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Author Topic: Sensor Recommendations for a Weather Balloon  (Read 407 times)
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Hi,

I am planning on sending a weather balloon 100,000 feet up into near-space. I would ideally like to have an Arduino mega go along for the ride and record some data. The mega itself would be in an insulated box, but the sensors would be outside and exposed to the elements. I want to get barometric pressure and temperature readings. Ideally, I would like to be able to use some type of preassembled breakout board.

The sensors will need to withstand -60 degrees Celsius and read close to 0 PSI.

Will these work?
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11282
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11084
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https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11282
If you read the datasheet you will see that it is designed for altitudes up to 9000m (a little under 30,000 feet) which is well below your 100,000 foot (30,480m) goal.

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11084
This one seems to only go down to 50 kiloPascals which I think is only good to about 17000 feet.

Pressure at 100,000 feet is 0.162 PSI (1117 Pascals, 1.117 kPa).  Look for an absolute pressure sensor that can go down at least that far (maybe 1 kPa).
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Hello!!! I have experience here. A few years ago I sent a weather balloon into sub space also and captured some beautiful pictures of the earth. Here is one of them: http://flic.kr/p/fU77w5 Sadly, the imagery didn't quite turn out as expected, it was a little blurry but it was still breathtaking. I strongly encourage you to take pictures. The camera that I used was a nikon coolpix s500 I think.... With that camera you were able to take pictures every certain amount of time. If the camera that you use has  a focus option, set it to infinity. Also, use a Styrofoam cooler to house your batteries, camera, and arduino. Get a fairly big one so you can find it when it touches down. Paint it orange so that you can see it. Put hand warmers inside to keep it warm. Launch early in the morning so that you don't have to deal with wind while inflating your balloon. Use a spot tracker or similar satellite tracker to transmit the cooler's location to you upon touchdown. Launch on a day when the jet stream isn't above you. If it is (mine was) it will travel 200+ miles from you. Attach a parachute to your string (should be 100 ft long) about 2/3rds of the way up. Make sure you zip tie your cooler shut, and above all, have fun!!!
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