FAQ

Your Questions Answered by Jason Brand

Jason with Google Glass

Come back and see more FAQ topics as we add them from subscribers comments and questions. That is me, Jason (right) wearing Google Glass.Support staff will be using these for info before and during the flight, but the pilot (me) will be wearing video goggles so that I can see the video relayed from the cockpit.

Although I am only 12 years old I have worked hard to make this a reality. I have had my HAM radio license since I was 9 years old. I fly Remote Control aircraft and I have launched and recovered 19 High Altitude Balloons at the time of publication. With 100% success rate for recovery, we can’t do any better. I launch these with my father. He does the driving and I do the Tracking, Navigation, Internet, Social Media and everything other than the driving – you work out who’s the brains of this operation!

When will the Project Commence?

It has started and we began flying tests in Sept 2014 with great success on our first flight. it confirmed the maths that we were using as being correct.

Where will the Attempt to Break the Sound Barrier Take Place?

Since I live in Sydney Australia, it is likely to take place in a remote part of the country away from the major aircraft trunk roots and away from towns or other dense areas of population.

When will the attempt take place?

Probably during my School Holidays around April 2015

What is the Speed Of Sound?

The speed of sound is the distance traveled per unit of time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium. In dry air at 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound is 342 metres per second (1,122 ft/s). This is 1,233 kilometres per hour (666 kn; 766 mph), or about a kilometer in three seconds or a mile in five seconds. The Speed of Sound changes with altitude, but surprisingly this is not due to density or pressure, but with temperature!

Will there be a Sonic Boom?

Yes, but it will not likely to be heard. In fact there will be two. One as it breaks the sound barrier and goes supersonic and one again as it slows to subsonic. Given the size of the craft and the distance and thin atmosphere, it is unlikely to be heard from the ground.

It can be -50C in the Jet Stream, How cold is the Stratosphere?

Payload Temperature and Estimated Outside TemperatureIt can even get to -60C or colder in different parts of the world. You can see this in the Jet Stream yourself if you look at the outside temperature on the navigation screens in aircraft entertainment systems. Aircraft fly in the jet stream at cruising altitudes. It may be counter-intuitive, but the temperature in the lower part of the stratosphere where Project ThunderStruck will fly, can be a balmy +5C, according to our outside sensors. Our very first balloon payload radioed back the temperatures of the payload shown in this graph. it cooled the payload even inside our insulation and the estimated outside temperatures to needed to make those changes are shown. When the balloon burst, it fell back through the jet stream as 3 times the speed and cooling the payload and the battery. The battery volts fell to dangerous levels. Something we have addressed in later flights:

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