Slow Balloon to China using APRS and ISS
Amateur Radio enthusiasts have stepped up their game in Katy, TX. The South Texas Balloon Launch Team will launch a balloon at 1500 CST (2100 UTC) on Saturday, February 11th. The primary goal of the launch is to send an amateur radio balloon across the Atlantic and Mediterranean to Nanjing, China, the final estimated destination. A unique feature of the balloon is the frequency agile APRS transmitter that will change frequency according to where it is geographically located. The call sign to be used for APRS is KT5TK-11. It will also use the orbiting International Space Station as a relay to reach ground stations thousands of miles away. This will allow anyone to view the balloon’s progress as well as speed, altitude and direction.
This will be interesting to watch as it travels half way around the world.
**14 Feb 2012 Update**
Andy, W5ACM stated the most likely cause for the loss of reporting was due to frozen batteries or electronics. He has posted pictures and videos of the BLT-28 launch on his site.
USA = 144.390 MHz FM
mid-Atlantic = 145.825 MHz (International Space Station packet digipeater frequency)
Europe = 144.800 MHz FM
Links – will be adding more as I find them
- South Texas Balloon Launch Team Page for BLT-28
- APRS.fi Tracking Page and APRS.fi Balloon Telemetry Page – cool!
- DB0ANF APRS Tracking Page
- FindU Tracking page
- JFindU – Stations Near Balloon and last I-Gate used
- JFindU – Packets heard in the last hour – Newest at bottom of Page
- ISS APRS Page – Shows all APRS objects that were relayed by the International Space Station
- SouthGate Amateur Radio News
- ARRL News Release