Andy’s Balloons

Like Timex watches, the incredible Picosat balloons of Andy, VK3YT, 'take a licking and keep on ticking'. On May 23rd, Andy launched his PS-46 HF Pico balloon and on June 4th it had arrived back home, completing the circumnavigation of the earth in just 12 days ... but it kept on going. Although taking a little longer this time 'round, PS-46 arrived back over its starting longitude exactly one month later, on July 4th, completing its second circumnavigation of the planet! It slowed briefly enough over the Indian Ocean to trace out this interesting ground track.
PS-46 is now on its third circumnavigation and, at the time of writing, was midway between New Zealand and the coast of Peru at 30,000'.

PS-46 can be tracked via HF packets delivered via JT-9 and WSPR. Frequency information and tracking notes can be found on Andy's website for those interested in tracking the balloon themselves. As well, its track (and other balloons) can be followed on the website. I think Andy's balloons are very cool and demonstrate a new aspect of amateur radio that was completely unheard of just a few years ago.

Go PS-46!
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Andy’s Balloons”

  • Luke AD0KI:

    Would love to learn more about this project and the equipment involved. Does Andy have any information published about it anywhere, or can someone point me towards a way to contact him about it further? I could not find any contact information on his website.

  • Steve VE7SL:

    Luke – like yourself, I could not find any hardware / technical detail about the actual payload. It would be interesting to learn more. Perhaps there is a Yahoo Group or email reflector devoted to this somewhere… anyone know?

  • peter kg5wy:


  • Ernest, AA1IK:

    Bravo! Utterly amazing!

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