Catamount-5 Recovery Successful

The Catamount 5 Near Space Balloon launch and recovery were successful.

First and foremost, a tremendous thank you to all that continue to support this project.

At 10:53AM, Saturday morning, Catamount 5 was launched from the Jackson County Airport next to the WCU campus. The balloon’s altitude exceeded 97,000 feet before bursting over Table Rock State Park and floating back to earth. The payload was recovered 6 hours later south of Tigerville, SC.

Below is the the actual flight path of the balloon and payloads. The last flight location data packet is noted by the balloon symbol and grey call sign, K4WCU-11. At the time of the last data packet, the altitudes was noted above 60,000 feet. Rapidly changing wind speed and direction may have played a part in in disorienting the tracking hardware. The APRS mini tracker failed following the last location data point. However the beacon signal and SPOT tracking device remained active and eventually guided the Tracking and Recovery teams to the recovery site.


The payloads were recovered at the location noted by the WD4A-9 call sign.


The Payloads were found hanging in a tree. The Owner’s permission was granted to cut down the tree to recover the payloads.


Thanks to all for your continued support. The Next launch is being targeted for sometime in July.

View Pictures from the payload here!

More Pictures of setup & Pre-Launch are on our Facebook group!

Credit to W3WZN, for this allowing us to use this writeup.

Balloon Launch – April 27, 2013

Our Next Balloon Launch will be coming up on Saturday April 27, 2013. We are expecting to beging assembly and launch of the balloon around 9AM, at the Jackson County Airport.

We are still looking for people who are interested in assisting with chasing and recovering the balloon! If you are interested in attending the launch, please contact us, by means of our contact us page. We will all be monitoring the K4WCU Repeater saturday morning, and be using IRLP reflector 9444 as our central hub for communications.

We will be using the same APRS Callsign of K4WCU-11, and using the same beacon frequency and recovery equipment. We hope that if you cannot attend the launch, you will follow and listen along! Thanks to all of you who have interest in this project.

Undergraduate Expo – April 4, 2013 12:30PM

The Catamount Amateur Radio Group will be presenting on Atmospheric Stratification of Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes (TGFs) and Capture of Electromagnetic Phenomenon in the Southern Appellation Mountain Region tomorrow under the direction of one of our own- Michele Coke, KK4NRB.

We will be in the Catamount Room, in the University Center on WCU’s Campus. The presentation will begin at 12:30PM. For those of you familiar with our regular meeting room (the Dogwood Room), the Catamount Room is right down the hall.

Hope to see you all there!