Heating Devices and Temperature-Regulating Sensors Stabilize Temperatures in Flight Pods

Friday, February 12, 2016
Daenen Jones, Omaha North High, Omaha, NE
Anna Kay Sitzman, Omaha North High, Omaha, NE
In previous high altitude balloon experiments, two different types of chemical hand warming devices were tested to determine if life-supporting temperatures could be maintained within the flight pods. Although data shows that this method increased the temperatures within the experimental pods compared to external temperatures, there were still significant temperature variations during the flight. In order to stabilize the interior pod temperatures to support live organisms and temperature-sensitive equipment, a system comprised of heating pads, batteries, and thermostats was developed. Two types of temporary construction thermostats, the TEMP-STATTS70 70° and the TEMP-STATiO-TS70 70° were connected to battery-operated Adafruit® electric heating pads and along with a sensor suite, encased in bubble wrap, and placed within the flight pod labeled S2. A second pod was prepared in the same way except it contained only the sensor suite, and was the experimental control (S3). The flight pods were launched attached to a high altitude balloon. Altitude, ambient temperature, and temperatures within the experimental and control pods were monitored throughout the flight. Data collected indicates that within pod S2 the temperature ranged between approximately 16C and 36C, while within pod S3 the temperatures ranged between -21C and 20C. Data from an earlier preliminary launch with each pod containing just one battery-operated Adafruit® electric heating pad with no thermostat-controlled system, indicates the internal pod temperature ranged between approximately 2C and 39C. This would indicate that the thermostat-controlled system provides a more stable temperature within the flight pods during high altitude launches.