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2015 News Releases




Another VK balloon circumnavigates the earth

Date : 04 / 06 / 2015
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

The party-type foil balloon PS-46 from Australia has shown that going around the southern hemisphere is no fluke - although it does need some perseverance. A very excited but humble Andy Nguyen VK3YT, who launched the balloon carrying an Amateur Radio payload said: "I express a big thank you to everyone assisting with its tracking across the continents."

The solar power helium balloons in his series use a 25mW transmitter with WSPR, JT9 and sometimes Olivia signals on the 30m and 20m bands. That enables tracking through stations who report on its altitude, speed, direction and battery condition. He explained that PS-46 flight left Australia at 0700 (AEST) on May 25, making its epic flight in just over 12 days. Andy VK3YT said: "This time it was in the right position (before arriving in Western Australia) for the jet stream to push it over land."

The balloon did an s-shape over the Pacific to South America, traversed the South Atlantic to Namibia, tracked above South Africa, crossed the Indian Ocean to Cape Le Grand near Esperance West Australia, and completed the world trip on Thursday, June 4. After reaching Australia the balloon tracked inland from South Australia (VK5), just touched New South Wales at Cameron’s Corner (three state border point) and then to Queensland making the circulation complete.
Earlier balloon PS-41 launched by Andy VK3YT was the first to circle the earth. On its second time around it visited the Antarctic region, but disappeared in the Southern Ocean around April 21.

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