The HABE (High Altitude Balloon Experiment) project was started in the Summer of 2009 after coming across some incredible photos of previous launches and deciding to set myself the challenge to achieve some photos of my own.

I’m a student (just finished A levels) and I’m currently based in Worcester, UK.

Progress has been slow but steady over the years, however it all culminated with my 1st launch on the 2nd July 2011 with HABE1.

Huge thanks goes to all my kind sponsors who have provided many components (from gps modules to cable ties!); without them HABE certainly would not have happened.


My UKHAS page is here – http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:habe





  • chris hillcox
    #1 written by chris hillcox 7 years ago

    Dear Mr Cudworth,
    I was really interested to read about your last launch. I write a simple blog to describe in brief launches during the year and what people are doing. I wondered if you could describe in brief how your last launch went and what you were trying to do so I can post it. I’ll also link to your blog. It is just to provide a space where novices can see what is going on and provide a link if people want to know more. It also provides a space for people if they have something to share or offer
    All the best Chris HIllcox

    • Adam
      #2 written by Adam 7 years ago

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch! I currently don’t have much time to write up a report, but please feel free to use any of the info/stats/photos on my blog if you can link back.
      The flight went very well despite a bad start. Initially at launch I had a faulty helium canister adapter so I was unable to get any helium out of the canister. Fortunately – a fellow balloonist, Will Duckworth, who also lives in the Worcester area and was following along on the IRC (#highaltitude) came to the rescue with his helium adapter!
      The payload reached almost 30km in altitude and the flight lasted about 2 hours, landing near High Wycombe. It was successfully retrieved about an hour later – the backup GPS SMS tracker proved great once again, sending a pin point location of landing site so it was easy to find. Fortunately it landed in a horse field and not on top of someone’s house!
      All the sensors worked and I collected a huge amount of data (excel file and graphs can be seen on my blog). The camera was still taking photos when I found it, which was a relief after the camera on my first flight failed completely. I got some fantastic photos of the curvature of the earth.


  • chris hillcox
    #3 written by chris hillcox 7 years ago

    Hey Adam, How did it go with channel 4? Which programme did you do it for or is that top secret? Did you get any good pictures?
    All the best
    Chris Hillcox

    • Adam
      #4 written by Adam 7 years ago

      Hi Chris,
      Launch went great thanks – took some time at the launch site getting everything prepped as it all needed to be double/triple checked understandably. The tracking hardware this time was completely different to previous 2 launches – throughout the flight there were some odd GPS problems, altitude only reporting when it felt like it and “freezing” a lot, and also GPS turned off around 12km only to turn back on again around 23km in altitude (it did something similar after burst until it got to around 16km in altitude). Was quite a concern due to the valuable equip on board! Fortunately though, the lat/long was reporting most of the way down. I was about 2 miles from the balloon just before land when the telemetry suddenly went dead (initial thoughts were radio had been destroyed on landing) however driving near to the last location, I managed to pick up telemetry again and then it was a ~500m walk through fields to retrieve.
      It landed about 50m from a huge wood – very fortunate!
      With regards to the onboard equipment there were 3 GoPros which captured fantastic HD footage (from the brief bit I saw) and were recovered fully intact.
      The flight was for Lee Kern’s new series on C4, which I believe should be airing in May!


  • chris hillcox
    #5 written by chris hillcox 7 years ago

    Thanks for the news Adam. Congrats for completing that one. I have never heard of Lee Kern but you have earned Huge bragging rights. I have done a post at http://balloonnews.wordpress.com/missions-in-2012/

    Do you have a picture of the payload as I’d like to post it up and compare it to the payload used for the Mass Effect launch for EA. If you do my email address is [email protected]
    All the best
    Chris H

    • Adam
      #6 written by Adam 7 years ago

      I don’t have any photos of the main payload before launch, however I’ve got a couple of recovery photos.
      I’ll send them over,

      Many thanks for the write up!

  • Chris Goff
    #7 written by Chris Goff 6 years ago

    Hi, Adam.
    Good going with this project. I am a school teacher considering leading a group of kids to do something similar. Could you tell me if there are any regulatory hurdles to doing this? I imagine your balloon would be a potential hazard to air traffic. Is there paperwork you needed to do?

    Chris Goff
    The American School in London

    • Adam
      #8 written by Adam 6 years ago

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your comment. I know there has been a few launches in the past with schools from various people in the UK High Altitude Society – it would certainly be worth having a scan of the UKHAS website: http://ukhas.org.uk as there is a lot of info on there. Also, come and have a chat to us on the IRC (#highaltitude): http://ukhas.org.uk/ukhas:irc_channel?s=irc

      With regards to other regs that I had to follow, the main is the CAA, you need to contact them to request a “NOTAM” which allows you to launch during a specified time window from a specified location. You’ll need to apply for this over a month in advance – http://ukhas.org.uk/general:restrictions_legality?s=notam

      Best thing would be to pop on the chat and any other questions you have will be answered.

      Thanks for getting in touch,

  • christine
    #9 written by christine 6 years ago

    salut Adam
    j’habite en France et je viens de lire un article sur votre magnifique exploit “amateur” ! je suis enthousiasmée par votre volonté, votre passion et votre tenacité, et je voulais juste vous féliciter ! c’est fantatisque de savoir qu’il y a des “petits jeunes” aussi extraordinaires ! encore bravo et bonne continuation !

  • François
    #10 written by François 6 years ago

    Hi Adam, congratulations for your experiments and science spirit ! Wish you the best for the next ones and I will follow them and make some buzz (I’m not the only one ; )
    Thank you for wearing Abercrombie Tshirt in a vid so I can prove to my daughter one could be fashion and science lover ; )


    François from Bordeaux, France

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