White Star Balloon

Launch Site Safety Manual

Original Publication: 1/27/2011

Rev -

Section 1.0 – Scope

Section 2.0 – Fire Safety

2.1 General Guidelines

2.2  Alcohol

2.3 Lithium Batteries

Section 3.0 – Support Materials

3.1 Compressed Gas Helium

3.2 Alcohol

3.3 Plastic Envelope

Section 4.0 – Launch Environment

4.1 Personal or property damage on liftoff

Section 5.0 – Accident Response

5.1  Fire at launch site (Also see Fire Safety  in General Guidelines)

5.2  Medical Emergency

Section 6.0 – Weather

6.1 Ascent rate varies with barometric pressure

6.2 Sustained Winds Range:

6.2  Gusting Winds With or Without Sustained Winds:

6.3  Obstacle clearance:

Section 1.0 – Scope

This manual will address potential safety issues in and around the launch area. Recommended procedures or processes will be provided and shall be followed. Where additional training information is available and judged to be beneficial, links will be provided . This information should be reviewed primarily in the interest of personal safety, but also for the preservation of the launch facility, support materials and flight unit itself.

Section 2.0 – Fire Safety

While to date there are no documented balloon launch site fires, the materials in use on this project dictate the possibility must be taken seriously. No smoking or open flames are permitted within a 100 foot radius of the launch preparation center point. Caution should be exercised when handling the alcohol that is used as ballast and the lithium battery payload power source. Either one if ignited can cause bodily injury or death. See specific guidelines in the following sections.

2.1 General Guidelines

General Required Training

Fire Extinguisher Class B CO2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgsbaNIUrww

Fire Extinguisher Class B Dry Powder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgsbaNIUrww

2.2  Alcohol

Alcohol Required Training:

Flammable Liquid Safety http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3saM47rXojI

2.3 Lithium Batteries

Lithium Battery Required Training:

Lithium Metal Fire Demonstration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHepsLmuNNw

Identifying A Class D Fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX0Tfg1hhl0

Pressurized Water Extinguishers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w7lgwwGDA4&feature=relmfu

Section 3.0 – Support Materials

3.1 Compressed Gas Helium

3.2 Alcohol

3.3 Plastic Envelope

Section 4.0 – Launch Environment

The launch preparation process is well choreographed and quite predictable up to a point.  However, when the envelope filling begins the excitement increases and the adrenalin starts to flow.  Things begin to happen very quickly and it is very easy to get distracted in the last moments of the inflation.  Depending upon weather conditions the completion of inflation and the transition to release could be very rushed.  Everyone in the vicinity must be continuously aware of what is going on around them and be prepared to react quickly to prevent injury to crew members or damage to the balloon envelope, rigging, or payload.  The following sections address the most obvious potential issues. Keep aware of your surroundings and quickly report any other threats that may become apparent.

4.1 Personal or property damage on liftoff

4.1.1  Impact Injury from horizontally flying payloads

4.1.1.1  PPD

4.1.1.2  Procedures and Danger Zones

4.1.2  High speed and high force body part rope entanglement cuts and burns

4.1.2.1  PPD

4.1.1.2  Procedures

4.1.3.            Trip hazards on release

4.1.3.1        PPD – N/A

4.1.3.2        Procedures

4.1.4  Snapping ropes and releasing connections on launch

4.1.4.1  PPD

4.1.5              Running Crew Balloon  Release Boundaries

4.1.5.1        PPD – N/A

4.1.5.2        Procedures

Section 5.0 – Accident Response

5.1  Fire at launch site (Also see Fire Safety  in General Guidelines)

5.2  Medical Emergency

Section 6.0 – Weather

The timing and success of a launch is directly related to the weather conditions.  Continuous assessment is required.  While the forecast for the jet stream path, altitude and speed is given great scrutiny prior to launch, ultimately it is the ground conditions that will determine the start of the mission.  The following conditions will be reviewed before and up to launch and be the basis for go-no go decisions.

6.1 Ascent rate varies with barometric pressure

●   Launch ascent calibrated with pilot balloons

6.2 Sustained Winds Range:

●    0-5kt Good

●    5-8kt Launch Director Discretion

●    8+kt No launch

6.2  Gusting Winds With or Without Sustained Winds:

●    0-5kt T5-8kt TBD

6.3  Obstacle clearance: