Near Space Weather Balloon Flight Experiment ( 4 )

Flight Path Prediction

Typical amateur weather balloon missions can generally last upto 4 hours. It saves a lot of time in the chase if we know beforehand where the balloon may be going. Once the balloon picks up some altitude, it will encounter a jet stream that will propel it far away from the point of origin or launch. I personally recommend Cambridge University’s space flight prediction tool ( CUSF ) that is a pretty handy utility in determining where your balloon may end up. All you need to know is to pick the launch point on a map, fill in some details in the tool, and hit GO. The tool plots out the balloon’s trajectory.

I was very happy to learn that the tool is surprisingly accurate. My mission returned to earth at about the same location predicted by CUSF. You can visit the site by clicking here

Here is a screenshot of a balloon flight taking off from Gurugram ( Gurgaon ) similar in characteristics to what I launched

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