High altitude balloon in jet-stream

12:42 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments

The small Australian balloon circling the southern hemisphere in an easterly direction that left Melbourne, Australia in late December, has now been tracked over the Indian Ocean.

Andre Pretorius V51B in Namibia, and Joe Geldenhuys ZS2JO in South Africa, both heard the balloon near Madagascar, at an altitude of 9500 metres and travelling at 43 km/h.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT, who launched the small solar-powered helium filled strong foil party-type balloon on December 27, has reported its movements since then.

After leaving Melbourne it reached the southern tip of New Zealand, travelled across the Pacific and South America, over the Southern Atlantic Ocean, exiting the coast of Southern Africa and heading toward Australia.

PS-30 is the latest pico balloon launched by Andy VK3YT who has been described as the 'master of miniaturisation' and developed a skill in the technology.

It includes a 13 grams payload with a 25Mw transmitter on WSPR and JT9, able of send locational and other data.

Andy VK3YT has thanked the new tracking stations involved. At several stages the flight went into circles, seemed to stall, and at one time was thought to be lost, until found by eager radio amateurs in South Africa.
A joyous Andy reports: "Looks like it is straight to Australia from here."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forward trajectory jet-stream forecast is across the Indian Ocean to Western Australia.

The Amateur Radio community in many countries are trying to track the balloon.

How much longer can it stay afloat? Will it circumnavigate the earth?
Jim Linton VK3PC

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