Mission: To send a weather balloon into the Stratosphere and make a Do It Yourself book to publish so that others can enjoy this hobby.
Some other experiments that we will be doing are:
• Take measurements of temperature and humidity at different attitudes.
• Capture images of the Earth's curvatures.
This will be a how-to guide on everything that we do to create the weather balloon. It will include the best way that we found to accomplish our tasks. It will also include any set backs that we incur so that you can learn from our mistakes (hopefully there won't be any).
The how-to book will include sections on acquiring the supplies needed along with some places that we found our supplies at. We will show you how to build the payload and attach it to the balloon and parachute. Mounting cameras to the payload or inside the payload point out to protect them from the cold air. We will talk about the sensor for the weather readings that we are taking and how you can you arduinos to accomplish this. GPS tracking has been the biggest hurdle for us at the moment but we think we have this figured out. All this and much more will be discussed in our book detailing every moment of the construction process to the flight day and recovery. Our goal is to make this an easy experiment for others to try and be successful at without spending a lot of money.
The book/ebook will feature a how to guide of assembly launch and recovery of the project. Inside the book the chapters will be:
Overview of everything we are going to talk about and about ourselves.
Parts & relative costs
What you should expect to spend if you want to do this project and what items you need to have.
We will show you have to attach everything together so that it works like it should.
Using Arduino to capture weather patterns
How to use a simple Linux based computer to gather data. We are going to gather temperature and humidity and the balloon rises and falls but there are others applications that you can use this for.
This chapter will show you what to expect in picking a location. You don't want to launch near a big city where the parachute could get stuck on a tall building, in a tall tree where it would be hard to get to, or on a traffic light in the middle of rush hour.
Weather/wind patterns (to expect where your balloon will go)
Preferably you would want to pick a very calm day but even if it's calm on the ground it doesn't necessarily have to be same 20 thousand feet higher or even in the same directions. We will show you how to check the weather currents at different altitudes.
This is where we will show you how to handle the balloon(not with your bare hands), feeling the balloons with helium, stabilizing it, and making final checks like making sure the camera is on and the arduino is capturing its data, and releasing the balloon in a gentle manner.
Here we will show you how to track the balloon. Several areas in doing this. 1) Wait for it to land and find it via GPS. 2) Release and follow the balloon via GPS. <-Preferred 3) Follow with binoculars and maintain visual contact with the balloon. Not preferred but if short on funds this could be your only option. Very difficult to do but possible. Would need multiple people to keep track of balloon.
After recovery of the balloon we will show you how to interpret the results of the Arduino. Make sure you gain permission when traveling cross country to go on to others land to retrieve the balloon.
Items yet needed for the launch:
-Camera(s) 1 Go Pro camera has been secured but would like to have at least one more so we can have more than one angle during flight. Renting from someone would be awesome and would grant you access to the launch site.
Thank you for your support. I have added a new reward since we have met our goal. This reward nets you a Go Pro Hero 3 White edition camera once it is recovered from the payload. How many of your friends can say they have a camera that was in space. Please see reward description for full details.
Risks and challenges
Right now the biggest hurdle is finding a reliable GPS transmitter for relatively small amount of money so that we can have constant communications with the balloon at all times. Above 30,000 feet there is no cell phone service and using a GPS enabled device is useless above this altitude. Wind currents can change and the balloon could be hundreds of miles away. With a GPS transmitter we could be following it and be relatively close when it lands.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)