The ballon was released at 2330 UT (1930 EDT) March 29, from Annapolis in Maryland and started its journey heading SE at 6 knots. By 0300 UT, March 30, it had reached a speed of 60 MPH (96 km/h).
It has no APRS, just the 28.223 MHz 100 milliwatt CW telemetry system and it is hoped to locate it by signal strength and beam headings only.
The mission is to give an insight into constant-pressure balloons and especially the use of common mylar party balloons as a fixed volume envelope. Unfortunately, these balloons have a high mass and so the theoretical maximum altitude no matter how many balloons are used is only about 26,000 feet and that is with no payload other than the fixed balloon mass.
The payload weighs about 50 grams. The team are targeting 6 party balloons 3′ in diameter which should give a float altitude around 16,000 feet.
The Telemetry will be in CW on 28.223 MHz (USB DIAL) and will contain Battery voltage, inside and outside temperatures, and surface luminosity of the ocean/clouds. It has no GPS. The team will rely entirely on DF bearings and signal reports.
EMAIL DF reports to W3ADO@homeside.to Be sure to include:
Time of observation
Quality of heading (subjective 1 to 10)
The CW string copied
If you have APRS you can uplink your beam heading via APRS.
Since the balloon is only flying at 16,000 feet or so it will be vulnerable to weather. The battery is expected to have a lifetime of about 10 days.
Further information including details of CW telemetry at http://aprs.org/balloons.html