Long duration 434.5 MHz balloon launched

A small foil pico balloon - Image credit Leo Bodnar

A small foil pico balloon – Image credit Leo Bodnar

Late Sunday afternoon, September 1, Leo Bodnar launched a long-duration pico balloon running DominoEX 16 on 434.500 MHz USB. It is expected to travel across Europe.

The balloon was launched from Silverstone and aims to test some solar power modes and check for altitude stability.

The expected flight path is at http://ready.arl.noaa.gov/hypubout/15224_trj001.gif

Downlink data contains of two lines of telemetry every ~2 minutes during the daytime and ~5 minutes in the night.  The time between data is filled with beeps at 3 sec intervals.

Flight name: B-11
Frequency:   434.500 MHz, USB, DominoEX 16
Balloon:     36″ foil Qualatex, Helium
Launch site: Silverstone Circuit, UK

Pico balloons are proving increasing popular with amateurs. The small foil party balloons can only carry ultra light balloon payloads, typically weighing less than 100 grams. This presents a challenge to the builders to produce a transmitter, GPS, batteries and antenna that are small and light enough to be carried.

Balloons such as these do not go to extremes of altitude but can float at between 3,000 and 7,000 metres for an extended period. The 434 MHz transmitters can have a radio range of 300 km.

Leo Bodnar balloons http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

Real-time track of B-11 and other balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

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UKHAS Balloon Conference Saturday, September 7, London – live web streaming