I’m a little late in getting the blog post out, but the second of two major deliveries last week for the Stratoballoon Project was our parachute!
We went with an Aerocon Systems 60” round chute, available from Aerocon direct. To determine how large of a chute we needed, we consulted a couple of descent rate calculators. The calculators were meant for use with model rockets, but they would work for our purposes just fine – here is one, and here is the other.
With a 4 pound capsule, and a 60” chute, the calculators are saying that the descent rate should be just over 10 MPH. One of our reference flights specifically quoted 10 MPH as the safe landing speed for the capsule (they also specifically recommended the Aerocon Systems parachute).
The stock color is white, as is shown here, but we intend to dye it – a safety orange or a cherry red – to make it stand out better in the sky, in a tree, in a road, etc. The Aerocon product page has good instructions for how to dye the chutes, so that will end up being a sub-project in the next month or so.
The chute by itself was only $12, and Aerocon required a minimum order of $15, so I had to hunt to find something else on their site for $3. I didn’t see anything else that we actually needed, but I thought this would be good for humor value:
Aerocon definitely caters to the model rocket crowd, so a tag like this fits right in. I don’t know if we’ll find a legitimate use for it on our flight, so it may end up being a souvenir.