Regional HAB Forecasting

Sample HAB forecast map

We are proud to introduce HARP: High-Altitude Regional Predictor. HARP is part of Aerodyne's expanding software for high altitude balloon prediction and tracking.  HARP uses Aerodyne-developed prediction algorithms to generates daily forecasts for a typical balloon flight over large areas (currently just CONUS, but more coming soon). The system also stores every forecast that it generates in order to give a statistical overview of what an average flight for a given area might look like. We have imported data for all of 2012 and will be extending this to 2011 after we have added some additional forecast areas. We are also working on adding a filtering ability to enable users to analyze predictions that meet defined parameters in order to extract more valuable information such as optimal time of day for a given month. We are of course providing this system free of charge to the entire HAB community for the foreseeable future.

The current forecast is for a 6 pound payload under a 1200g Kaymont balloon with 4 pounds of net lift. Maps are generated for the raw landing distance/direction, cloud cover, and ground wind speed. These results are then used to synthesize a composite forecast map that displays the weighted distance the reference balloon travels. The primary weighting factor is currently cloud cover. This is due to the FAA regulation prohibiting free balloon flight through greater than 50% cloud cover.

Upcoming Features

  • Balloon/payload conversion calculator
  • Advanced statistical filters
  • Third party API
  • Map/graph exporting

This whole system is still very much a work in progress but we wanted to make it available to the community now in order to hopefully make launching a balloon easier. We welcome your feedback about current and future features and suggestions for new forecast regions.

Disclaimer:  Although Aerodyne Labs has worked hard to present accurate and up to date information, this service is provided at no charge and with no warranty or guarantee.  Aerodyne Labs is not responsible for any inaccuracies, mis-information or any mishap as a direct or indirect usage of HARP.  In other words, use at your own risk, your milage may vary.