesy of Steve WBSDM.

Steve KE7TLS, and Randy WB0SMX on site at Glendo State Park

Deep thinking…

Home for a few days

ANSR Ground Station Antennas

Glendo Lake

Embry Riddle University Students with their payloads

Students, Teachers and ANSR members/support crews

Arizona State University team

Traffic on Interstate 25 near eclipse time.

Our picture for LIFE magazine (if it still existed…)

One of the few gas stations in the town of 250 people.

Recovery staging area before the eclipse

Recovery staging area during the eclipse

Sun and the mood at totality – no filter

Recovery of one of the balloons and payloads