Arduino based high altitude balloon data logger

One of the more interesting experiments you can do above surface of earth is fly balloons in to stratosphere. Fun thing is that whole experiment isn’t very expensive and can give tons of fun. Probably most expensive thing here is balloon itself. The other parts can be used as you desire. Spaceshark have shared his experiment and build details on his instructable. He used Arduino Uno for logging various basic sensors detecting latitude, longitude, altitude, wind speed. He wanted to keep things simple and self contained, because at heights above 60000 ft some sensors start failing, e.g. GPS. Batteries are also another issue due to cold air above. He used authentic Arduino to make sure it works bellow -40 degrees Celsius. Fake ones can fail even at 0 degrees. Same applies to other modules. Better use original and tested parts. Apart Arduino, he used SD data logger to record all sensor data in portable media. The only thing is missing here – balloon tracking. It can get to heights of 100000 feet and probably will get out of sight. Wind… Continue reading

Arduino based high altitude balloon tracker

High altitude ballooning is very exiting because you can gather really interesting data and images. Bu in order to make this flight successful you need not only a balloon, but also tracking device as well. Because balloon once fired, it can travel hundreds of kilometers until it reaches high altitudes and then explode. So you need to gear it up with find it when it falls down. Ugifer build his high altitude balloon tracker with Arduino core. Obviously to locate balloon coordinates there is a GPS module used. Then comes a row of sensors including couple DS1820 temperature sensors, absolute pressure sensor. Data then is logged to SD card for later review. And finally Radiometrix NTX2 radio module for relatively long range data transfer which transmits balloon coordinates. The balloon traveled 38km up which is decent height but still not close to other records that reach 100km. Anyway this is more than enough to get exiting results. Continue reading

Balloon Tracking System

The name might sound strange initially, but it’s a totally different project. It’s actually a high-altitude balloon tracking and sensor data acquisition platform that can also be used as a robust mesh network of airborne sensors. Above this, it is an open source project and all the features are integrated into a single board for ease of access and also to reduce complexity.  The motherboard consist of a GPS along with a transmitter which also has an option of SMA connector. Along with this, it has also support for Micro Sd card for logging the data along with optional headers for XBEE based communication modules. The motherboard also has a temperature sensor along with regulators of both 3.3V and 5V and various programming as well as debugging ports. The Slave Motherboard is the heart of the system and is responsible for collecting data. Up to 6 motherboards can be used on one balloon, which allows the deployment of numerous sensor arrays. Overall an excellent project, with numerous sensor and more importantly support for additional sensors and debugging option. But I… Continue reading

High altitude balloon tracker with Arduino

Launching balloons to high altitudes become more and more popular. Probably there are several reasons to do so, including low budget, so almost any enthusiast can afford, simple equipment most of them made from DIY parts. Probably this list could go on and on, but main idea that it is real fun to reach nearer cosmos. In this project a balloon payload has a GPS tracker along narrow-band RF (434.650MHz) tracker that allows many enthusiasts to tune up to its frequency and help tracking the balloon. The heart of payload is Arduino board which takes care of Lithium cells and interfaces GPS and RF trackers. Continue reading