We’re always getting new followers here at the NIBBB. We are in the process of updating our Technical Page which will provide all the information you will need to build, launch and track a Pico Balloon. I have mentioned, that we are part of a larger Pico Balloon community, we share our information to improve the success of all. We encourage you to follow our Technical Page as it will be updated by two of our Technical Team members, Doug Mulley KD9TPM and Jim Janiak KD9UQB. Our website Design Team is lead by John Walsh W9BLN. Here at the NIBBB, we are a work in progress.
Now to tracking. We follow our balloons on several WSPR (Weak Signal Propogation Reporter) sites. We need to receive Amateur Radio stations in order to locate our position. Some areas of the world have few stations reporting and it may be days before we know and report our location. We update our tracking information before it is posted. Please visit our Locate and Track page for updated tracking information.
Most of our reporting stations have been Amateur Radio operators reporting from their home stations. We receive these signals and are reported with their callsign and grid location of their station. With that information we are able to see the distance from our balloon to the receive site. The farthest we have received a station was several days after a launch to Australia, 10,000 miles away.
At NIBBB we have a following of stations around the world that we count on to find and track our balloons. We also hope that as we report on our progress, that more stations will use the WSPR mode on WSJT-x.
We are also very fortunate to have two radio receive sites, station KFS and station KPH near San Francisco, California tracking our balloons.
Receiving station KFS is located near Half Moon Bay, California at Grid CM87TJ KFS High Frequency Receiver. Receiving station KPH at Grid CM88MJ near Point Reyes National Seashore, California KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station. Please visit their websites to learn more information about their receive stations.
One of our members, Jim, KD9UQB, was in Half Moon Bay, CA where the KFS High Frequency Receiver is located the day after it spotted our balloon. He stopped by the station to check it out. Unfortunately, the site was secured, and he could not get close. He was able to take a picture.
Now you don’t see this every day. While traveling around the world we cross the International Date Line, where we get to repeat a day. It’s hardly noticeable at the speed or time that our balloons travel. Also, this is only the 6th time since our first flight on September 25th 2021 that we’ve crossed the International Date Line.
Our 8th Launch, KD9ORR, crossed twice within a couple of days, once going east and back again going west. KD9ORR last reported after 19 days of flight near the Federated States of Micronesia. Our 11th Launch KR9T crossed once, last reported after 10 days of flight at the Alaska/Canada border. You can track our earlier flights at our Earlier Flights page. Our Blog page tracks all of our flights starting with the most recent data.
AA6DY crossed the first time around the world after 22 days, and on its 2nd lap multiple times. The International Date Line runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and is not a straight line.
K9YO just crossed the International Date Line yesterday on October 19th 2022 after 9 days of flight.
K9YO was able to report asleep, awake and asleep all on the same day October 19th 2022.
K9YO has been in a very fast Jetstream waking over southern Alaska on October 19th 2022 at 20:28 UTC at Grid BO08QJ. K9YO is traveling at an altitude of 12,240 meters, 40,147 feet. This was a shorter period of being awake as K9YO was moving east in while the sun was setting. Through October 19th, K9YO has enjoyed 9 days and 5 hours of flight.
To get a better visual cue, there are three images below. K9YO asleep on October 19th 03:30 UTC at Grid RN39NM, K9YO awake on October 19th 20:28 UTC at Grid BO08QJ, and K9YO asleep on October 19th, at 23:40 UTC at Grid BO29IP. Our Locate and Track page has been updated for October 19th and are awaiting data for the October 20th wakeup.
For a recap, K9YO went to sleep on October 19th 2022, at 03:30 UTC Grid RN39NM, just west of the International Date Line.
K9YO woke on October 19th 2022, 17 hours later at 20:38 UTC, at Grid BO08QJ Kvichik Bay, Southern Alaska Altitude 12,240 meters
K9YO asleep on October 19th 2022, 3 hours later at 23:40 UTC at Grid BO20IP, near New Halen, Alaska altitude 12,240 meters
AA6DY woke on October 20th 2022 at 15:02 UTC at Grid DJ31FK. AA6DY is flying at an altitude of 14,420 meters, 47,298 feet. AA6DY made it around the world in the first 22 days, now on the 47th day of flight. Our Locate and Track page has been updated for NOAA Hysplit predictions for 48 hours and 84 hours with Best Guess map predictions based on NOAA. Also updated is Sondehub Balloon tracker, and Ventusky for wind speed and direction.
While AA6DY is enjoying more wake flight time around the equator. K9YO is flying further north and we are awaiting K9YO to report.
Our Locate and Track page will be updated throughout the day for updates to Ventusky and NOAA Hysplit Trajectory models for both our balloons. 73, Cary KD9ITO