Peoria Near Space Probe

 PAARC Balloon Launch, April 24, 2015 @ 1:30PM

With Washington Gifted School, Peoria, April 24

The Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club partnered with the Washington Gifted School, 3706 N Grand Blvd, Peoria to launch a high altitude balloon on Friday, April 24, 2015, at 1:30PM from the school’s athletic field.  The balloon launch is part of a worldwide balloon launch called the Global Balloon Challenge sponsored by the Global Space Balloon Challenge organization.  For additional information, please see the website

The track from Peoria to Milford IL

Displaying image.png


Video of the launch from Washington Gifted School


The balloon bursting at 88,000 feet


Catching a plane as it zips by….

The following three pictures provided by John, KB9TNZ

Displaying IMG_6852.JPGDisplaying IMG_7070.JPG


Displaying SnapShot(0).bmp

Displaying SnapShot(2).bmp

Displaying SnapShotab.bmp


Superfest, September 22, 2013

A 1200 gram balloon was launched on September 22, 2013, during the last day of Superfest.  The day was bright and sunny for lift off.  The payload consisted of APRS and two cameras.  Due to technical issues the Arduino board and GPS daughter board did not function correctly, so it was removed and the old standby of a ICOM W32A, Argent Tracker3 (TNC) and high altitude GPS was installed.  The payload was recovered in Southwest Bloomington later that day.

Here are some images from the flight path, a video of the balloon burst is forth coming.

Elevation Profile



The W9UVI Balloon Crew had a very successful launch on Saturday, May 14, 2011 and on Saturday September 17, 2011.   The crew overcame some last minute issues this week, which allowed for an excellent balloon launch.  The balloon did attain a height of 95,000 feet. The real interesting part of the flight was that the balloon spent it’s entire time in Tazewell and Peoria county. Essentially, the balloon went almost straight up and came down the same way. Several chase vehicles helped in tracking down the balloon once it burst at 95,000 feet. The balloon landed very close to Manual High School. Nick, KB9YVN, spotted the
balloon first and retrieved it from an alley, draped over a fence. Thanks again
to the Balloon Crew and others that came out to help. By the way, the radar
reflector constructed by Boy Scout Troop 163, was seen by the Peoria
International Airport. All in all a very successful launch….

May 14, 2011

Click here to see May 14 pictures…Click here to download the May 14 launch video…

September 17, 2011

This high altitude balloon was released at Mossville Grade School and landed in a soybean field near the Benson area about 37 mile east of Peoria.  The bursting altitude was approximately 92,000 feet.

Click here to see the September 17 photos and click here to see the APRS and elevation track.

Superfest, September 23, 2012

The payload for this launch included the following: -Argent systems OpenTracker 2,-UHF Simplex Repeater on 446.000 with 103.5 tone, -Canon Powershot SD1000 7.1 MP Digital Camera, -HD Video Camera, -High altitude GPS, -HT on 144.390Mhz for APRS (R), 1200 gram Helium filled balloon,  5 foot diameter parachute.  The W9UVI Balloon Chase Crew included Jarrod, WX9JC, Nick, KB9YVN, Tim, KT9Y, Chuck, KC9ICE, Fritz, WD9FMB.

The Superfest High Altitude Balloon launch resulted in a successful payload recovery. Based on APRS transmitted telemetry, the balloon reached a maximum
altitude of 92,649 feet and a maximum speed (based on wind speed) of 108 MPH just south of Congerville at approximately 34,694 feet in elevation. The
payload was recovered in a soybean field in the Saybrook-Arrowsmith area.

Check out the video created by Jarrod, WX9JC.



The brains of the launch!!!!!!

Stabilizing the balloon

Holding the balloon down

Lift Off !!!

Over Expo Gardens

Over Peoria

Heading to 92,000 feet

Over the Peoria Lakes

Over Central Illinois

heading up faster now

Check out the black of space

Still over Central Illinois

The black of space is very evident

Another shot over Central Illinois

Another view of space

Over Central Illinois

Still up close to 92,000 feet

Probably close to 92,000 feet

Still coming down !!

The burst balloon is right in front of the camera

Still coming down

You can see the windmills pretty clearly

Part of the balloon is showing on the right

On the way down

Final Resting Place

ET sees the first humanoid !