Around the World in a Balloon!

Like the old movie based on the Jules Verne story of “Around the World in 80 Days”, a balloon is launched and adventure follows. “In 1872, an English gentleman Phileas Fogg (David Niven) claims he can circumnavigate the world in eighty days. He makes a £20,000 wager (worth about £1.8 million in 2015) with four skeptical fellow members of the Reform Club (each contributing £5,000 to the bet) that he can arrive back eighty days from exactly 8:45 pm that evening.” (wikipedia)

Tom Medlin and his crew launched a large mylar weather balloon with a solar powered radio transmitter sending a radio ID in CW with location data. This data is picked up by amateur ground stations near the path of the balloon. The data is then relayed to their web page where you can watch the progress. One of these balloons managed to circle the globe 3.5 times before coming down in China. It is interesting to watch the high altitude winds (at 41,000 feet) cary this thin mylar balloon such distances and have the technology to track this using WSPR on 20M (14.092 Mhz) using custom build electronics. Read more and watch the track:

W5KUB balloon launch and tracking

Published by n4pvh

A ham since 2002, now finally made it to Extra! President of Brightleaf Amateur Radio Club.

One thought on “Around the World in a Balloon!

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