Saturday, 16 April 2016

Heading for Asia

Having just made landfall in France before shutting down last night, balloon S-9 woke up this morning over Hungary, presumably having travelled over Austria and Germany, and possibly Switzerland. So far today it has also crossed Romania, clipping Moldova and Ukraine along the way. It is now over the shores of the Black Sea, on a track towards Turkey. It has also picked up a little altitude at 10,100 metres, a bit higher than it was when over the Atlantic.

With about 3 more hours (as of 0900 EDT) of good sunlight left, it has a good chance of making it to Turkey before shutting down for the night.


  1. Even though sunset in Ankara is at about 1630Z the last report was at 1402, about 1/2 way across the Black Sea. Previous days have actually been similar, with shutdown occurring quite early in the day. The last report shows a temperature of -1 degrees Celsius which is well below the normal operating temperatures, so we have no reason to believe the flight is in trouble, and look forward to it waking up very early tomorrow morning.

  2. The balloon proved me wrong by resuming transmission and going right to 1630Z before shutting down for the night, having almost crossed the shoreline of Turkey. From the look of the WSPR paths, receiving stations are getting scarcer as the balloon travels through the Middle East so coverage might get a bit spotty. Temperature was also -22.5C on the final transmission so clearly I didn't give the electronics enough credit for its cold weather capability.