Home Telecom Donates Gig Internet to Palmetto Scholars Academy for Solar Eclipse Initiative
Friday, August 11th, 2017
Home Telecom will donate their powerful gigabit internet technology to the Town of Moncks Corner in support of Palmetto Scholars Academy, one of three student research teams from South Carolina, participating in the national Solar Eclipse Initiative.
On August 21st, teams from Oregon to South Carolina will launch high altitude balloons 80,000 to 100,000 feet into the stratosphere where video and still cameras will capture footage of the moon’s shadow as it eclipses the sun along a path from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast Atlantic coast.
Thanks to funding from the South Carolina Space Grant Consortium, three SC teams including Stall High School, College of Charleston, and PSA joined the Initiative. Home Telecom’s donation of a private gigabit internet connection will ensure PSA can relay pictures and video of the moon’s enormous shadow as it cuts across South Carolina and obscures the sun. PSA chose the Town of Moncks Corner because their open location allows the balloon to reach 80,000 feet while crossing the “line of totality”, that is, the path of its shadow where observers will see the Moon completely cover the Sun for about 2½ minutes.
The video from all balloons nationwide will stream live at eclipse.stream.live, using software developed by a company in Daniel Island. If successful, millions of people worldwide will see a view of the eclipse that cannot be seen from the ground, providing for the first time, in real-time, a solar eclipse as seen from hundreds of vantage points across the United States.
Meanwhile, back on the ground, Home Telecom has partnered with the Town of Moncks Corner to provide a public viewing of the eclipse from the Moncks Corner Regional Recreational Center Complex from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on August 21, the best times to experience the astronomical phenomenon. Home Telecom will hand out ISO-approved Solar Eclipse glasses to protect your eyes from the intense light projected by the eclipse, and will donate additional gigabit internet service to boost hotspots so the public can view the progression as the eclipse crosses the country. Using social media, HT’s gigabit internet empowers people to share their experience with others around the world.
The Solar Eclipse Project kicked off August 1 with financial backing from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and is expected to cost about $1 million. The Solar Eclipse Initiative will employ the Iridium Modem and Borealis Tracking System to access the balloon’s flight path, and will use both APRS and a Ham Radio Tracking System. Each SC team will launch a HAB during the eclipse, timing it so that it has reached 80,000 feet at umbra – that is when the darkest part of the eclipse’s shadow is over earth. For Moncks Corner the umbra will occur at 2:36 p.m.