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Author Topic: High Altitude Military Balloon Radio Comms  (Read 271 times)
av8tor172
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« on: August 20, 2014, 03:20:59 PM »

Today 1 of my search scanners snagged some interesting comms in the MilAir UHF Air Band.

On 238.375 FM (yes FM) had good comms and hearing callsigns Sky Sat Launch, Apache Base and Combat Sky Sat.  After doing some research I found out that Sky Sat is an FM Military UHF Repeater that's sent up on a High Altitude Balloon to provide communications on UHF over long distances.

It appears what I heard was a demo of this system. I don't know where it was launched from.  Sig. strength was strongest to the South of me (Daytona Beach) so I assume KSC, Canaveral AFS, or Patrick AFB.  I'm uploading some of the comms I copied from the balloon/repeater.

I also was receiving a data signal, assumed to be telemetry from the balloon's payload.  I have a video of that signal on my website as well as pictures of a Sky Sat system. You can see more here: http://milaircomms.com/skysat.html

Just don't snag stuff like this everyday, it was a bit different....

George
www.MilAirComms.com
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RonR
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 05:28:44 PM »

Great catch George! Thanks for sharing!
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Feed Provider:
ZBW/ZNY/ZDC (JFK Area) #1
ZBW/ZNY/ZDC (JFK Area) #2
ZBW/ZNY/ZDC (JFK Area) #3
ZBW/ZNY/ZDC (JFK Area) #4
ZBW Boston Center (CLIPR32/HTO31)
ZBW Boston Center (DXR19/SOUTHIE49)
av8tor172
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 07:29:36 AM »

Great catch George! Thanks for sharing!

Not much I miss when running 8 scanners in search mode!  Here's pics of the latest arrangement of the Mil VHF/UHF command center:
http://www.milaircomms.com/shack.html

In the top 2 pictures you'll see a row containing 8 Uniden BC-780XLT's.  7 of them each search about 20 MHz of the 225 - 400 MHz range.  1 of them searches the 138 - 144 MHz and 148 - 151 MHz (AM)  So I can sweep both the VHF and UHF military bands every 8 seconds. 

With this, there almost is no need to "program" banks of frequencies, but the top 3 scanners (all BCT15x) are scanning banks plus anything found in search is then programmed into 1 of the BCT15x.  The other scanner on the top row is a junk BC785D (worse scanner I've ever owned), all it does is scan KDAB (Daytona Beach Int. Airport) VHF & UHF freqs....

George
www.MilAirComms.com
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