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|Abstract:||We present a publicly-available toolkit of flight-proven hardware and software to retrieve 5 TB of data or small physical samples from a stratospheric balloon platform. Before launch, a capsule is attached to the balloon, and rises with it. Upon remote command, the capsule is released and descends via parachute, continuously transmitting its location. Software to predict the trajectory can be used to select a safe but accessible landing site. We dropped two such capsules from the SuperBIT telescope, in September 2019. The capsules took similar to 37 minutes to descend from similar to 30 km altitude. They drifted 32 km and 19 km horizontally, but landed within 300 m and 600 m of their predicted landing sites. We found them easily, and successfully recovered the data. We welcome interest from other balloon teams for whom the technology would be useful.|
|Electronic Publication Date:||May-2020|
|Citation:||Sirks, EL, Clark, P, Massey, RJ, Benton, SJ, Brown, AM, Damaren, CJ, Eifler, T, Fraisse, AA, Frenk, C, Funk, M, Galloway, MN, Gill, A, Hartley, JW, Holder, B, Huff, EM, Jauzac, M, Jones, WC, Lagattuta, D, Leung, JSY, Li, L, Luu, TVT, McCleary, J, Nagy, JM, Netterfield, CB, Redmond, S, Rhodes, JD, Romualdez, LJ, Schmoll, J, Shaaban, MM, Tam, SI. (2020). Download by parachute: retrieval of assets from high altitude balloons. JOURNAL OF INSTRUMENTATION, 15 (5), 10.1088/1748-0221/15/05/P05014|
|Type of Material:||Journal Article|
|Journal/Proceeding Title:||JOURNAL OF INSTRUMENTATION|
|Version:||Final published version. This is an open access article.|
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