FW: [BLT] AB5SS-107 (BLT-107) Missing for 2 days now

Walter Holmes K5WH






From: BLT@groups.io <BLT@groups.io> On Behalf Of John Maca, AB5SS
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2023 6:45 PM
Subject: [BLT] AB5SS-107 (BLT-107) Missing for 2 days now


Well, the balloon was last seen Saturday evening over China (GMT 12/25/23@0718Z) but hasn't been heard from since.  It stopped transmitting about an hour and a half before it should have lost sufficient sunlight (usually ~15 degrees sun angle).  So something happened to it while it was still over China.  


Timestamp(z) Call MHz   SNR Drift Grid Pwr Reporter RGrid Km. Az° Heig.m Sun° 

2023-02-26 07:16 AB5SS 14.097128 -25 -1 OL88 43 BV2YD PL03qk 713 141 13000 34.4 


Timestamp(z) Call   Loc  Pwr Locator Temp Km/h GPS# Reporter RGrid Km. Az. Heig.m Sun° 

2023-02-26 07:18 1N2ZSI OL88  7 OL88SI   5°C  232 > 8  BM2KVV PL05vc 609  127 13130 33.7 


Inline image

Inline image

Several possibilities come to mind:

1) Balloon envelope failure.  Possible, but it's been at a stable altitude for a week now, and no bad weather in the area (except for being in a very fast wind stream and going well above 125 mph).

2) Shot down!  Doubtful as it surely would have been on the news by now.

3) Tracker's processor was hit by high energy protons from the latest Solar CME event and suffered a catastrophic failure (Single Event Upset).  Possible but this would be a first for me.  And the ATMEGA 8-bit CPU's have been tested for radiation susceptibility and performed fairly well. http://microelectronics.esa.int/conferences/mesa2010/06_S2_1120_ASTRIUM_GmbH_Andreas_Schuettauf.pdf

4) Wandered too far north and isn't getting enough sunlight to operate.  Possible (and hopefully this is what happened).  

5) Abducted - Beamed up by Aliens!  Most likely cause, to steal the advanced tracking technology on-board :-)  

6) <Your guess here>


Anyway, hoping for the best, but already getting prepared to launch another tracker on a Yokohama balloon.


73 de John, AB5SS