Google Project Loon using 2400 and 5800 MHz

Google Project Loon Antenna

Google Project Loon Antenna

Project Loon is a research and development project being developed by Google with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas using High-Altitude Balloons (HAB) placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 20 km to create an aerial wireless network with up to 3G-like speeds.

The solar powered balloons are expected to stay aloft for over 100 days at a time and support not only air-to-ground Internet communications but also balloon-to-balloon communications enabling the signal to be relayed, if required, by several balloons to a ground-based station connected to an ISP, then onto the global Internet.

Google plans to sending up 300 balloons transmitting on 2400 MHz and 5800 MHz around the world at the southern fortieth parallel that would provide coverage to New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Argentina. The company hopes to eventually have thousands of balloons flying in the stratosphere at an altitude of 20 km.

The first 30 balloons are being launched from New Zealand see

Among those involved in the project is Erin King AK4JG, a student at MIT. She was winner of the 2012 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award. See a video of her earlier balloon project while still at high school and a video of her presentation ‘Launching Radios and Other Cool Stuff into the Stratosphere’ at

Google Project Loon


Google Project Loon Balloon

Google Project Loon Balloon

Near-Space Amateur Radio Balloon Flight 29.494 MHz

sp9uob_frontThe SEBA-3 high-altitude amateur radio balloon, with a 29.494 MHz RTTY transmitter, launches Saturday, May 25. Other balloons carrying 434 MHz transmitters are also launching this weekend.

One of the 434 MHz balloons PIE will have live video streaming of the launch and from the chase car via the British Amateur TV Club website at (select “Live Events” then UKHAS Balloon Launches)

The IARU Region 1 website announcement regarding SEBA-3 says:

On Saturday May 25 at 1000 UT (1100 BST), the team from the club SP9PDF – directed by Tomasz, SP9UOB – will conduct another experiment of flight of an unmanned stratospheric balloon.

The balloon, with the code name SEBA-3, will start from the place of the nationwide amateur radio picnic named “ŁOŚ” (long.: 18.6689 E, lat.: 51.0399 N, QTH locator: JO91IA).

A telemetry transmitter with 500mW power, placed in the capsule of the balloon, will operate on RTTY 50 baud on 29.494 MHz USB with the shift 240 Hz, 7N2. ATV transmission from the camera in the capsule of the balloon is also planned.

Detailed instructions in English for configuring the software are available on the website:

We invite everyone to follow the flight through listening to the tracker, or to visit the website:

SSDV picture from a previous PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

SSDV picture from a previous PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

Among the 434 MHz balloons launching this weekend are:

– PIE built by Dave Ackerman M6RPI on Sunday from Brightwalton with live streaming of launch and from the chase car at
The PIE balloon will be transmitting images using Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV)
Callsign: PIE
Frequency: 434.075 MHz and 434.650 MHz 600Hz shift 600 Baud 8 bits no parity 2 stop bits

– BABSHAB from Great Tew, Oxfordshire
Exact location: Within 500m radius around latitude 51.956468, Longitude -1.416999
Callsign: BABSHAB
Frequency: 434.075 MHz RTTY 450 shift 50 Baud 7 ascii bpc No parity and 2 stop bits.

– XABEN50 launches about 11:30 BST on Sunday, May 26
Callsign: uXABEN Frequency 434.350MHz 7N1 ASCII FSK RTTY

Tracking site:

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide

The free balloon software dl-fldigi can decode many different amateur radio digital modes, download Windows, Mac or Ubuntu Linux versions at

World-wide Amateur Radio High Altitude Balloon announcements

To get details of upcoming UK balloon launches subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

434.301 MHz PICO Balloon Reaches Sweden

James Coxon M6JCX launches PICO a 434.301 MHz USB RTTY balloon – Image David Bowkis M0MDB

PICO, a single foil balloon was launched by James Coxon M6JCX on Saturday, October 20, 2012 from Suffolk in the UK. It carried GPS and a miniature radio transmitter sending RTTY (ascii-8) on 434.301 MHz USB running 10 mW output.

During the 19 hour flight it crossed the North Sea and landed somewhere in central Sweden.

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Cambridge University Space Flight at EMF 2012 Milton Keynes

EMF 2012 badge of attendee Graham Shirville G3VZV

EMF 2012 badge of attendee Graham Shirville G3VZV

The technology camp EMF 2012 being held at Pineham Park, Milton Keynes runs from Friday August 31 to Sunday, September 2. BBC TV reports that two 20m high masts linked by microwaves have been erected for the event, one at the campsite and the other in the car park of a data centre 2.5 km away.

Among the weekend of presentations are some by radio amateurs such as Adam Greig M0RND (formerly M6AGG). Adam is a member of the UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) and Cambridge University Space Flight (CUSF) and will be talking about High Altitude Ballooning. The balloons use 434 MHz for the telemetry and video image downlinks.

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HamRadioNow interview with Erin King AK4JG

Erin King AK4JG being interviewed by Gary Pearce KN4AQ of HamRadioNow

Erin King AK4JG, a 17-year-old from Columbus, Georgia, was named Amateur Radio Newsline’s Young Ham of the Year for 2012. She re-founded her high school’s radio club and then built a ham radio-carrying balloon that got to 91,000 feet (27.7 km), recovered the flight data and used it to produce a truly striking video of the flight.

She’s just starting her Freshman year at MIT. Yes, she’s exceptional, but she exhibits the qualities we like to see in every young ham.

In this video she is interviewed by Gary Pearce KN4AQ at the Huntsville Hamfest.

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