[SATLUG] South Texas Balloon Launch

Geoff w5omr at att.net
Sat Feb 11 19:02:07 CST 2012

If any hams, or anyone interested in being a ham would like to check out 
what *I* think is something cool,
follow http://aprs.fi/kt5tk-11 to watch a floating balloon with a small 
aprs tracking device cross (hopefully) the Atlantic Ocean and wind up in 

http://w5acm.net/b28.html is the balloon launch team website.

 From the American Radio Relay League.


A group of Amateur Radio operators hopes to establish a world distance 
record for an unmanned, helium-filled balloon. The BLT-28 balloon will 
launch from Katy, Texas, on a journey that will take it across the 
Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and then on to Nanjing, China. The South 
Texas Balloon Launch Team plans to release the balloon at 3 PM CST (2100 
UTC) Saturday, February 11.

During the trans-Atlantic crossing, when out of range of shore based 
stations, the balloon's *APRS* <http://www.aprs.org/> beacon will 
operate on the International Space Station (ISS) packet digipeater 
frequency of 145.825 MHz.

The balloon payload package weighs only about 5 ounces and contains a 
high altitude GPS tracking system and a 144 MHz FM APRS Amateur Radio 
transmitter. To conserve weight and battery life, no camera equipment 
will be on board. The maximum altitude is expected to be above 19 miles, 
with horizontal speeds between 100 and 150 miles per hour.

You can track the progress of the flight *online* 
<http://www.wulfden.org/APRSQuery.shtml> by entering the payload call 
sign KT5TK-11. Those in the southern and southeastern United States have 
a good chance of copying the APRS beacons directly as the balloon passes 

The APRS telemetry transmitter is frequency agile to cope with different 
APRS standards across the globe. The frequencies used will be:
*USA:* 144.390 MHz
*mid-Atlantic:* 145.825 MHz(International Space Station packet 
digipeater frequency)
*Europe and beyond:* 144.800 MHz

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