Meet Sven Steudte!
Sven is a german electronic engineer, private pilot and radio-amateur DL7AD.
As the creator of the custom balloon tracker Pecan Pico, he has been involved with Aerocene almost since its inception.
He is the author of the Pecan Pico, a custom designed & built electronic device that allows to track the geographic position of free-flying Aerocene Sculptures through radio-amateur APRS system.
The Pecan Pico tracker has been widely used to track free flying Aerocene Sculptures that have ventured into Poland and Easten Europe.
Over the time, Sven has developed and enduring friendship with Wlater Homes K5WH, an american radio amateur who has been flying and chasing balloons with radio equipment for years.
On September 2022, Sven, Walter and a small community of Texas based radio-amateurs launched a solar sculpture carrying Sven’s Pecan Pico tracker. The tracker was able to relay beautiful images from the earth by using the APRS radio amateur network.
Pecan Pico is a cheap lightweight APRS position tracker designed especially for small ballons which may fly for months. This tracker has been made in respect of weight, functionality and price because it’s usually used once like a satellite. While the balloon can fly for a long time, this tracker is solar powered and recharges it’s battery at daytime and uses the power stored in the battery at night. Since this version the tracker is also able to receive APRS
The balloon, launched in Houston, flew south to Central America by using the wind currents at 50000 feet altitude, reaching Guatemala. It later floated above the Sea of Cortez, and turned east along the Mexican American border. It was las tracked in the North Atlantic Ocean, near New York City.
This incredible trip tells many stories: friendship, collaborative work, the inner workings of our delicate and endangered atmosphere, and the results of using technology in un precedented ways.
Congratulations to Sven, Walter, and all the radio-amateur friends within the Aerocene Community!