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We are looking to send a balloon into the stratosphere to take temp & humidity readings, creating a DIY book, & take images.
We are looking to send a balloon into the stratosphere to take temp & humidity readings, creating a DIY book, & take images.
21 backers pledged $1,361 to help bring this project to life.

About

$1,361

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Balloon payload assembly
Balloon payload assembly

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.

DIY Book:

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: 


Intro 

Overview of everything we are going to talk about and about ourselves. 


Glossary-Chapter list 

Parts & relative costs 

What you should expect to spend if you want to do this project and what items you need to have.

Assembly 

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.


Picking location 

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. 


Launch 

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. 


Tracking 

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. 


Recovery 

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:

-GPS transmitter

-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.

-Helium 

Update 3/11/2013

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Have your name put on the official manifest and on the official website of the launch. With this donation you will have been to space, well your name will have been to space.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Receive one 4x6 image of your choice from our website after the recovery of the payload. With everything listed above included. (We can also email the photo too.)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Receive unlimited emailed photos from the launch and two 4x6 or one 8x10 of your choice of space imagery. With everything listed above included. Free Shipping.

    Put this up at work and tell everyone that you help make this happen.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Be at the launch site. We will give you the address of where and when we plan to launch with plenty of time to be there. We are thinking March 2013. With everything listed above included. Free Shipping. We will also publicly acknowledge you on our website and my Facebook page when the launch completes. Please let us know if you do not want your name publicized

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Get a DVD of all photos and videos shot during the launch. You can also bring one guest along with you. With everything listed above included. Free Shipping.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Be part of the chase to recover the balloon. You will ride in one of our vehicles as we chase after the balloon once it is launched. Depending on the flight pattern and how fast its traveling we'll buy/bring lunch.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Name the balloon and launch project. That's right you will rename the project to whatever you want, anything goes. There is only one of these rewards so first come first served. As soon as we receive your donation we will change the title on our website @ ben-rush.net/balloon . Your title will be also engrave/painted/marked on the payload on one side with you name underneath. With everything listed above included. Free Shipping.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $255 or more About $255

    With this reward you will receive one (1) GO PRO HERO 3 WHITE EDITION camera that has been launched with the balloon and recovered. A camera that has been to space! We are very confident that we can recover the payload with the cameras but if unforeseen circumstances occur and we are unable to recover the cameras you will receive a completed copy of the DIY book. You are also invited to the launch and can come chase the balloon down and help recover the camera. If we recover the cameras we will use them for a second launch and then ship them to you. You are welcome to come to the second launch also.

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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    For the corperate sponsor that wants there name and their name alone on the payload. YOU MUST CHOOSE THIS BEFORE ANYONE CHOOSES THE FIRST COOPERATE DONATION. With everything listed above included. Free Shipping. This only grants one person to be in the chase vehicles. Please contact me ASAP if you do choose this option so I can take down the Reward 8 and verify what you would like on the payload.

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Funding period

- (23 days)