Camp is scheduled for 6 days 7/18/22 through 7/28/22 at the Teen Center for Excellence in Ferguson. Students will launch high altitude weather balloons at various heights collecting imagery and data to analyze. In addition to our current programming, this project is designed to connect area high school kids to St. Louis’ growing geospatial community. This Fall is targeted for the official launch of the new program.
Starting at the planning stage students will design an instrument platform for a high altitude weather balloons. The platform will be expected to be equipped with a camera and sensors for data collection. Early launches will be at low altitudes under 150ft to test the rig and make modifications. The main launch will be tethered around 400ft and will supply the data the students will later analyze. As a bonus – if the platform is suitable for high altitude and time permits we would do a final high altitude (untethered) launch and attempt to collect the platform and data where it lands.
We have settled on a Raspberry Pi based tracking and flight computer based on the work done by Dave Akerman called FlexTrak. It’s based on LoRa for communication. Tracking is done via a USB receiver connected to and Android Phone (HAB Explora app) or tablet (HAB PADD app) It should give live telemetry and images the entire flight. We’ll start with a temperature sensor and let the students pick the other sensors.
Imagery will come from a GoPro and a Raspberry Pi camera. Tethering will be done with a 150lb braided Dacron line. Dacron was chosen merely because the knots do not need to be sleeved.
1 meter parachute
Triangular equipment platform
Dacron (150lb) fishing line for tether
Default Frequency for FlexTrak is 434.225Mhz
Video and Imagery
Instructions to make your payload antenna
Mag mount antenna for the chase vehicle
Collinear antenna for the base station
Channels: highaltitude or habhub