High Altitude Balloons

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/6353474%5D

We received quite a bit of tips, after posting about the 150$ high altitude balloon project, from communities and teams who had done similar tasks. There is more to these projects than simply filling a balloon and attaching a camera, so in order to allow everyone their 7 seconds of well deserved fame, we’ve compiled a quick list of similar high altitude balloons. Catch it after the break.

Do note, these are in no order or rank.

RPI Electronics club, sent in their Imaging Balloon of Science. Supposedly built in under 30 hours and runs Linux.

Bang Goes the Theory had their own Space By Balloon program after being inspired by Joe Kittinger.

Brushing up on my Spanish, Meteotek08 is a dual high altitude balloon that reached a height of 30,000 meters.

Ensure II is a very impressive setup that actually recorded its flight with video cameras (video above).

NSTAR, or Nebraska Stratospheric Amateur Radio, have sent up several high altitude balloons within the past couple of months.

Last, but certainly not least is the Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning group who have been sending up balloons since 2001!

Thanks to everyone who commented and sent in a tip!

15 thoughts on “High Altitude Balloons

  1. these projects have fascinated me, but being out in HI, the odds of payload recovery are pretty slim without a boat. diy uav hacking has advanced considerably since the classic balloon-launched glider project (http://hackaday.com/2005/01/12/homebrew-autonomous-high-altitude-glider/), to the point where I believe it can be more of an advanced integration project than a practical thesis in control logic.

    Unfortunately, unlike Beautiful B.C., I believe FAA regs are such that a balloon-launched uav is still out of the cards here, even if the weight and materials were otherwise within limits for uncontrolled weather balloon launches.

  2. @”. I would like to do something like this but worried about it hitting a plane and downing , bad times….”

    what probability that balloon will be suck into airplane engine ? As small as plain falling on you house

  3. dave, the faa is ‘way ahead of you, hence their “spec” (FAA Part 101 Reg) for what you can launch w/o a waiver. See 101.1 at http://www.chem.hawaii.edu/uham/part101.html

    basically, stick with a standard weather balloon, keep the payload under 4 lbs, under 3oz/sq.in on its smallest surface, tether breaking force under 50 lbs, and use a parachute.

    theoretically, an engine should survive ingestion, and you’ll be notifying the faa and putting a radar reflector on the package before launch, to avoid testing the theory.

    for mo’ faq on balloons to near space, see http://www.eoss.org/pubs/faqloon.htm

  4. It’s more the problem of the payload dropping on a vehicle/person/property and doing damage that is the trouble. Launched near ocean you’re fairly in the clear, but launched mid-continent there’s a significant risk it’ll drop out over a populated area. Even a small camera could kill at terminal velocity. While plenty of teams will ensure the balloon is properly inflated and everything secure, I’m sure plenty of have-a-go-heros will mess it up.

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