Hamfest shows ability to be there in situations with little to no communication

Published: Oct. 8, 2017 at 7:19 PM CDT
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Amateur radio, better known as "Ham" radio, can go places no one else can. They are able to help in emergency situations when there is little to no way of communication. One electrical engineer came up with a simple science experiment to see just how far a balloon with the "ham" radio can go.

"You can send an experiment to the very edge of space," said Bill Brown. He started this experiment for high school students, but it could end up being an asset during hurricanes or other situations.

"You can actually fly this through a hurricane ... in fact that hurricane is approaching and we might actually fly in it for a little bit," he tells us.

A radio can also get to places in need, even when all of the power lines are down.

"FEMA asks the amateurs to come in and set up and relay health and welfare information. In other words, they want to get word out of a disaster area," said retired engineer, Henry Catrell. "You're going into an area that's completely wiped out."

The balloon experiment can also reach outer space. All it takes is a part balloon and a "Ham" radio.

"They are designed to fly on a small party balloon, the kind you would get at your normal party store. They will go up to the jet stream and float there for upwards of two weeks to a month," said Brown.

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