MM16 - 2019-01-17

Tracker Details

Tracker Type: APRS

Model: PicoTracker1Rev2

Powered by 2 AAA batteries


transmitCount = 2

msBetweenTransmits = 3000 (3s, 0m, 0h)

lhAltFtThreshold = 10000

hAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 200000 (200s, 3m, 0h)

lAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 35000 (35s, 0m, 0h)

lAlt.stickyMs = 14400000 (14400s, 240m, 4h)

dz.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 1200000 (1200s, 20m, 0h)

Launch Parameters

Balloon and Payload

  • One 36" Qualatex balloon
  • 29.3 gram payload
  • 1.2 grams free lift


  • Top Altitude - 19,125 ft
  • Duration - 35.2 hours
  • Distance - 1,038 miles following path
  • Cause of death - Very slow leak

General Thoughts / Observations

My second international flight! The plan was to arrive in Puerto Rico, our elevation was slightly off so we ended up in the nearby Dominican Republic instead. The manual projections using were fairly accurate.

After the launch, we tracked the balloon until 11:17 PM before losing signal. The next day at 4:59 PM we got our first signal from the Dominican Republic. After regaining signals, we could see a slight descent rate was taking place. After a 9 hour span of gradual descent we finally splashed into the Caribbean Sea to end the flight.

This flight did very well considering NOAA is still down and had to use Windy manually. How it developed a slow leak is not known, maybe it was forced high over the Atlantic and exceeded the pressure it could take.

Thoughts for next time

Continue tracking GPS performance.