Project Horus High altitude balloon project

Horus 11

Technical information:

Launch date 21/11/2010, 12:00 pm
Landing date 21/11/2010, 3:30 pm
Flight duration ~ 3.5 hours
Launch site -35.1021, 138.825
Landing site -35.1841, 138.8571
Flight path Web, KMZ
Distance travelled
9.5 km
Maximum altitude 33,708 m
Average ascent rate 4 m/s
Impact speed 5 m/s
Payload weight 900g
Flight computer Nut 1.1 flight computer
GPS module Falcom FSA03
Radio transmitter Radiometrix NTX2 25mw
Telemetry 300 baud RTTY, CRC16 checksum
Tracking Ground stations (distributed listener), 2 chase cars, web based tracker


Horus 11 was a flight of a payload for artist Jason Hansma - his payload was a high definition video camera focused on a bust of Hermes, the Greek messenger god.


Weather on the day was forecast to be perfect - landing site was predicted to be only a few kilometres from our launch site. Preparation and launch went very smoothly thanks to the great weather - we launched on time, and followed the balloon with binoculars for some time.

Horus 11 Launched

Interestingly, some pilots must have picked up our NOTAM and decided to have a look - shortly after launching we noticed a light aircraft circling the area at low altitude!

Flight & Landing:

The flight of Horus 11 went as smoothly as we could have hoped - the flight predicted flight path meant that very little work was required on our part, we simply sat back & had some lunch as we waited for the balloon to burst.

YouTube Preview Image

As in Horus 10, we were using the live offline predictor to get real time predictions of the balloon's landing site - this allowed us to get into position very close to the landing site. However, due to the landing area (it was pretty hilly with few roads) we didn't get a chance to film the balloon landing (though some of the team saw it coming down).

The payload did manage to get partially tangled in power lines, but fortunately it was easily freed & recovered from a field full of very tall and prickly grass - the only casualties for the day were a couple of pairs of sneakers ruined by the grass seeds. :)