Some Raspberry Pi High altitude Projects

Here are some posts about using the Raspberry Pi in High altitude balloon projects.  Please feel free to contact me if you have others to add.

Note, these projects are primarily from Great Britain.  Congratulations Brits! but are there any US projects?

Pi in the Sky: hardware for high-altitude balloonists from Dave Akerman

High Altitude Ballooning is an increasingly popular hobby (I nearly said that interest has been “ballooning”, but fortunately I stopped myself just in time …), bringing what is termed “near space” within the reach of pretty much anyone who is willing to put in the effort and spend a moderate amount of money. …

Dave Akerman’s Raspberry Jam Pi in the Sky presentation

PIE1 – Raspberry Pi Sends Live Images from Near Space

HAB (High Altitude Ballooning) is a growing hobby where enthusiasts use standard weather balloons to put small payloads typically 100g-1kg into “near space” at altitudes of around 30km or so, carrying a tracking device (so the balloon position is known throughout the flight) and usually some sensors (temperature, pressure etc) and often a video or stills camera storing to an SD card for later retrieval….

High Altitude Ballooning, sixth-form style

The project was completed by three students from William Howard School, Cumbria. We are Jake Greenwood(16), Samuel Bancroft(17) and Ben Bancroft(17). We all are currently doing our A-Levels.

The project started when we all came together with the idea of launching our own weather balloon, to gather scientific data. We got our inspiration from our passion for Physics, and by other launches that has been completed by other people, such as Dave Akerman, the first to launch a Raspberry Pi on a high altitude balloon. We started by seeing how feasible the project would be, by planning out how we would complete it, and pricing it up. We then went to our school, and in turn the Ogden Trust, to look to secure funding.

Pi in the sky: High altitude ballooning with Raspberry Pi

Lots of people embed a Raspberry Pi into their projects—whether it’s an arcade machine, a robot, a photo booth, or a weather station. You can develop your application with the Pi like it’s a desktop, then disconnect your mouse, keyboard, and monitor and embed it into your project, short-term or long-term.

Another useful property of the Raspberry Pi is its weight–the Model B weighs 45 grams, and the Model A+ just 23 grams. This comes in very handy for sending a data logger, GPS tracker, and camera up into the sky on a helium balloon! That’s exactly what amateur high altitude balloonist Dave Akerman has been doing since 2012. …

The above report includes several balloon projects.

Finally… A High Altitude Balloon flight with Raspberry Pi

It had been a long journey from last year’s Skycademy to get to this launch. Being situated just a few miles from Heathrow was always going to mean that launching from school would be tricky unless it involved everybody getting up a silly-o’clock (before flights started) and chasing through rush hour.
So finding a launch site close enough to be practical but far enough outside the LondonControl Zone (which defines the busy airspace around London) to gain CAA approval took a several months and a few applications and phone calls. …

My interest in the Raspberry Pi, is to use it with the Sense HAT as a data logger and camera/video, and being able to communicate with it over wifi, initiating and verifying data logging at liftoff, and downloading data at landing. However I have not flown an RPi yet :(.

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