Biography

Jason Brand with Google Glass - close up2

Jason Brand testing Google Glass

Jason Brand

Our youngest member (Born 2004) and flight and tracking specialist. In brief:

  • HAM radio operator since he was 9 years old
  • First balloon launch and recovery at 9 years ol
  • Flying Radio Controlled aircraft since 2013
  • Launched, tracked and recovered 25 High Altitude balloons and recovered 100% (all 25) at time of posting. Two were in Croatia. Usual height has been 30Km to 33.3Km – 1/3 the way to space.
  • Attends Sydney Secondary College, Balmain Campus.
  • Has appeared on several TV and radio programs.

Below: Jason and his father Robert Brand giving a lecture to about 100 scientist in Croatia in April 2014

Jason and Robert Brand giving a lecture in Croatia

Robert brand 2013 - square

Robert Brand In London for a space conference representing Team Stellar

Robert Brand

Leading Australian space entrepreneur, Senior Adviser for Team Stellar, ex-OTC staff member, amateur radio operator, Public Speaker on Innovation, Social Media and Space with a focus on Australian Space.

Worked on Apollo 11 equipment at 17 years old, supported Apollo missions, Voyager missions, Shuttle missions and ESA’s Giotto mission to Halleys Comet. Several times he was stationed at the Parkes Radio Telescope.

Primarily with his son Jason (above), he has released and recovered 27 high altitude balloons – two of them were in Croatia. He has designed a mechanism to turn a weather balloon into a zero pressure balloon during flight. Many of the balloon flight have been commercial flights for customers.

Robert has been assisting with space projects for some time including, as senior advisor to Team Stellar; major part of the work on the Mars Median project (methane detection); a Mars Flier project with Murdoch University and a laser retro reflector in space with passive identification. Robert is a regular speaker at intentional space conferences such as the International Space Development Conference and Spacefest.

Below is a video of Jason and Robert Brand launching a 3kG balloon in Zagreb, Croatia. They are extremely talented in High Altitude Balloon flights and recoveries.

2 comments on “Biography

  1. Err, didn’t Vic Hopper devise a mechanism for turning weather balloons into zero-pressure balloons, during flight, many, many years ago? He and his group used it for a long time, starting in the 1950s, to study cosmic rays, by flying nuclear emulsions at stable predictable heights. It consisted of a piece of string, an aluminium tube, a table tennis ball, and a cheap spring.

  2. Hi, I did not mean to suggest that I was the first, just that I felt that commercially there was a need for an off the shelf product that could be sold to the people like the Bureau of Meteorology here in Australia that cut the cost of doing flights. At this time, there is no commercial product that you can just grab, set the max altitude, stick in the end of a balloon, fill, seal and release. Okay there are also other parameters to key in – size of the balloon, helium or hydrogen and the payload weight. None the less we did look at a ping pong ball solution as there are standard PVC sections the change dimensions (different sized pipes in and out) that fit a ping pong ball perfectly. Ensuring a good seal after the fill is a small issue, but the application of a little goo to make the seal perfect was always an option. A servo simply pushes the ball out of the way an it can also be resealed if necessary..I have however gone for a solution that puts a hole in a section of foil balloon in one end of a T piece. The other end being used for the fill. A blanking screw section is then removed from the foil seal once the fill is complete – it stops the foil from bursting during the fill and is then used to seal the balloon leaving the foil and the nichrome wire ready to do the job. There is no need to reinvent the wheel unless you are improving it significantly.

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