Did the US Air Force take out an Amateur Radio balloon for $470,000?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K1LPI, Feb 12, 2023.

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  1. K1LPI

    K1LPI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is possible the last object shot down over Canada was a Pico Balloon flown by radio Amateur Operators. Pico Balloon K9YO was last reported a few days ago over the coast of southern Alaska. It has gone silent. These Pico Balloons are only a meter in diameter and carry a small payload of a solar panel and a radio transmitter for telemetry. They fly at altitudes from 30,000 to 50,000 feet. The data uses APRS and can be tracked online. K9YA had circumvented the globe several times before going silent around the time of the shoot down. This a best guess based on last known data and there is no hard evidence yet that this is correct. Pico Balloons fly as authorized by CFR codes.

    Links: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/t... [ecfr.gov]
    https://www.picoballoon.org/ [picoballoon.org]
    KC3VDG, WO8USA, WD4USA and 4 others like this.
  2. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was also wondering about that. But wasn't the last object said to be the size of a car, or am I mixing them up?
    KC3VDG, KD0UST, KB2QQM and 2 others like this.
  3. KM4FVI

    KM4FVI Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, the balloons you see now are part of a deflection ploy on the public! Will deepen this week so keep your eyes on Capital Hill…………
    VE3KAF, KO4YZF, KC3VDG and 27 others like this.
  4. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    I should've bought those tin foil futures... :oops:
    KO4LWJ, KC8FRP, K8BB and 27 others like this.
  6. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I read the OP, I was laughing so hard it was difficult to catch my breath.
    WK3U and AE0Q like this.
  7. N1IPU

    N1IPU Ham Member QRZ Page

    My guess is if it is the Chinese it is a radar probe project to find holes in the system. But yeah could be anybody's at this point and the real issue is why is it news? Why publicize it? Only makes sense for one reason and its to keep other major stories out of the public eye. No military reason to go public with half baked info.
    WB9HHW, KC3VDG, N7UD and 6 others like this.
  8. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus."

    ... and it doesn't matter because we shot it down anyway.
    N1IIC, KO4LWJ, KO5D and 17 others like this.
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unfortunately, a "balloon" (especially one with no ability to be controlled) flying between "30.000 and 50,000 Feet" IS a potentially lethal hazard to commercial (and other) air traffic.
    KQ4GAG, W1VIF, N0JX and 18 others like this.
  10. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Millions of kids get balloons, and to their dismay, many of them let go momentarily, and it drifts up to the atmosphere. The latex balloons probably pop before they hit 30,000 feet, but the mylar balloons could very well drift up to the stratosphere. Occasionally, you hear about one hitting power lines and shorting them out, but I've never heard of one taking down an airliner. So while it's theoretically possible that they could shut down one engine, it's not something we need to worry about too much, IMHO.
    K8ALH, KC3VDG, W2ZF and 5 others like this.
  11. KA0USE

    KA0USE Ham Member QRZ Page

    China says U.S. balloons flew over its airspace more than 10 times

    well, yes...and, no.

    those balloons were escaped disneyland balloons, ones sold to small children.
    N1IIC, KC3VDG, KQ4FLI and 4 others like this.
  12. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Portable Safe place?

    W0DN, W0JMJ, KC3VDG and 2 others like this.
  13. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A typical Mylar party balloon could be close to the same size as a radar reflector use on water craft so as to be able to be detected by radar of appropriate sensitivity. It's already been speculated that radar sensitivity has been increased after the detection of the first large balloon that was shot down. It does make me wonder if it's possible now to detect this high altitude pico-balloons.

    A typical Mylar party balloon is however, inflated more fully than one intended for high altitude flight. The gas needs room to expand as the atmosphere thins with altitude. Unless it was specifically made for high altitudes, it likely would never achieve it.
    KC3VDG, KD4VH and KA0HCP like this.
  14. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are so many different "Pico" high altitude balloons in use, by so many organizations, from hams, to high school and college programs, and so much more ....

    To the best of my knowledge they are legal as long as they meet certain size and payload weights.

    "The first recorded amateur radio high-altitude balloon launches took place in Finland by the Ilmari program on May 28, 1967, and in Germany in 1964." See
    K7GYB, AF6SA and W1BR like this.
  15. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Worried about balloons? Just break out your Tik Tok, all will be fine.

    M0MNE, W8VIJ, KC3VDG and 6 others like this.

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