Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Down
Author Topic: I am looking for someone to program Arduino Uno for High Altitude Weather Balloo  (Read 2698 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Global Moderator
UK
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 241
Posts: 24480
I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
OK, if you want to say that I have mobile phone coverage on the moon, so be it.
What do you understand by the phrase "path loss"?

 385km << 385000km

FWIW, the Beagle 2 Mars lander had a transmitter with a power output a little higher than a mobile phone's at about 5W.
Yes, they needed a 76m receiver antenna, but had the device not crashed, the team were obviously confident of useful science data.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 09:33:48 am by AWOL » Logged

"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.

Arlington, MA, USA
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 0
Posts: 259
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I understand path loss, and never mind Beagle, how about Vogager! http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/voyager20101213.html. My assertion was that being in view does not imply coverage. I was not arguing that it would be legal, or advisable. I do not know the technical limit of a handset's transmitter, but I'd be surprised if you could communicate at 385 km. Perhaps someone can point me to some reference?
Logged

Boston Suburbs
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 14
Posts: 955
I am above your silly so-called "Laws", Mister Ohm.
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Back to the problem at hand, we're left with a question:

If the cellular route is going to be a problem, is there a good recommendation for a simple and cheap method of providing for tracking?   It seems that there's a lot of Massachusetts folks here.. is anyone connected to the Robert Goddard enthusiast group out of Worcester?  In case you forget, he kind of invented the whole liquid fueled rocket thing, IIRC.. and there's a rocketry club that's second to none connected to WPI because of it.  (I'm sure that I'll need to be corrected on exactly what he did, but you get the idea).  Worcester could have been considered the center of world rocket science at one point, not all that long ago.  They HAVE to have some good telemetry working there... they fly hobby rockets costing tens of thousands, off and on all year round.   I used to know a guy who was a member, but he's long since gone off my radar..moved to the midwest someplace.  Considering your flight path, if they have some type of ranging system that can track rocket launches of that scale, they might just have something you can piggyback on.  In fact,  I'm wondering since you will need FAA clearances anyway, THEY are going to be tracking it via Worcester Regional as well as Logan and possibly TF Green in Providence and Manchester in NH.  Jetliner+weather balloon=bad.  I can't imagine a four pound electronics package would be a good thing to suck into a 747 engine, even if the baloon itself would shred with relatively little impact.  You might actually be able to use the FAA instead of trying to get around 'em.. especially if you sell it as weather research, so soon after the recent deadly tornadoes last week.

In terms of the data, the logger would have it's own GPS data, so GPS isn't probably strictly necessary.  The phone would send it's own GPS position data.  If we skip that, is there a REALLY cheap way to do a triangulation method or something else?  The biggest chunk is simply not losing the darn thing.. the data is safely aboard.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 10:14:33 am by focalist » Logged

When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

0
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 7
Posts: 2526
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Google high altitude ballooning or amateur radio high altitude balloon.  This stuff has been done (by hams, at least) for years.  Tracking can be done (legally!) using ham radio (APRS, RDF).  I've also seen the SPOT trackers used successfully.

I (and many others) have used a 500mW 2m transmitter (similar output power to cell phone's max power, but better antenna) to communicate hundreds miles with the balloon at max altitude.

If you are outside controlled airspace (read: not near an airport or military installation) and meet some other restrictions, you do not need to involve the FAA.  EOSS has their analysis of the relevant sections of FAR101 on their website.

AFAIK, there has never been a documented case of a "weather" balloon colliding with an aircraft.

-j
Logged

Boston Suburbs
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 14
Posts: 955
I am above your silly so-called "Laws", Mister Ohm.
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

KG4WSV-  Great information!  I'm not worrying about the FAA side, I'm leaving that up to him, but that's comforting news, to say the least.  Can you provide a link to one of those beacon/trackers?  2 meter, you say?  Isn't that going to be a problem for HAM's.. and the FCC won't want licenses or something?  I'm just seeing if there's a problem I'm not seeing (other than finding out the beacon cost $500 or something!).  My neighbor's 20-something son is a HAM, I didn't even consider two meter (or for that matter, CB!).

