Happy New Year to all and congratulations to the NIBBB Team for another feat, our 3rd Pico Balloon to Cirumnavigate the world at least three times.
Pico Balloon KD9UQB was launched on November 24th 2022, from Neumayer Station III, Antarctica as part of a larger group effort. For this launch we were testing a new tracker that would provide consistent reporting and a new solar panel package that would power up near sunsrise and stay awake at the lower sun’s elevation.
Pico Balloon KD9UQB has made it around the world three times in 39 days on January 2nd 2023.
Using the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Trajectory model, we are predicting that Pico Balloon KD9UQB will be near Grid MC50AA around January 6th 2023 at 06:00 UTC
Our two solar panel systems we have been using are a mulitple polycrystilline package which is horizontal, fragile, thin and light and the film solar panel which is a vertical cylinder, sturdy and heavier.
We are also testing a pyramid shaped polycystalline solar panel package for a future launch.
The horizontal polycrystilline panel weighs around 4.2 grams, the film cylinder panel weighs about 18 grams.
The Polycrystilline package similar to the one shown by Gordie, KD9TVR was used for Pico Balloon AA6DY reaching an altitude of over 47,000 feet, and circumnavigating three times around the world in 82 days.
The Film Solar Panel was made for the Antarctica flight and testing winter launches for the lower sun’s elevation reaching an altitude of around 34,000 feet.
Our Locate and Track page has been updated for Pico Balloon KD9UQB with the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model. Ventusky for wind speed and direction, APRS tracking and Sondehub for tracking all Pico Balloons in flight around the world.
Our next test for KD9UQB is how long the Film solar panels last with the UV coating. While this is an ongoing test, we are working on our next launches for January 2023 from Northern Illinois, stay tuned.
73, Cary KD9ITO