Radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his solar powered balloon B-64, carrying an 11 gram transmitter payload, from Silverstone in the UK at 06:51 UT on July 12, 2014 and it’s still flying.
It completed its first circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere at 16:30 UT on Friday, July 31 and is expected to complete the second circumnavigation in the next couple of days.
On the afternoon of Thursday, August 21 the balloon was just west of Reykjavik in Iceland heading south at an altitude of 12,500 metres. Radio amateurs in the British Isles are invited to listen out for the balloon which may come in range late Friday or on Saturday.
B-64 transmits 10 mW on 434.500 MHz using the amateur radio data modes Contestia 64/1000 and APRS (M0XER-4).
The path of the balloon over the past 6 weeks can be seen on the UKHAS tracker at http://spacenear.us/tracker/flyb.php
An APRS map showing the past 24 hours is at http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FM0XER-4&timerange=86400&tail=86400
Leo has utilised some clever techniques storing positions when the balloon is out of radio contact then later transmitting a log file of previous locations in the comments field of the APRS packet. This enables a fairly complete path to be built up. B-64 only stores 5 days worth of data, where you get a straight line on the track it has been out of radio contact.
Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/
Listen for B-64 online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at https://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/
Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/
Mobile Tracker http://habitat.habhub.org/mobile-tracker/
Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide
Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv (note no SSDV on B-64)
See received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/
Follow balloon chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude
What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio