Exploring the Fascinating Hobby of Pico Ballooning

Exploring the Fascinating Hobby of Pico Ballooning

This video discusses the fascinating hobby of pico ballooning, which is a unique combination of physics, meteorology, electronics and radio communication. Pico balloons are ultra-lightweight plastic balloons that contain tiny, lightweight amateur radio transmitters and are filled with a breath of hydrogen. They have a free lift capacity of about 15 or 16 grams and appear to be barely inflated when launched but expand to a larger sphere when they reach their planned stasis altitude of about 40,000 feet. The transmitters communicate using protocols such as APRS and WSPR, which are integrated with the internet. Picos typically transmit at about 10 milliwatt and are exempt from 14 CFR 101 that regulates balloons. In conclusion, pico ballooning is an interesting hobby that combines various disciplines and utilizes low-powered transmitters to communicate over long distances.

The Benefits of Pico Ballooning

Pico ballooning offers a unique way to explore the world from above. By releasing helium-filled balloons, you can send cameras and other payloads up into the stratosphere to capture photos and videos of the Earth below. This type of ballooning is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional methods such as satellites or aircrafts, making it accessible to anyone with an interest in aerial photography or videography. Additionally, pico ballooning is safer than some other forms of exploration since the balloons are much less likely to crash back down to Earth.
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Picture source: Ronnie George

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