from balloon and ground noise. A
near spacecraft makes a surprising
amount of noise as it ascends.
Third, instead of using a noisy
camcorder to record sounds, I’ll use
my Fidelity DV digital media recorder.
The Fidelity DV stores mpeg files on a
Flash card. After the flight, I’ll attach
the Flash card to my PC as a drive.
There will be no need to use audio
cables or to digitize sounds from the
Finally, I’ll use the Audacity
program to analyze the tones.
Audacity lets me load the sound
recording as a project and step
through the entire sound file in steps
of a fraction of a second. This is going
to make spectrum analysis of the
recorded tones much easier.
Audacity? Well, I’m the producer for
a radio program on astronomy
called Idaho Skies. To edit the show’s
recording, the radio station taught me
to use Audacity. You can download
this software for free from Source
Forge at, http://audacity.source
If your PC has a sound card,
you can use Audacity to create
audio shows at home. Audacity is
very simple to use and packed
with features (like the spectrum
analyzer). By the way, if you’re
interested in space and astronomy,
then listen to Idaho Skies on
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
at 12: 55 PM (Mountain Standard
Time). Idaho Skies is a webcast
of the Boise Community Radio
Project. They can be found at
Onwards and Upwards,
Your near space guide NV
Where did I find out about
■ FIGURE 14. My Fidelity digital
camcorder. While the images are only
240 x 260, I can get audio and video for
an entire flight on a 1 Gb SD RAM. Best
of all, it only weighs seven ounces.
■ FIGURE 15. Beauties and the Beast.
I couldn’t produce Idaho Skies without
the talents of these two young ladies,
Kris and Rachel. Aren’t I lucky?
September 2006 83