YO3ICT Balloon Program

Around the world

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The ICT Tracker

The ICT Tracker has been developed in-house and it is a low-cost solution, making it the perfect payload for flights around the world.

  • Fully powered by solar energy
  • Highly sensitive UBlox GPS receiver
  • Solar voltage and temperature monitoring
  • Electronics weight : ~1 gram
  • Total payload weight : ~4 grams
  • The device beacons within the 14MHz band and it is sending various data using state-of-the-art coding techniques : WSPR and JT9.

    Primary tracking uses WSPR :
  • 6-digit maidenhead locator
  • Altitude
  • Speed
  • Solar voltage
  • Temperature
  • Health of the on-board GPS reception
  • Secondary tracking uses JT9, encoding the full position (based on 5 decimal plates GPS coordinates) within a single JT9 transmission. This aids recovery if the balloon fails during launch.

    The ICT Tracker has been updated over the last couple of years:
  • Many power saving enhancements, allowing flights with only four solar cells
  • On-board sun elevation calculation for intelligent power management
  • Massively improved WSPR decode performance
  • Randomized WSPR transmit frequency
  • Bullet-proof firmware recovery routines