The Icarus Project

The Icarus Project

High Altitude Ballooning

Launch Check List

24 Hours Before Launch

  • Update tracker to reflect launch
  • Run predictor with launch details to make final decision
  • Check local forecast for wind and precipitation
  • Notify ATC
  • Dry run camera and payload through a full sample flight recording all data with dl-fldigi and make sure that the path matches the test kml file and that pictures are taken for the duration of the test flight. Test the temperature reading sensors with freeze spray.
  • Make sure payload is clearly labelled with
    • “Harmless Scientific Experiment”
    • The URL of the Icarus Project (
    • The Payload Version (Icarus I, Icarus II, Icarus III …)
    • Mobile Phone Number
  • Charge all batteries
  • Charge Mobile
  • Charge eee-pc
  • Charge FT817ND
  • Charge In car sat nav

Equipment Check List (Before departure)

The Flight System

  • 2 Balloons (1 spare)
  • Parachute
  • Payload (Camera, Tracker, Antenna’s)
  • Line String
  • Cable Ties
  • Gaffa Tape
  • Batteries (Energizer Lithium)
  • Lens Cloth
  • Pyrotechnic Cut-downs
  • Pyrotechnic Safety Cover
  • Latex gloves for handling balloon

Ground Control

  • CAA Permission Papers
  • Helium Cylinders
  • Regulator
  • Inflation Hose
  • Ground Sheet
  • Table / Chairs
  • Payload Stand
  • Video Recorder
  • Ground Camera
  • Tool Box
  • Weights to calculate free lift (water bottles)

Payload Tracking & Recovery

  • FT817ND x2
  • FT817ND Car Power Cable
  • EEE-PC
  • EEE-PC Car Power Cable
  • Vodafone Dongle
  • Data Cable
  • Tonna 70CM Yagi
  • Tripod
  • USB GPS Receiver
  • Car socket multiplier
  • Car Sat Nav
  • High Access Recovery Pole (12m)
  • Mobile Phone + Charger

Tool Box Contents

  • Side Snips (Knipex)
  • Cable Ties
  • Spare Whip Antenna (70 cm)
  • Small Party Balloons for wind tests


  • Thermos Flask
  • Chocolate
  • Crisps
  • Sandwiches

Final Checks (Seconds before launch)

  • Camera appears to be fully operational
  • Telemetry is been decoded clearly and posted to tracker
  • ATC has given clear to launch
  • Video and Camera’s ready

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