Everyone welcome to UST Radio Club meeting tomorrow

Everyone welcome to UST Radio Club meeting tomorrow

Dr. James Flaten, KDoAWK, will speak on "Near Space Experiments Using Weather Balloons and Ham Radio" at the UST Radio Club meeting tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 7. Everyone is welcome.

The evening begins with socializing at 7 p.m., followed by the meeting and speaker at 7:30 p.m. in Room 155, Murray-Herrick Campus Center. Parking permits for the red and yellow lots on campus are not enforced after 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Flaten will talk about his work with University of Minnesota physics students who put together scientific experiments, attach them to helium-filled weather balloons and launch them into near-space. The balloons and payloads rise 80,000 to 90,000 feet.

The balloons expand and eventually burst due to lack of air pressure from the thin air in near-space. A parachute deploys after the balloon pops, to slow the descent of the balloon or payload, which then drifts westward with the prevailing wind, as far as 100 miles. A flight will last from two to three hours. Flights are tracked using APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System, done with ham radio and GPS tracking) in order to retrieve the balloon.  

Flaten received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 1997, in low-temperature experimental physics. He has taught physics at the University of Minnesota-Morris and at Luther College. He currently teaches in the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department at the University Minnesota-Twin Cities and is associate director of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium (MnSGC). MnSGC has a dozen Minnesota institutes of higher learning as members, including the University of St. Thomas.

Be sure to monitor the club repeater, KØAGF, for talk-in help (145.310 – no tone needed).