My day in Payerne

Yesterday I was invited to the Meteoswiss HQ in Payerne to see how such a meteorological balloon launch looks like. It was amazing. I got a tour around the whole site and got shown the different instruments that measure all kinds of things that affect our climate. Of course I also got some questions answered. At the end of the tour I also got to see the preparation and launch of a balloon. One major difference to my balloon launch is the choice of gas. Meteoswiss uses hydrogen and I’ll be using helium. The reason why I chose not to use the much cheaper hydrogen is the danger that comes with it. Hydrogen is a very aggressive and flammable gas, so one little problem might cause the whole thing to explode. Helium on the other hand is a harmless gas but also very expensive, luckily i’ll most probably get it from my school which gets it from the University of Basel.
That was about the major difference besides the fact that their flights are completely scientifical. The balloon launched yesterday was a 2 kg balloon, that means the balloon itself already weighs 2 kg’s. Its payload was about 2.5 kg’s heavy. The balloon transported instruments that measure the ozone and humidity levels in the atmosphere. A 2 kg balloon usually flies even higher than 30 km’s.
A thing that was really great about my trip to Payerne was the gift the guys gave me in the end. They offered me lots of informational sheets on balloon flights and they gave me 2(!) 800 gram weather balloons and a parachute that I can use for my launch. I guess I can forget my weird plastic parachute now. I am really really thankful for that gift. And if everything works out fine with getting the helium from school I might even launch the balloon next weekend.

This is the 2 kg balloon launched yesterday

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2 Responses to My day in Payerne

  1. M Schumann says:

    That was a lucky break. So when will you launch the balloon?

  2. Hallo Julius

    Wirklich eine tolle Maturaarbeit, die du gemacht hast! Auch das Video, welches du gemacht hast, ist wirklich schön. Für mich beginnt das Abenteuer Maturaarbeit in diesen Tagen und auch ich plane eine Arbeit im Bereich der Near Space Photography. Und auch ich stosse so auf einige Probleme, unter anderem auch bei der Materialbeschaffung. Da du in diesem Artikel geschrieben hast, dass du von MétéoSuisse 2 Ballone erhalten hast, wollte ich dich fragen, ob du noch einen ungebrauchten hast, da ich noch keinen Ballon auftreiben konnte.

    Simon Locher

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