An APRS Amateur Radio balloon, call sign NA1WJ-5, launched from the recent World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, has floated across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Scouting Magazine blog reports: “You can reach practically any corner of the globe via Amateur Radio. That’s the message K2BSA wanted to show Scouts at the World Scout Jamboree. Those in the Amateur Radio association launched four Mylar balloons from the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, in hopes that one would catch the jet stream and end up on the other side of the world. One did.”
Each balloon, approximately 3 feet in diameter, was equipped with GPS and a ham radio transmitter and solar panels. The combination of devices could relay weather, movement, and location information. Each helium-filled balloon was capable of attaining an altitude of between 28,000 and 32,000 feet — nearly as high as most commercial planes fly.