November 11th 2022, AA6DY and K9YO

AA6DY finally reported with both packets and a 6 Grid Maidenhead. With all this new information, I’ll be able to share some of the very cool features we use to track our balloons.

First to report today was Pico Balloon K9YO at 09:00 UTC at Grid JM09WG just west of Palma Spain. K9YO had changed directions from our last report, heading back west but increasing the altitude to 13,060 meters, 42,837 feet. We had predicted yesterday that K9YO would head north to Norway. It loolks like it will head that way, and then turn back south to the Ukraine/Russia border.

Below is the Grid Map where K9YO woke.

K9YO at Grid JM09WG, 09:00 UTC, 42,837 feet

We use the NOAA Hysplit Model to determine the projected trajectory once we know the location and altitude. Sondehub is the program we use to track other Pico Balloons around the world. Sondehub also has an interesting feature called “Float” and this only works when the correct altitude is showing on their site. In the past we had some difficulty updating our 1st and 2nd packets. Today, we were able to get the Sondehub Float to work for us.

Below is the Projected direction of our Pico Balloon K9YO based on different altitudes. K9YO reported yesterday at an altitude of 12,960 meters, and today at 13,060 meters. Each color bubble represents a different altitude. Under 12,450 meters the balloon will stay south then head east, over 12,450 meters, K9YO will be taking the northerly route then going back southeast.

NOAA can accurately project our path because we enter the data. Sondehub takes all the possible variables and gives us the map of the Projected Float below. You can see our balloon K9YO-15 starting near Spain.

Sondehub Projected Float for K9YO at different altitudes

After spending many days around the North Pacific Ocean and the Marshall Islands, it looks like Pico Balloon AA6DY may be finding a new direction.

Pico Balloon AA6DY woke at 19:42 UTC at Grid AJ16NR, east of the Marshall Islands, flying at an altitude of 14,520 meters, 47,691 feet. Our “Best Guess” is that AA6DY general heading will be east towards South America.

AA6DY at Grid AJ16NR, 19:42 UTC, altitude 47,691 feet

Below is the Projected Float from Sondehub showing AA6DY-15 general direction using altitudes between 13,240 meters and 15,240 meters within the range of our current altitude 14,540 meters.

Sondehub Projected Float for AA6DY at different altitudes

The above images as well as the NOAA Hysplit Trajectory, Ventusky, APRS, Sondehub and the maps of our “Best Guess” wakeup on November 15th are available on our Locate and Track page. Clicking the highlighted link will bring you directly to that page. If you click on Sondehub at the top of our Locate and Track Page, you can use the search box by entering aa6dy or k9yo or any other balloon that’s flying. Our APRS link for each balloon will show the current location on APRS.fi and a 3 day path.

Pico Balloons AA6DY launched on September 3rd 2022 and K9YO launched on October 10th 2022 have circumnavigated the world twice and are on the 3rd lap.

73, Cary KD9ITO

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