October 16th 2022, 18:22 UTC, AA6DY Awake. 11:58 UTC K9YO Asleep

We’re reporting two balloons in flight, K9YO flying over Europe and AA6DY enjoying the North and South Pacific Oceans. While I’ve been reporting these two balloons at one time here on our Blog, the information on tracking both these balloons have been updated before I start writing. Anytime you feel you’d like to know their progress, just go to our Locate and Track page either here or on our website under menu items. Our header has also been updated to show us sharing airspace with other Pico Balloons.

It’s nice to see that we have both balloons doing so well, but it’s not all wine and roses. What you haven’t seen is that we’re not getting regular reports from either of our balloons. K9YO had received just one report on both packets during this flight session. By receiving both packets we were able to get a 6 grid Maidenhead and accurate altitude. Knowing the location within a 15 square mile area and altitude, we can get the direction from the NOAA model that was explained in the last Blog post. We’re still showing K9YO heading towards Japan in a few days. We were also short of spots when AA6DY flew over this area the 1st and 2nd times around the world.

Pico Balloon AA6DY is also having some difficulty getting reports. We did hear from Australia, Hawaii and Half Moon Bay, California early in our wake up today. We have also been getting erroneous spots from grid AA00, which we believe is due to a software issue that we will be working on. It’s hard for us to duplicate the problem here on the ground in Northern Illinois, we have our Technical Team working on this issue. Meanwhile, AA6DY is now reporting for 43 days and 4 hours of flight and K9YO is reporting 4 days and 17 hours of flight.

Pico Balloon K9YO went to sleep at 12:00 UTC at Grid MN65LD, Ulken, Kazakhstan at an altitude of 12,900 meters, 42,312 feet. The general direction is east towards Japan.

K9YO at 12:00 UTC, Grid MN65LD, Ulken, Kazakhstan at 42,312 feet

Pico Balloon AA6DY is awake at 18:22 UTC, Grid BJ14IL, North of Kiribati Island, in the Country of Oceania at an altitude of 14,480 meters, 47,494 feet. You can also see below that AA6DY is south of Hawaii.

AA6DY awake at 18:32 UTC, Grid BJ14IL North of Kiribati Island, Oceania

Pico Balloon K9YO is enjoying a fast Jetstream, while Pico Balloon AA6DY is just enjoying the ride, a very slow ride. Below is AA6DY travel, arriving near Japan on October 4th 2022 through today, October 16th 2022.

The general direction is east towards South America.

This is the first time that the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade has flown a balloon that has gone around the world. From our home page we show our 1st balloon to travel almost around the world in 19 days. Pico Balloon KD9ORR spent 8 days around the Marshall Islands before disappearing. Pico Balloon KD9ORR was our 8th Flight reaching an altitude of 24,000 feet. Our 24th Flight, Pico Balloon AA6DY is now on 43 days of flight and reaching an altitude of over 47,000 feet. Our 25th flight, Pico Balloon K9YO with a slightly different package is flying over 42,000 feet.

We’ve reached a significant milestone within our project, and will continue to meet and share our project so others can do what we do. Stay tuned 73, Cary KD9ITO

October 15th 2022, 18:42 UTC, AA6DY awake. 12:00 UTC, K9YO asleep

Pico Balloon K9YO is asleep and flying at 12:00 UTC, Grid LN33JP, Akhayotar, Russia. Altitude is 12,900 meters, 42,312 feet heading east at 70 mph. K9YO went to sleep just west of the Caspian Sea and is heading east, past Japan over the North Pacific Ocean in about 4 days.

Weather is sometimes unpredictable, so we update our data every day.

One of the great things about our site is that we track our balloons movement using the NOAA (National Oceanic and Athmospheric Administration) Hysplit Trajectory model. Not only does NOAA provide information on weather, hurricanes and typhoons, they give us an opportunity to track our projected direction. By entering the altitude, longitude and lattitude of our balloons, NOAA shows us where we’re heading.

We use the QRZ Gridmapper program to provide the longitude and lattitude and receive the Grid and altitude from our Amateur Radio Station reporters. QRZ Gridmapper gives us the maps as shown below.

Our Locate and Track page has the links to all this information on both balloons.

K9YO Grid LN33JP 12:00 UTC, Akhayotar, Russia, altitude 12,900 meters

Pico Balloon AA6DY woke at 18:32 UTC at Grid AJ74CE, just northwest of Kiribati in Oceania over the Central Pacific Ocean. Pico Balloon AA6DY is now flying 42 days and 5 hours at an altitude of 14,480 meters, 47,494 feet. The general direction is east in a wavy pattern, best seen on the Ventusky Jetstream on our Locate and Track page.

AA6DY Grid AJ74CE, Northwest of Kiribati, Oceania, altitude14,480 meters, 47,494 feet

AA6DY has been over the Pacific Ocean since October 4th 2022. The NOAA Hysplit model for 48 hours is on our Locate and Track page, below is the 84 hour model which shows us heading towards South America.

K9YO in a faster Jetstream may be passing AA6DY around the world

Below is the projected wakeup of AA6DY on October 19th 2022.

AA6DY Projected wakeup on October 19th 2022

Pico Balloon AA6DY is now getting regular reports of 1st and 2nd packets from stations in Australia and Hawaii and enoying now 42 days of flight.

October 1st, 2022, Day 29, Aghstafa, Azerbaijan

Good Morning, AA6DY woke at 5:22 UTC, 12:22am CDT at Grid LN21RC, in northern Azerbaijan near Armenia and Georgia, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Our altitude is 14,060 meters, 46,117 feet. AA6DY is in a Jetstream moving southeast at about 80 miles per hour, then picking up speed moving northeast. We’re in an area of the world with few Amateur Radio spotters, but we were able to receive our coordinates and altitude and hope for more readings tomorrow morning.

Grid LN21RC 5:22 UTC, 12:22 am CDT

Below is the NOAA Hysplit Trajectory model for October 2nd and October 3rd, (48 hours). If we assume the same altitude of 14,060 meters, for 48 hours, this is where we will be going. (Calling all Sleuths, see below)

Now Calling all Sleuths out there. What general area will we wake up tomorrow, Sunday October 2nd and Monday October 3rd?

Using the Hysplit Model above, using the wake up time and find Log: and Lat: Go to Links to Locate and Track tab and enter that data into QRZ Gridmapper, scroll in and send me the City and Country closeset to that wake up map point. I’ll post the map and show who was closest to that City or Country.

Use Longitude and Lattitude for direction, wakeup on October 2nd around 04:00 UTC and, on October 3rd around 03:00 UTC wakeup.

We only have a few more days before we wind up over the water and harder to play this game

Please don’t pay any attention to the altitude, just look at the direction and wakeup coordinates on the Hysplit Model.

If you’re a follower on the NIBBB website, just add your comment with your guesses. Others can send me an email.

The Links to Locate and Track tab has been updated for Ventusky Jetstream, NOAA Hysplit and APRS.fi, (though you may see a different altitude, ours is 14,060 meters, 46,117 feet)

Please get your guesses in by 8:00 pm this evening October 1st

Have fun, 73, Cary, KD9ITO