January 26th 2023, Pico Balloon KD9UQB, Fifth Circumnavigation, 05:34 Zulu, Grid IE75ri

Pico Balloon KD9UQB was launched on November 24th 2022 from Neumayer Station III, Antartica

The cyclinder solar panel array, Low Sun Angle-High Power using a flexible film for the panels was designed by Jim Janiak, KD9UQB specifically for this launch.

Low Sun Angle-High Power Solar Panel Array

On January 26th, 2023, at 05:34 zulu, Pico Balloon KD9UQB, Circumnavigated the World a 5th time in 62 days and 23 hours, reaching Grid IE75ri at an altitude of 11,240 meters, 36,878 feet.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB, completed the 5th Circumnavigation on January 26th 2023 at Grid IE75ri, altitude 36,878 feet

We are predicting by using the 84 hour NOAA Hyplit Trajectory, that Pico Balloon KD9UQB will be south of Tasmania around January 29th 2023.

Best Guess, January 29th 2023, Grid QE33dw, 18:00 zulu

Our Locate and Track Page has been updated for the 84 hour NOAA Trajectory, Sondehub for Float, Ventusky for wind speed and direction and APRS for location on the world map.

In addition, our Technical Team has provided two new Headers to our website with information on how to build our solar panels.

  1. Power Solar Panels, showing the build of the Low Sun Angle- High Power Solar Panel used in this Antarctica Launch
  2. The Standard Solar Array with Instructions and Bill of Materials.

Please feel free to contact me at the link above “Contact US” clicking on the link will forward to my email. Questions and Comments are welcome.

73, Cary KD9ITO

January 14th 2023, KD9UQB, Falkland Islands

How time flies when you’re having fun. Pico Balloon KD9UQB has moved a little north enjoying more scenery. Pico Balloon KD9UQB reported on January 14th, 20:04 UTC at Grid GD08EN, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic archipelago. KD9UQB is now enjoying an altitude of 10,900 meters, 35,752 feet and flight time of 51 days and 13 hours.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB at Grid GD08EN, altitude 35,752 feet

We’re expecting Pico Balloon KD9UQB to circumnavigate the world a 4th time around January 16th 2023, at 15:00 UTC.

The 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model shows Pico Balloon KD9UQB continuing around Antarctica passing Heard Island and McDonald Islands around January 18th 2023 at 06:00 UTC near Grid ND38tt

Best Guess Pico Balloon KD9UQB, January 18th 2023, Grid ND38tt

Our Locate and Track page is updated at least once a day for the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model showing the projected path at altitude. The Ventusky link shows the wind speed and direction, and APRS for current location on the world map. The Sondehub link shows all Pico Balloons in flight around the world. The WSPR Spot Database updates automatically with every 1st packet received, showing among other data, the reporting station and their distance to our balloon.

The WSPR Spot Database is showing that on January 14th 2023 at 11:52 UTC, Seto, JA5NVN received our signal at a distance of 17,201 Km or 10,688 miles. Thank you Seto for finding our balloon.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB is flying with a low sun-high power solar panel package operating on 20mW, or .02 watts. The actual solar panel and tracker used for this flight is shown on our Locate and Track page in the Pico Balloon KD9UQB section.

73, Cary KD9ITO

December 16th 2022, K9YO and KD9UQB

Pico Balloon K9YO woke on December 14th over Russia and then went north into darkness and silent.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB launched from Neumayer Station III, Antarctica is reporting on December 17th at Grid LC99EH over the Southern Ocean at 01:32 UTC with plenty of sunlight ahead. KD9UQB was within the Day/Night Change Line and getting some sleep.

The 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model shows the general direction will be east and then south for longer reporting times. The Sondehub Float below shows a continued direction east.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB is flying at an altitude of 10,540 meters 34,571 feet

KD9UQB at Grid LC99EH altitude 34,571 feet

Our Best Guess for KD9UQB on December 20th 2022 based on the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Model

Best Guess December 20th Grid NB08MA 12:00 UTC

The Sondehub link from our Locate and Track page under Pico Balloon KD9UQB, the Float track longer than 84 hours.

At the top of our Locate and Track page, the Sondehub link is currently showing 41 Pico Balloons in flight around the world.

Our Locate and Track page has been updated for Pico Balloon KD9UQB. Information of this flight has been moved to the top of the Locate and Track page including a picture of the solar panel package Jim, KD9UQB built for this launch.

The Ventusky link shows KD9UQB in a slow moving system for the next few days. The WSPR Spot Database updates automatically showing the reporting station and their distance to the balloon.

Station VE6JY from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was received at 01:32 UTC, 19,112 Km, 11,876 miles away.

Please bookmark our Locate and Track page for continued updates between posts.

73, Cary KD9ITO

December 1st 2022, AA6DY, K9YO & KD9UQB

We’re still calling AA6DY MIA, (Missing in Action) and hoping for a report

Pico Balloon K9YO reported at 04:40 UTC at Grid MN83RM near Almatay, Kazakhstan flying at an altitude of 12,540 meters 41,131 feet.

