PRESS RELEASE: NOVEMBER 2008
Wireless communication specialist Radiometrix has supplied two custom radio transceivers to Idaho State University for its Research Involving Student Engineers (RISE) program.
The London-based company supplied the pair of customised UHX1 multi-channel
radio transceivers tuned to a special VHF frequency (147MHz) with US distributor,
The program is sponsored by NASA and releases weather balloons with ceilings
exceeding 25,000 meters. The balloons have payloads made up of a camera box,
an automatic position reporting system for tracking purposes, and a flight computer.
In addition, the balloons can carry various experiments from extremeophile bacteria
research to simple egg drop mechanisms.
Weight is a key concern to comply with Federal Aviation Administration’s 12 lb weight limit on these flights. “Finding a compact, lightweight radio solution was vital to the continued success of the project”, noted Professor Tim Frazier, the project’s faculty sponsor. Researchers have been looking at how to miniaturize the multi-channel tracking package, and the Radiometrix module offered a way of achieving this. "Lemos and Radiometrix have worked with us to choose a suitable transceiver and associated electronics for the project," explained Ben Estes, program member. "The UHX-1 module from Radiometrix has enabled a transparent serial link between the control station and the flight computer in the balloon once it is airborne. This allows full communication between the balloon and the ground crew”, Estes continued, “allowing them to operate vents, cut-down mechanisms, parachute deployment, and actuate any other mechanisms needed."