Thursday, December 22, 2011

APRS Weather Balloon Smashes Distance Record

Payload (including APRS transmitter)
of the record-setting weather balloon CNSP-11.
(Courtesy California Near Space Project)
An amateur radio weather balloon launched by a group of hams in California on December 11 flew across the United States and the Atlantic Ocean before landing in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Algeria three days later. The balloon was carrying a ham radio APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) transmitter and was tracked by amateurs in North America and Europe as it made its record-smashing 6,236-mile journey. The flight nearly doubled the previous distance record of 3,361 miles. For complete details on the flight and the story behind it, see the "VHF-Plus" column in the February 2012 issue of CQ.