VK balloon reaches Brazil

08:34 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments

A small Australian high-altitude balloon VK3YT-8 has reached the South American country of Brazil, and is now believed headed further east.

The pico balloon flight by the team lead by Andy Nguyen VK3YT, left central Victoria in Australia on Sunday 13 July and travelled across the South Pacific Ocean.

The balloon did not land, but was last known by APRS to be at an altitude was at 8727m, some 80km north of Brasilia. Prediction is it has now left the Brazilian coastal line (early this morning July 22), and continued going east.

Andy VK3YT said that the flight needed to head north in Australia first, so it could pick up a predicted Jet Stream before travelling to South America.

He used a small solar panel to keep it active and carefully watched the forecast for unusual Jet Stream wind.
Everything went to plan and a distance of more than 8,000 kms was achieved.

On the 13th of July, with 10mW APRS transmitter on 145.175 MHz, it identified as VK3YT-8 and used THOR8 and OLIVIA 8/250 with RSID on 434.500 MHz. The balloon payload is a custom made board with a miniature camera.

In March the team had another balloon land in New Zealand for 24 hours. Andy VK3YT reports that most likely, due to moisture condensation, re-launched and left the country, before radio amateurs could get to it.
Jim Linton VK3PC

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