Don’t Miss Watching This Solar Eclipse High Altitude Balloon Online

[Dan Julio] let us know about an exciting project that he and his team are working on at the Solid State Depot Makerspace in Boulder: the Solar Eclipse High Altitude Balloon. Weighing in at 1 kg and bristling with a variety of cameras, the balloon aims to catch whatever images are able to be had during the solar eclipse. The balloon’s position should be trackable on the web during its flight, and some downloaded images should be available as well. Links for all of that are available from the project’s page.

High altitude balloons are getting more common as a platform for gathering data and doing experiments; an embedded data recorder for balloons was even an entry for the 2016 Hackaday Prize.

If all goes well and the balloon is able to be recovered, better images and video will follow. If not, then at least a post-mortem of what the team thinks went wrong will be posted. Launch time in Wyoming is approximately 10:40 am Mountain Time (UTC -07:00) Mountain Daylight Time (UTC -06:00) on Aug 21 2017, so set your alarm!

8 thoughts on “Don’t Miss Watching This Solar Eclipse High Altitude Balloon Online

    1. Hmm, looks like you’re right. They’re launching in Wyoming, which is Mountain Standard Time (MST or UTC-7) in the Winter and Mountain Daylight Time (MDT or UTC-6) in the Summer. They would currently be in MDT which would make it UTC-6. Thanks for the correction!

    1. Looks like they are going for the image everything and hope for the best ;)

      3 raspberry Pi based cameras and a 360deg video. They should get something at least.

      It would be interesting to see some kind of active stabilization/orientation system in the balloons. Though the weight constraint would make it a good challenge.

        1. Props and fins as you only need to stabilize for ten minutes. Ten would give you enough time to fire them up, stabilize, start tracking, and get some before and after footage.

    2. Yup, spinning is definitely a problem with a balloon like this. We ran out of time to test a solution other than including spinners but others have put kite rods extending from the payload or used very long balloon lines. Its one reason one camera is time-lapse.

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