|Launch of a pico balloon |
Ham radio ballooning enthusiasts are embracing a new
challenge, launching and tracking "pico balloons," which Newsline
describes as "those silverized party balloons fitted with an ultra-light
amateur radio payload and designed for long-distance medium altitude
flight." Apparently, they're capable of remaining aloft for quite a long
time if a recent report from England is any indication. The "B6"
balloon was launched on July 14th from Silverstone, England and was tracked for
the next 70 hours as it drifted across the English Channel and toured the
French countryside before its signal was finally lost some 80 miles outside
Paris. It carried a 10-milliwatt 70-centimeter transmitter that was powered by
a single AA battery.