I'm totally hooked since I saw the video.  He's got the situation pretty well figured out, he really needs just a bit of help where it comes to actually implementing it.. syntax of the language, what kind of switching for the outputs, etc.  Spent a good hour or so on Skype talking it over.  He's got very realistic expectations.  Here's video of one of his previous launches.. I can see why it's an addictive hobby smiley



One failure he's had before is cameras died.. he always assumed it's temperature, either for the camera itself or the batteries..and is trying to compensate with a heating system.. but also considered that it may actually be an air pressure problem (trapped air in sealed lens?) or something.  I'm not sure if that's even possible.. but if you've had some experience with this, is there another explanation we should consider?  I'm right now looking to take temp and power off the table.

Speaking of power.. yet another late-night purchase last night was made, but this one with a purpose-- this project:



2x Apple Ipod 3.7v 900mAH LiPo replacement batteries, New.  $1.75 shipped.  At under a buck each, I wish the guy would have had more.. I'm positive that the more power we can get onboard for the lowest possible size and weight the better.  He's currently using "Energizer Ultimate Lithium" AA cells (I'm a big fan of those for photo use.. not rechargable but they last FOREVER compared to most other batteries) which may be pretty good on the bang-for-the-buck in terms of energy density.. if they don't end up in his balloon, those Apple LiPo's should be good for some nonsense or another..

I am such a bottom feeder... LOL
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 06:10:50 pm by focalist » Logged

When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

Global Moderator
UK
Offline Offline
Brattain Member
*****
Karma: 241
Posts: 24480
I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
but also considered that it may actually be an air pressure problem (trapped air in sealed lens?) or something.  I'm not sure if that's even possible
It's more than possible - often, high-altitude balloonists (who actually travel with their vehicles!) have to have their dentistry checked over to ensure they don't have any voids under fillings that could expand uncomfortably.
I've often wondered what happens to older style DIL packages, where there is a void above the die.
Logged

"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.

Boston Suburbs
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 14
Posts: 955
I am above your silly so-called "Laws", Mister Ohm.
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

A friend is getting me some dry ice, once assembled, that will temp test it far better than what he uses now (home freezer), and I am making a few calls to see if I can collect on a favor and get the package into a pressure chamber and drive it down to 100k ft pressures.  It's easier to see a failure and correct it that way than lose the package and all the toys..  It'd be a real shame to have it reach that kind of altitude and have the camera poop out halfway there again...

I addition, have any good ideas for an altimeter sensor?  GPS data is only good until 60,000 ft... as I undertand there's some kind of built-in cutoff at 60,000ft by law- I guess the idea is that you can't go and get an off-the rack GPS module or unit or whatever, and build a missile guidance system or something.  That alone merits a few giggles, but, in the meantime, an altimeter accurate to within a thousand feet or so- for cheap money and lightweight- would be a welcome sensor for the project.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 10:34:50 am by focalist » Logged

When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

0
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 7
Posts: 2526
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
Can you provide a link to one of those beacon/trackers?  2 meter, you say?  Isn't that going to be a problem for HAM's.. and the FCC won't want licenses or something?

Google APRS.  Yes, you'll need an amateur radio license, or at least find a ham who is willing to be your control operator.  An APRS tracker (balloon payload) can be put together for around $200-$250.  The ground station side would probably be a bit more than that.  If you can find a ham who's got a Kenwood D7/D72/D700/D710, recruit him for your ground station. smiley

The government (US, anyway) requires that GPS units don't work over 60k' (I think 20km is the actual number) and 1000kt. Most manufacturers interpret that as an OR condition - if either criteria is met, the GPS stops working.

Some manufacturers use AND logic, and their units are good for ballooning.  Some that have been flight tested are noted here: http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/GPSrcvrsvs60kft.htm

We use the Garmin GPS18, although we tend to experience failures after several flights for some as yet unknown reason.

There is a honeywell pressure sensor that is good up to 90k' or 100k', but the model number escapes me and they're about $45 or $50 each at digikey.

I wouldn't worry about pressure too much.  We use standard ICs (commercial/industrial/automotive) and have flown lots of COTS cameras, camcorders, etc.

If you decide to heat packages, remember that there is no air to conduct the heat - the item you're heating needs to be in direct contact with the heat source.

