Dwayne’s HAB Bounder™ Flight

Dwayne Kellum is an amateur balloonist who used a HAB Bounder™ on a latex weather balloon flight earlier this year. This flight, part of a series of high-altitude experiments that he and his kids are carrying out, was aimed at testing rocket thrust at altitudes above 30 km (100,000 feet).

HAB Bounder being rigged before the high-altitude balloon flight

He configured HAB Bounder’s™ geofence, programmable GPS-based boundary, to a designated safe area of travel. If the balloon flies off course and goes outside of this virtual region, which this flight of his did, HAB Bounder™ automatically terminates the flight. Dwayne said this setting worked perfectly and allowed the payload to land safely and in a location that made recovery possible.

HAB Bounder™ Geofence Command

To achieve this, use geofence Mode 1 (Stay Inside and Below) on firmware version 13 and above:

[GF1=1], GeoFence Trigger #1
   [Gx1=-121.06456], Lon Min (-180 to 180)
   [GX1=-120.50343], Lon Max
   [Gy1=37.12041], Lat Min (-90 to 90)
   [GY1=37.04607], Lat Max
   [GZ1=36000], Altitude (1 to 50000 m)

Or use the GEO command on firmware versions 12 and below:

[GEO=1], GPS GeoFence Trigger (1=Enabled)
   [GX1=-121.06456], GPS Lon Min (-180 to 180)
   [GX2=-120.50343], GPS Lon Max
   [GY1=37.12041], GPS Lat Min (-90 to 90)
   [GY2=37.04607], GPS Lat Max
HAB Bounder visualized geofence setting
The geofence region in the above command visualized

HAB Bounder™ Max Altitude

He also programmed the HAB Bounder™ to release the payload at 36 km (118,110 feet). This was the planned max flight ceiling, below the expected balloon burst altitude, and 3 km (10,000 feet) above the rocket thrust experiment altitude.

To do this on firmware version 13 and above, set one of the HAB Bounder’s™ two geofences into Mode 1—Stay Inside and Below (same example as above). The z-axis component of this command, see below, configures the altitude setting.

[GF1=1], GeoFence Trigger #1
   [Gx1=-121.06456], Lon Min (-180 to 180)
   [GX1=-120.50343], Lon Max
   [Gy1=37.12041], Lat Min (-90 to 90)
   [GY1=37.04607], Lat Max
   [GZ1=36000], Altitude (1 to 50000 m)

On firmware version 12 and below there was only a single geofence command that did not include an altitude component. Instead use the GPS Altitude Trigger command to limit the max altitude:

[GAT=36000], GPS Altitude Trigger (1 to 50000 m)

See his experience here https://youtu.be/YM63k4_tllA.

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