DIY high-altitude ballooning

diyscience.jpgGenius! Not a mile from where I worked this summer, Cambridge University students earlier this month launched Nova 1, a meteorogical balloon juryrigged with a digital camera, GPS, mobile phone and radio transmitter. The thing went 32 km straight up and took 857 photos at 15-second intervals, some of which show some clear curves. it returned to Earth via parachute, landing 45 km due East a little under three hours later.

They’ve turned the positioning data into KML, though their link is a bit iffy. Here is a proper network link for it. The result looks like this:


What I’d really love to see is a time-enabled path with screen overlays for all 857 photos. It’d be trivial to do. I can’t wait for Nova 2.

2 thoughts on “DIY high-altitude ballooning”

  1. wow! neat link. just for fun here is some code to make a movie out of it: (be nice !)

    #fetch all .jpg images:

    wget -r -l1 –no-parent -A.jpg

    #this looks better

    #re-size and make into an .mpg movie, but with a 10ms delay between frames:

    convert -delay 10 -resize 320x -size 320×240 *.jpg test.mpg

    #and just for fun it took our new machine (Dual Dual-core Opteron, linux 2.6.16, 4Gb RAM):

    real 4m0.080s

    user 3m41.206s

    sys 0m17.045s

    #and my puny dual-xeon, linux 2.6.16, 1Gb RAM – without the interframe delay:

    real 9m43.805s

    user 3m27.233s

    sys 0m28.902s

    Have fun.

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