Balloon Performance Calculator
Tips and Suggestions
Take your time.
The biggest tip we can give you if you have never inflated a weather balloon before is to take your time. Make sure you are familiar with all our tutorials. Be patient with your launch and wait for a day with ideal weather conditions, a clear sunny day with little or no wind. Early morning is almost always the best time to inflate and launch a weather balloon.Common mistakes to avoid.
- Carelessly using a knife or scissors to open the balloon shipping package and accidentally cutting into the balloon.
- Trying to inflate a weather balloon outside on a windy day.
- Accidentally letting go of the balloon before tying it to the payload.
- Wearing jewelry with sharp edges or protrusions (such as a diamond on an engagement ring) that tears or cuts the balloon's delicate latex.
- Holding the balloon on the ground while inflating it. This causes grass and/or gravel to damage the balloon.
How do I know what my weather balloon's capacity is?
We get this question quite often. The question assumes that any given weather balloon has a fixed capacity which is a false assumption. Weather balloons are made from latex, an extremely elastic material, and will expand to whatever capacity you need them to. Although not recommended, you could even inflate our 350 g Weather Balloon with 250 cu.ft. of helium. That would give you enough lift to launch a 6 kg payload, but your balloon would only reach an altitude of 15,000 m before bursting. The same balloon inflated with 40 cu.ft. of helium would carry our Eagle Pro Kit (weighs 600 g including parachute, batteries, GoPro etc.) to an altitude of 27,000 meters before bursting.
It would be a better question to ask yourself how much your payload weighs. The heavier your payload, the more helium you will need to launch your payload. The more helium you use for a given balloon, the lower its burst altitude will be. You can use our Balloon Performance Calculator to play around with the different size balloons and different payload weights and get an estimate of your burst altitude. If you're not satisfied with your estimated burst altitude, you can always purchase a bigger balloon (a 1500 g instead of a 350 g weather balloon), or find a way to reduce the weight of your payload.