Monday, May 18, 2015

Party Balloon Carries Ham Transmitter Around the World

Map of the course followed by the PS-41 foil balloon on its round-the-world
flight in April (map from website)
A foil balloon carrying an amateur radio payload has successfully circumnavigated the globe. The ARRL Letter reports that PS-41 (standing for PicoSpace balloon #41) was launched by Andy Nguyen, VK3YT, in Australia, on April 6 and crossed its starting point on April 16 before splashing down in the South Pacific off South America on April 22. The solar-powered balloon carried an HF payload, transmitting WPSR spots and JT9 telemetry at 25 mW on 30 and 20 meters. It was tracked by a network of hams monitoring both bands. Nguyen had been trying for more than a year to get one of his ham radio balloons to fly all the way around the world.