Equipment

Smith & Williamson’s Boomerang and Doongara products transform what is possible with inexpensive weather balloons. These products were specifically developed for advanced latex balloon flights at any altitude.

Boomerang Balloon Flight Control System

The Boomerang Balloon Flight Control System solves the most common ballooning hurdles by seamlessly integrating altitude control, communication, instrumentation, tracking, and payload recovery features into a rugged, reusable flight system. By venting off excess lift gas, flights stabilize at altitude or descend under ground command using the included Mission Control Station software. Release ballast to slow the descent rate or go up in altitude. Boomerang is a cost-competitive alternative to small zero-pressure balloons for many applications. For heavy-payload flights, Boomerang can be combined with Doongara in a tandem balloon system. Features include:

  • Balloon altitude control by venting and ballasting

    Storm Balloon Launch
    Boomerang “Storm Balloon” Variant
  • Real-time command & telemetry with line-of-sight radio and Iridium SBD*
  • Ground-based user control & telemetry display software
  • Integrated sensors with on-board data storage:
    • Temperature, Humidity, Barometric Pressure, GPS
  • Redundant (mechanical/electrical) flight termination
  • Strobe lights for night flights
  • Packed or in-line parachute options
  • Flight duration greater than 24 hours, depending on conditions
  • Light-weight at less than 800 grams, including batteries

Payload Integration Options:

  • Standard 1U CubeSat bay (10cm cube volume)
    • Payload mass up to 1.5 kg with full ballast and still remain FAA part 101 exempt
  • Line attachment points for suspending payloads below, up to 10kg to a 30km float altitude
  • Custom payload enclosure and mechanical/electrical integration

Doongara Balloon Cut-Down Device

Doongara is a reusable self-contained thermal line cutter that severs the synthetic line connecting balloon and payload. It is typically flown in a tandem balloon configuration and separates one or both balloons at specific points during flight. Doongara is powered from a single AA battery and cuts line based off of user-programmable settings: elapsed time, barometric pressure, and/or rate of pressure change. Features include:

Tandem Demo
Small Tandem Balloon
  • Integrated sensors with on-board data storage:
    • Barometric Pressure, Temperature
  • Redundant burn-wires
  • Battery heater
  • Duration >3 hrs
  • Light-weight at less than 40g, including battery

Single Doongara Applications:

  • Single DoongaraCut-away “tow” balloon for Constant Rate Descending Flights
  • Drop a sonde or ballast during flight
  • Terminate a conventional flight at a specific pressure altitude to increase landing prediction accuracy
  • Separate from balloon remnant after burst

Tandem Doongara Applications:

  • Tandem DoongaraCut-away “tow” balloons and terminate for Level Horizontal Flights
  • Cut-away “tow” balloons and terminate for Stepped Vertical Flights