MaxelRus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:05 pm

Pi in stratosphere.

Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:53 pm

Hi all, I'm new to here. Recently, we have decided to build a high-tec box and launch it to the sky. We have a balloon, which can get to 26km and a plan. Yesterday we made some physics and maths calculations and now we're working at a design of the box and other difficulties it can encounter. We've decided to use Pi, cause its a good platform for experiments and we can use it in further projects, but there are some questions:
1. Can we use Pi as a GPS tracker, which would send tracking information? Or it's better to use a standard GPS tracker? And what tracker do you recommend?
2. Is there a way to send information to earth, such as temperature and other parameters through a receiver and what hardware do we need to receive it?

I think if there is a way to transmit information, we could install a GPS module on the Pi and code it to send it. Btw, the code is not a problem, I know Python and C.
Russian developer, web-designer.

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Burngate
Posts: 6013
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK Tralfamadore
Contact: Website

Re: Pi in stratosphere.

Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:28 pm

For almost all information regarding high-altitude Pi's, the go-to guy is Dave Akerman.
He's on here as daveake, and has his website at http://www.daveakerman.com/

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daveake
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:07 am

Re: Pi in stratosphere.

Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:51 pm

> 1. Can we use Pi as a GPS tracker, which would send tracking information?
> Or it's better to use a standard GPS tracker? And what tracker do you recommend?

All trackers use GPS (so they know where they are), and that's the easy part. The key thing is how to get that data down to the ground. Mobile phone signals do not work at altitude, so if you use a GSM/GPS tracker then you won't get any data whatsoever during the flight except for the seconds after launch and, if you're lucky, after it lands. GSM coverage is nowhere near 100% so you'd be relying on the payload choosing to land somewhere that does have coverage. A Spot tracker (which use satellites to send data to the ground) is a better option, but these are expensive and still don't always work. Best option is a radio link from balloon to the ground, using APRS (if you're a radio ham and your country's laws allow, which I think they do) or an ISM (INdsutrial, Scientific and Medical) transmitter.

> 2. Is there a way to send information to earth, such as temperature and other parameters through a receiver and what
> hardware do we need to receive it?

Yes, using one of the radio links that I mentioned.

On the ground you would need a suitable radio receiver, aerial and laptop to decode the transmissions.

You could look at http://www.pi-in-the-sky.com/ (fair warning - I had a hand in that, and will profit if you buy one!) which is a GPS/radio board for the Pi, with software (though you're welcome of course to write that yourselves).

Dave

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