K9YO at Grid MN83RM at 41,131 feet

I suppose this happens when I’m late writing a post, just need to update the data.

Below was the start of my report starting a couple of hours ago.

Pico Balloon K9YO will be moving east over China and possibly North Korea on the way over the Atlantic Ocean towards Canada. If we fly over North Korea during daylight hours, our transmitter will not transmit data. We’re able to see the path of our balloons using the NOAA Hysplit model for 84 hours. This information along with Ventusky for seeing the windspeed at altitude.

Now to the new report.

Pico Balloon K9YO is reporting again on December 2nd at 03:30 UTC at Grid OM79XM, near Beijing, China, Flying at an altitude of 12,420 meters, 40,738 feet

K9YO Grid OM79XM altitude 40,738 feet

It looks like the Pico transmitter will be turning off over North Korea. The transmitter will start sending data once the balloon passes North Korea, and we’re still flying in daylight hours.

Pico Balloon K9YO is on a fast track heading east. Our Prediction based on the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model, is that K9YO will be over Canada near Montana around December 5th 2022, and nearing the 4th circumnavigation.

Best Gues of K9YO around December 5th 2022

Our Locate and Track page is partially updated. Ventusky is from December 1st and the APRS is not yet updating for K9YO. The NOAA Hysplit model is current. Clicking on Ventusky and hovering your mouse over that area will show the widspeed. On the lower left hand corner of the page you can change the date, and at the bottom scroll through the time. By clicking on our link will show the windspeed at the altitude the balloon is currently flying which can be seen on the left hand side. By changing the date and time and zooming out will show the balloons direction for up to two weeks in advance. This is just a model and can change. We can accurately predict the direction using NOAA up to 84 hours ahead.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB launched on November 24th from Antarctica was transmitting continously from November 28th till December 2nd 02:42 UTC when the balloon moved north into the sunset towards Argentina.

KD9UQB at Grid DD74XE

Based on the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model, it looks like Pico Balloon KD9UQB will be skirting the south tip of Argentina and then continuing to circle the Antarctica. Locate and Track

We’ll update APRS soon. You can follow all our balloons on this link APRS for AA6DY, K9YO and KD9UQB the Pico Balloon KD9UQB data changes so quickly, the best way to track is on Sondehub by clicking here W5KUB Pico Balloons Pico Balloon KD9UQB is flying as W5KUB-115.

73, Cary KD9ITO

November 20th 2022, AA6DY and K9YO

Now that we have a Pico Balloon flying over the southern hemisphere, we are sharing some company with the balloons being launched from Neumayer Station III on the Ekstroem Ice Shelf, Atka Bay, Antarctica

While we’re looking for our 2nd packets, at around 14,000 meters, we’re tracking balloons at 28,000 meters. If we’re flying around 46,000 feet, there’s something flying out there at 92,000 feet.

It looks like we’re seeing a new launch today from Neumayer Station at 05:52, 50 meters then 15:04 1,090 meters, rising slowly. I haven’t seen a callsign yet for this balloon, but we’ll be watching closely.

Let’s start with the southern hemisphere…..

Pico Balloon AA6DY which has been enjoying travels over South America, woke on November 20th at 11:14 UTC at Grid GI22MT, over Bau, Brazil. AA6DY has been heading northeast, at 13,900 meters, 45,592 feet.

AA6DY at Grid GI22MT, Bau Brazil, 45,592 feet

Our “Best Guess” is that Pico Balloon AA6DY will be staying in the southern hemisphere, arriving south of Ghana, West Africa and approaching Gabon over Central Africa by November 24th 2022.

AA6DY Best Guess for November 24th 2022

Lauched on September 3rd 2022, Pico Balloon AA6DY is now on the 78th day of flight and on the 4th lap arround the world. We still have some daylight flying time and will update our NOAA model later today for any changes in direction. the Locate and Track page has been updated for 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Trajectory, Ventusky, APRS and Sodehub for Pico Balloon AA6DY.

Pico Balloon K9YO has been enjoying the northern hemisphere on a fast track, K9YO woke on November 19th at 20:00 UTC at Grid BN35JS just south of Alaska over the North Pacific Ocean, flying at an altitude of 12,660 meters, 41,525 feet.

K9YO at Grid BN35JS altitude 41,525 feet

Just like the 2nd lap around the world, Pico Balloon K9YO will be making the fast track across the United States with our “Best Guess” south of Newfoundland over the North Atlantic Ocean around November 23rd 2022.

K9YO Best Guess around November 24th 2022

Pico Balloon K9YO is preparing to make the 3rd Circumnavigation around the world around November 22nd 2022 according to the NOAA Hysplit Model. Pico Balloon K9YO launched on October 10th 2022, has now been flying for 40 days and will soon be tracking in the same time zone as AA6DY, I’m looking forward to that.

All of our maps and tracking information for our balloons and for Pico Balloons flying around the world can be found on our Locate and Track page. Please feel free to share our site with anyone who may be interested, we welcome all followers. Followers are free to comment directly on posts, if anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me clicking on “Contact Us” on our website or finding me on QRZ, 73, Cary KD9ITO