-j
Logged

Boston Suburbs
Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 14
Posts: 955
I am above your silly so-called "Laws", Mister Ohm.
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Huh.. now see that's something I would not have thought of-  that whole "there's no atmosphere to speak of" implication to heating.  I suppose if you had some kind of infrared emitter you could use radiative heating, but the power levels and efficiency would make that less than ideal.

I'm really digging the project because it presents some interesting design considerations, and the payoff is cooler than all get out.  Bryan (the poster) is what I guess you could call a Balloon Geek- I love partisans of any kind, people who are totally into their hobby.  What's nice is that he's done it before so has reasonable expectations, we are going for an incremental increase in performance, rather than "Will it work?" sort of thing.

The Apple LiPO's arrived today (only were coming from Montana).. for almost a full amp/hour, these things are pretty light...
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 05:57:12 pm by focalist » Logged

When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

Offline Offline
Newbie
*
Karma: 0
Posts: 10
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

All good points, and 1 more thing about the cameras that shut off, is that I chose to use waterproof cameras in case this thing landed in the ocean, and thats what made me believe it might be pressure related, I have since drilled holes in the cameras in hopes of alleviating this. Im using 

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&oe=&q=kodak+playsport&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=607495633943641023&sa=X&ei=IpoATq-DGurn0QHeupimDg&ved=0CH0Q8wIwAg#

Logged

Dallas, Texas
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 3
Posts: 267
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I know its been touched on, but please make sure you contact the FAA so they can create a TFR for your launch zone. Also, please do purchase and install a radar reflector for your balloon project. This keeps the skies safe in light of changing winds or unforeseen accidents. Some people like to skimp on this part and don't realize they are putting people at risk by doing so. People all too often incorrectly believe ATC can not only see every object in the sky, but know its altitude. That's completely false. While some civilian radars can do so, the vast, vast majority can not. Altitude is provided by means of a mode-C transponder. Any object which is not reflecting a signal back is invisible to radar. Any object which is not providing altitude data on its return signal has no altitude information available for ATC. As such, to prevent your balloon from being completely invisible, please invest in a radar reflector for your balloon. While altitude information will not be available for ATC, at least they'll be able to see it.

If you want to read more about airspace designations, you can do so here. If you will be anywhere near a major city, read up on class B airspace. But frankly, I doubt you'll get permission to launch a balloon under or in class B because of traffic intensity and the hazard imposed by an unguided aircraft.

And beware, violation of FAA rules may very well get you classified as a terrorist. The TSA already, literally, has it in their head they have the right to limit anyone's movements (they've literally tried) for any reason, and intelligence is specifically weeded out from their qualifying interviews. No joke.

Lastly, don't forget the FAA's moto: We're not happy until you're not happy. And of course, the FAA, a massive bureaucracy fighting hard to keep the skies less safe than reasonably possible and at 2x the expense necessary. While cliched - its sadly true.
Logged


Dallas, Texas
Offline Offline
Sr. Member
****
Karma: 3
Posts: 267
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

If you are outside controlled airspace (read: not near an airport or military installation) and meet some other restrictions, you do not need to involve the FAA.  EOSS has their analysis of the relevant sections of FAR101 on their website.

Launching a balloon to great heights means you will pass through class-A airspace. It is controlled airspace where IFR rules apply. Absolutely do contact the FAA. Following procedures, at worst will be a headache. Failing to do so, and if caught, will likely result in a large fine. Worst case, expect to be treated as a terrorist with the potential for criminal charges.

Recommending anyone not advise the FAA of your plans within a large metropolitan area (< 30 miles of its center) is extremely reckless and ill-advised.
Logged


0
Offline Offline
Faraday Member
**
Karma: 7
Posts: 2526
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Quote
Recommending anyone not advise the FAA of your plans within a large metropolitan area (< 30 miles of its center) is extremely reckless and ill-advised.
I did no such thing.  What I did was give an incredibly terse summary of FAR101 as it relates to "unmanned free balloons"  (FAA's term).

Giving advice without knowing the regulations is "reckless and ill-advised".  RTFM.

-j
Logged

Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Up
Jump to: