The last balloon this group launched ended up in Tunisia! This one was launched just before 7pm, Pacific Time, on Sunday December 2, 2012. As I post this blog, it’s already at 36,500′ and moving east from the launch point south of San Jose, California. The HAM radio gear in the payload is sending telemetry, including altitude, latitude and longitude, direction, speed, and other data relevant to the flight. You can watch this one by simply returning to this page and hitting ‘refresh’ or ‘reload’ to see the latest picture from my website. (Or you can watch it directly from my website, KC6YRU.NET)
You can spot the balloon on the map, it’s callsign is K6RPT-12, and it has a red circle around it.
The data is being transmitted from the balloon using a format called APRS, received by relay stations along it’s flight path, rebroadcast by those stations, then fed into the Internet by gateway radio stations. I get the information from that internet feed, and using a program called UI-View32, display the location on mapping images from Precision Mapping Streets and Traveler.
HAM Radio is so much more than morse code, or grumpy old men sitting around talking about their hernias or their views on politics! Someday, I’ll write a blog about my live television broadcasts on HAM radio!
UPDATE: My mapping software won’t follow the balloon now that it’s left the US. Watch here.