Launch 2nd November 2008
The first of launch of Pegasus VI was overall a success, due to some adjustments to my scripts concerning the rtty sound file generator I had by a mistake reduced the shift between the two frequencies down to 85Hz. On the ground with little background noise it was easy to decode however after launching it meant that the decoder software struggled to distinguish the 2 frequencies and therefore it wasn't possible to get a good stream of data. This rolled over to affect the online tracking which meant that there weren't any updates to the maps. It got to a point that we stopped even trying to decode the rtty and instead focused on receiving the images.
As can be seen from the flickr photostream the images received worked out well, sstv is transmitted line by line which means that movements such as the payload spinning or the need to retune the receiver adds various 'noise' lines to the image hence the horizontal bands. It was also found that the coordinate overlay needed to be in a different colour so that it didn't blend in with the clouds! Hopefully with careful positioning of a yagi antenna it'll be possible to improve the quality of the images but overall we were really pleased, its really exciting watching the image come in line by line!
The weather on the day was quite unusual, when we left home it was quite clear however on reaching EARS we found that the clouds were really low and it was pretty misty. The wind direction varied depending on the level which meant that the payload after being released actually came directly over us again. After launching we remained at EARS for most of the flight and then after we detected that the balloon had burst we headed in to Cambridge. As soon as we had arrived in Cambridge the payload sent a SMS of its coordinates and so we immediately set off to collect it. It was found in a field near to the road in West Suffolk.
With the payload in good condition the plan is now to fix a few of the problems that were experienced during the first flight especially the rtty shift and also improve the antenna and then fly again probably in the new year.