FlightAware Discussions

HBAL - High Altitude Balloon

Been watching a balloon over southern Indiana for the last day.
It is now over Louisville.

Call sign or registration is HBAL0325.
Presently at 61,500 feet.

Is there a website that will give some further info on this balloon flight.

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Yep: https://loon.com/

They are testing balloons that can provide internet connectivity in remote areas or after natural disasters etc.

This area qualifies as a remote rural area…

This is a part of Googles Project Loon.

Loon is a network of stratospheric balloons designed to bring Internet connectivity to rural and remote communities worldwide.


Registration is N255TH.
Thinking Thunderhead balloon.
East of Bowling Green, Ky now.

HBAL0325 N255TH RAVEN AEROSTAR Balloon. Maybe one of the ones being tested over the Midwest. Testing technology for government persistent surveillance.

Quoting from the wikipedia article linked above -

"The balloon envelopes used in the project are made by Raven Aerostar,[29] and are composed of polyethylene plastic about 0.076 mm (0.0030 in) thick.

The balloons are equipped with with automatic dependent surveillance (ADSB) – broadcast and so can be publicly tracked with the call-sign “HBAL” end quote"

I first noticed the same balloon yesterday when looking at my heatplot charts. It kind of stands out:

It’s definitely setting my record for number of msgs received:

Looks like it’s in southern Tennessee now. Maybe they’ve dispatched it to Alabama to check for any hurricane survivors. :wink:

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