GPSL 2012 was a success, 5 flights all recovered intact in western Iowa

See breaking GPSL 2012 news first on Twitter:

Glenwood HS in Iowa chosen as Saturday's launch site, launches will begin about 0730 CT

Link to tracks for all APRS payloads here

GPSL 2012 Photo Album

Nebraska Stratospheric Amateur Radio will host the twelfth annual Great Plains Super Launch (GPSL) on June 7-10, 2012, in Omaha, Nebraska.  Amateur Radio high-altitude ballooning groups from around the nation will attend this event for a conference and a mass balloon launch.

For greater Omaha, numbered streets are north/south starting near the Missouri River and are 12 blocks per mile - I-680 is about 114th St and "west Omaha" generally refers to locations west of this line.  Dodge Street is the major east/west artery through the center of the city, I-80 is to the south of the city center.  Other major east/west streets are Pacific, Center, L, and Q Streets.  Most of the city is laid out on a grid with few diagonals making navigation fairly easy.


Registration is required for the Friday session in order to have enough prepared meals for everyone.  Please fill out a survey below and e-mail it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can have accurate head counts.

Google Map of GPSL locations


The Ak-Sar-Ben ARC has offered use of the 146.94- repeater to GPSL attendees.  This is a wide-area repeater which covers the entire metro area including the prospective launch sites.  It is also the Douglas County ARES/Skywarn repeater.  

Other area repeaters:

  • 145.29- (Glenwood IA, can be linked to other SW Iowa systems)
  • 145.31- (Ashland NE - good coverage around museum)
  • 145.235- (Papillion NE - wide area with remote receivers)
  • 443.775- (Gretna NE - off the air)
  • 146.76- (Lincoln NE - wide area coverage, Lancaster Co Skywarn)

Please sign up for @SuperLaunch on Twitter for last-minute updates and to the GPSL 2012 list on Yahoo Groups.

Lift gas for GPSL 2012

Hydrogen will be used due to lack of helium availability.

Thursday, June 7th

10am:  Nebraska Space Grant Workshop balloon launch at the Strategic Air and Space Museum.  This is not part of the GPSL festivities, but anyone already in town is welcome to come out to the launch and/or help chase.

1-5 pm:  Guided tour of the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland, NE (just off I-80 Exit 426, about 25 miles southwest of Omaha).  GPSL attendees will receive a discounted admission of $6 for adults and $3 for children.

7-9 pm:  Early arrivals dinner at the Upstream Brewing Co. (171st and West Center Road, Omaha)

Friday, June 8th

All Friday events will be at Arbor Hall Omaha, 14040 Arbor St [near 144th St and Center St]

Admission for the Friday sessions will be $50 per person, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hall.  Coffee, iced tea, and water will be available through the day.  Additional dinner tickets for spouses, etc., can be purchased for $20.  If you don't want to attend the Friday dinner, the cost for breakfast, lunch, and the sessions will be $30.  My wife arranges her professional meetings at Arbor Hall regularly and says the food and service is outstanding, and this is a very reasonable price for the total package.  It will also be very convenient to have everything in one location Friday to minimize wasted time driving.


8am Doors open

Bagels, breads, pastries, cinnamon rolls, fruit, juice, coffee


Mark Conner N9XTN


25 Years of ARHAB
Bill Brown WB8ELK


Flight from Coors Field




Video Stabilization Techniques
Bruce Coates VE5BNC


Using BalloonSats for Education Research
Paul Verhage KD4STH



Ham, turkey, roast beef build your own sandwiches
with assorted condiments lettuce, tomato etc.
Pasta salad
Kettle chips
Cookies and assorted desserts
1:00-1:20 and Records Page
Keith Kaiser WA0TJT


Long-duration Floater Techniques
Bill Brown WB8ELK


DF Beacon Kits




On-air payload time slot verification


Hydrogen safety
Zack Clobes W0ZC
Q&A and open discussion encouraged


Weather briefing
Launch site selection
Other launch-day logistics





Herb crusted chicken
Fork tender roast beef with demi glaze
Asiago mashed potatoes
Fresh steamed vegetables
Salad with dressing
Rolls and butter
Chef choice dessert


Saturday, June 9th

6:30am:  Launch crews arrive
7:30-9am: Launches
11am-6pm:  Post flight lunch and discussions at Don Carmelo's Pizza in Elkhorn (north of West Dodge Rd on 204th St)

Sunday, June 10th

Backup flight day


Blocks of rooms are not being arranged due to a variety of lodging preferences for the GPSL participants.  Individuals/groups should make their own reservations and may be able to obtain multi-room discounts.
Super 8, 116th and West Dodge Rd (about 4 mi from Arbor Hall)
My parents stay at this hotel when they visit us and have never had a bad experience.  Rooms presently available at $66/night, non-refundable rate for less.

There is also a cluster of hotels near 108th St and L St, just off I-80, with a variety of rates and amenities.
Any of these locations should be convenient for both the hall and the Thursday/Saturday events.  More upscale facilities can be found in the downtown area, but will be less convenient.

Other area attractions

Henry Doorly Zoo (just south of I-80 at 13th St exit).  One of the best zoos in the region if not in the US.  Plenty of shaded areas for warm sunny days, but some ups and downs to the terrain so it's not the best for those who have difficulty walking.

Lauritzen Gardens/Kenefick Park (just north of I-80 near 13th St exit).  Approximately 100 acres of gardens and botanical exhibits.  Kenefick Park has two retired Union Pacific engines on display.

Durham Western Heritage Museum
(just south of downtown area).   This used to be Omaha's Union Pacific train station, now converted to a museum.  Lots of exhibits from the late 1800s and early 1900s.  A must see for history buffs or rail fans.

Casinos are located just across the river in Council Bluffs, IA.  The "Old Market" in the downtown area has a wide selection of small shops and restaurants all in walking distance.  Other nearby shopping centers include Oak View Mall (just south of Arbor Hall), Village Pointe (168th and Dodge), L Street Marketplace (108th to 132nd on L St) and Westroads (102nd and Dodge).