Initial analysis of science data from Horizon Project near-space high altitude balloon launch Queen Marys Grammar School for boys, Walsall

If you have been following the Queen Marys Horizon Project balloon launch:

http://roslistonastronomy.uk/launching-near-space-balloon-queen-marys-grammar-school-walsall-172017

http://www.thornett.net/QMGS_Horizon_Project_2016-17/Launch_day_010717.mp4

Then you will remember that several science instruments were part of the payload package launched. The balloon reached nearly 40,000m altitude (100,000 feet) and last night I had a chance to analyze some of this science data. I have uploaded the results of this initial analysis (click on link below)

Analysis Horizon data 100717

Andy

From: Peter Hill
Sent: 11 July 2017 15:01

Hi Andy,

Interesting data, the humidity measure shows the boundary between the troposphere (where our weather occurs) and the stratosphere. The temperature data shows the drop in temp with altitude nicely, the “thermal inertia” of the device probably limited its’ response to the sudden increase in temp as it fell from max height, if mounted outside did it get “iced up” which kept it cool on way down? Interesting link with CH4 concentration and UV levels. Do you have data showing rate of ascent and descent? The tracking line showed a dramatic change in direction from launch/ ascent and it’s descent, different wind directions at different levels?

Pete Hill

 

From: Umei Nambio (member of Horizon team who designed and built sensors for science data)
Sent: 11 July 2017 21:34

First of all, I would like to say that you have done a phenomenal job analysing the data (voluntarily nonetheless). I honestly did not expect something like this, so it was a pleasant surprise when you sent me the attached PDF, which did guide me on my own data analysis. In fact, some of the graphs are of good quality and your some of your observations and hypotheses are unique, especially your link with UV light affecting methane concentrations. It is something I have never thought of and currently pondering about.

However, I do have some comments on your work and to Peter’s response. In regards to your work, your graph on external temperature and altitude on a logarithmic scale is actually very useful. It shows the progression of the flight with its corresponding temperature (the ascent and descent) in distinct parts but still in a continuous line.

Also, the last two graphs on the Earth’s atmosphere and its differing substance concentrations and the reaction rates of different methane reactions gives us the tools to discover more results, with the former showing volume mixing ratios of methane, which can be calculated from methane concentration and can show interesting results if compared with humidity (highlighting particular processes of methane decomposition using the latter graph).

For Peter’s response, I would like to respond to his observation that both temperature sensor may have “iced up” during ascent. This is indeed true! I noticed that the DHT22 sensor had residue ice crystals in places where the electronics did not heat up and melt them when I first observed the sensor array after the recovery. This is also true from the Blackbox sensor as Mr Sepede did tell me that the device (and especially the auxiliary sensors exposed outside) was still very cold even after inspection at Sunday morning. It may also provide an explanation as to why the DHT22 rapidly went from recording negatives to roughly the external temperature outside of 21 degrees but the Blackbox sensor did not, which is that the DHT22’s electronic layout produced much more heat than the Blackbox data (which had the sensor and a cable linked to the power source and the internal computer only as it controlled the voltage and other settings from the computer rather than right next to the sensor itself). Therefore, the DHT22 was able to melt the ice crystals inside the sensor due to the excess heat whilst the Blackbox did not which corresponds to recording negatives to roughly the external temperature and still recording negatives respectively.

As for the request for the rate of ascent and descent and differing wind directions, there is data on these from the Blackbox, albeit it does mean processing altitude and time stamps to get the rate and meddling with the position and acceleration data respectively (Maybe I could send this tomorrow or Thursday).

Finally, we do have a massive amount of video and still photos taken during the launch. I am sure that you have some of the stills but the video is kept by Mr Sepede and his dedicated Horizon hard drive. But fear not as there will be a YouTube video showing the best parts of the flight as soon as Thursday. The account is HorizonQMGS (this is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2YV1FUiAMadHDqHR0oVDLg).

My own data analysis and subsequent graphs and charts are nearly completed, but it wouldn’t be until tomorrow when I will be fully finished and polished to be approved by the team for display in an upcoming school assembly. The raw data, though, has been sent to Mr Sepede and some of the team and they were thoroughly impressed of the results taken. Finally, I have asked Rhys if I could do this and he approved but…would it be possible I could use some of the graphs for school assembly? I would really like to know soon because they are really good if I could display them and I do not want to get into any unnecessary trouble!

If you have anything else to say, please do not hesitate to talk to me.

Umei

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