One of the MUAS activities was receiving weather satellite pictures from US satellites using the Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) system and providing those pictures to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). We therefore had contacts in the Bureau and Richard was flying standard weather packages from weather balloons for the Bureau, so there was first hand knowledge of how to go about launching packages on weather balloons. Not only that, Richard somehow persuaded the Bureau to provide balloons and inflation gas (hydrogen). Click here to see a gallery of images of our flights with weather balloons. Hover over an image to see its caption.
It happened that there were flights of large, very large, balloons from Mildura a mere 400 kilometres from Melbourne. The Hibal team were happy to allow us to attach small, self contained packages to their much larger payloads. Click here to see a gallery of images of our Hibal flights.
What were the Hibal flights researching? Well, this is secret, so if I tell you that they were spying on the French atmospheric nuclear tests by collecting dust high in the atmosphere from the explosions, I'd have to kill myself. So I won't reveal what they were doing. Hover over an image to see its caption.