Tag Archives: NZ flight PICO APRS


PS-15 is a last minute release from Melbourne, with predicted path to NZ.

This is a non-solar payload, and APRS only.

10mW TX, APRS on 145.175Mhz, callsign VK3YT-9
Will switchover to NZ APRS frequency 144.575Mhz when payload is close to NZ.

199122 trj001

Update #1, 6pm AEST

PS-15 went out of range at 4:56pm AEST.

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Prediction shows the balloon will arrive around 6:30am local time tomorrow.


Update #1, 4:30am AEST

PS-15 arrived in NZ, first packet was received at 6:07:49am local time, 100km from the shoreline at Westport, NZ.

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Range to first iGate ZL2SUN-3 was 200km, after the balloon cleared the Kahurangi national park

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Update #2: Last packet was received at 8:24:03am local time (6:24:03 AEST) 142km from Christchurch.

Temperature was -42 degree Celsius before Sunrise, and climbed to -12 after Sunrise.

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This was the fastest PS balloon trip to NZ so far, from Melbourne to NZ in 19H.
Total travelled distance 2998km
Average speed 157kph

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PS-3 – Melbourne – Sydney – NZ PICO flight

PS-3 is a long range PICO balloon flight from Melbourne to Sydney, release at 5:30pm AEST 16 March 2014

Payload is an ultra-light APRS beacon transmitting 10mW on 145.175Mhz. Total weight including battery and antenna is 13g.

Callsign is VK3YT-11


APRS tracking at

Tracking with prediction at

Expected to reach Sydney over night, then it will be out to sea.
If the balloon survives the next day it might be within range of New Zealand APRS stations around 12:00 UTC 17/3

TX frequency will switch to NZ APRS frequency 144.575Mhz once 160.0 longitude is crossed.

1:17am AEST 17 March
The little balloon made it to Sydney!

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Last received APRS packet from Australia coast


2:53:35 AEST 18 March
The little balloon made it to New Zealand!

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13:41:54 AEST 18 March
Last packet from the balloon before it went out of APRS range

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Path of the whole trip:

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Total distance travelled ~3561km

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Goodbye PS-3, it has been an amazing journey!