Posts Tagged ‘High Altitude’

Amateur Radio High Altitude Balloon Sets Record

This is one of the coolest stories for the year I think. Ron Meadows, K6RPT and his son, Lee, launched a high altitude balloon along with the group they lead, the California NEAR Project, on December 11th. The balloon was caught in the jet stream at an altitude between 105,000 and 115,000 feet.

Picture of California Near Space Project's Twitter Feed

Picture of California Near Space Project's Twitter Feed

From there, the balloon was carried east at a speed of about 150 miles an hour and traveled across the United States, all along the way transmitting it’s APRS beacon of K6RPT-11. It then continued to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain into the Mediterranean Sea. The balloon had traveled 6236 great circle miles in just 57 hours.

From the Southgate ARC website:

The balloon, which bore the call sign K6RPT-11 and could be tracked via APRS, traveled through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. “When the balloon left the New Jersey shore behind, it was received by coastal stations as far away as Nova Scotia,” explained CNSP Team Member Don Ferguson, KD6IRE. “When it exceeded the range of these stations, we lost track of it and feared that we would not hear from the balloon again.”

The balloon finally came down December 14th, when it burst off the coast of Algeria.

This is a pretty exciting event and sure to peak the interests of people and perhaps inspire some to try High Altitude Ballooning themselves. This flight for the California Near Space Project was by far a huge success and I can’t wait to read more about their future flights.

For more details on this story, head over to the article on the Southgate ARC website and visit the California Near Space Project website.

iHAB-7 Was a Sucsess!

Southgate Amatuer Radio has a great article about iHAB-7, which is a high altitude balloon that carried Amateur Radio as well as record HD video of the flight. It went up to a little over 85,000 feet and took some stunning images.

YouTube Screen Shot

YouTube Screen Shot

It all carried a 40 Meter beacon and a 70cm simplex repeater up with it. The video was posted on YouTube and I am re-posting it here for you as well. Here’s the description from the YouTube video giving a little more detail on the flight:

First, we are thankful for everyone who participated in the iHAB-7 launch. What a GREAT way to spend a beautiful Iowa fall day! iHAB-7 was a picture perfect flight! The propulsion team did a fantastic job getting the balloon filled to specifications, which gave iHAB-7 a perfect 5.5m/sec ascent rate.

The balloon stayed aloft for 1 Hour – 51min, reaching a burst altitude of 85,290ft and traveling 33 miles down range. COLD temperature at altitude, lowest temperature recorded inside the payload reached -8 °C or 17.6 °F. The recovery team had the rare opportunity to get a visual on the payload at 8,000 feet on its decent, and witnessed it land in a freshly harvested cornfield SE of Morning Sun, Iowa.

Signal reports are still coming in on the 40 Meter beacon. UHF Simplex repeater worked as well as it could. Being a “Parrot” it is a little more challenging to work, but some folks were able to make QSOs.

A special thank you to the Washington Area Amateur Radio Club for their sponsorship of the iHAB-7 Launch! Also, thank you to Mark Joseph (KC9DUU) – Jesse Risley (K9JLR) – Jeremy Lamb (KC9KGJ) – and Pete Lilja (KC0GPB) for chasing with us!

Looking at a still image from the video, the view reminds me of Courasant from Star Wars. There I go being geek again. Anyways, here is your Amateur Radio moment of “Zen”.


Rich also writes a Tech blog and posts stories every Tuesday and Thursday on Q103, Albany’s #1 Rock Station website, as well as Amateur Radio stories every Monday thru Friday on AmiZed Studios and hosts a podcast called The Kim & Rich Show with his fiance’ Kim Dunne.

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