ARLA/CLUSTER: Radio-Balão Amador a voar sobre o Oceano Atlantico

João Gonçalves Costa joao.a.costa
Segunda-Feira, 5 de Novembro de 2007 - 15:10:04 WET

Amateurs at the University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club are launching a balloon with a beacon in the 10 MHz Amateur Band that may travel across the Atlantic during its 5-day mission.

The latest Icarus X mission UX-19, will hopefully launch by next weekend and its goal is to be the first Amateur Radio equiped helium balloon to cross the Atlantic.

The balloon payload will include a GPS unit and CPU that will regulate the balloon's altitude and send telemetry on 10.123 MHz in CW and RTTY formats.

The 10 MHz transmitter will run 3 watts output into a half wave dipole hung below the balloon.

The students need receiving stations to copy the telemetry data. They have developed a decoding program that anyone can download from the University of Tennessee web site which will relay the values back to the campus server.

All that is needed for the receiving station is a good antenna and a computer with a high speed internet connection. Audio from the receiver is feed into the sound card of the computer and Mtty will decode the values and give a nice visual status page of the flight data. Also the data will be sent to the University of Tennessee's server where it will be placed onto the club's web page for everyone to follow.

The flight has been dubbed 'The Spirit Of Knoxville' after Lindbergh's first trans-Atlantic flight.

The flight could be up to a five days long but the actual crossing should take only three days. The balloon will be carrying enough ballast and battery power for five days and nights. Check the UT Radio Club's web page at for more technical details and a host of photos.

This site chronicles the last years worth of effort at developing the hardware and flight testing the different systems to produce an autonomous altitude control.

In addition to the 30m beacon there will also be an APRS beacon AA4UT-11 on 144.390 MHz FM.

University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club

Distributed Tracking and Relay Client - Telemetry Software

Icarus X Summary

Icarus X pictures

Note: Unlike other countries the United Kingdom regulator OFCOM does not currently allow UK Radio Amateurs to launch propagation research balloons carrying Amateur Radio transmitters.

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