Space Balloon

UPDATE: TMSB was a success but has an EPIC story behind it! Take a look at all the pics and video at my blog: www.joshingtalk.com

Hi everyone!

First post on instructables and thought I would share with you guys my latest project.
The aim? To send a weather balloon to near Space and film the journey from start to finish!
It's been done before BUT I'm making a couple of unique modifications in order to make it a one of a kind project....
....follow my blog and I'll update you throughout the process and the highs and lows....not long until launch now!

http://www.joshingtalk.com

Please subscribe or follow the blog as this will send you an email every time I make a new post.
Thanks for looking and feel free to leave some comments or ask questions. :)

Josh.

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JoshingTalk (author) 5 years ago
UPDATE: TMSB was a success but has an EPIC story behind it! Take a look at all the pics and video at my blog: www.joshingtalk.com
JoshingTalk (author) 6 years ago
I hope everyone has been enjoying my project so far.


Now I've come to that time whee I need a bit of your help.
If you think it's a worthwhile project, I would be very grateful if you could help me out by funding the project here:

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/investment/balloon-to-the-edge-of-space-189

Without your help, I might not be able to finish the project.

Thanks!

Josh.
I had the same idea a while back, and am more than happy to share my research with you:

First, I abandoned this project after seeing this. I'm all for DIY, but my findings show that it is cheaper/easier to source an iPhone an attempt this than manufacture your own. However, if you choose to follow the DIY mantra, here's some info that will help you out.

The two most expensive elements will be the gas to lift you payload, and the payload recovery method.

The gas to lift you payload will depend on the weight of your payload. No matter what you calculate, double it. Your balloons will pop/deflate/not work the way you assume. Err on the side of caution.
Inflating the balloons prior to transport may not be an option; most likely you will need to inflate on-site. The deposit on gas tanks will vary, but expect to throw down at least $500 USD for a tank rental (not including gas).

Payload recovery will be the largest hurdle.
xBee offers a line-of-sight option which is compatible with many over the counter GPS receivers. The xBee isn;t that expensive ($100 USD) and the GPS relievers range from $200-$500 if you are buying from new. There are other options such as hacking a cell phone to work as a GPS sender, but requires some skill top get working correctly. There is existing technology called APRS which may work, but you (legally) need a HAM radio license to work it, there's a link below.

The remainder of the components are cheap: altimeter, accelerometer, barometer, thermometer, etc. are easily combined into a simple cluster and available wherever you buy electronics.

Spend time on payload recovery. If there's no payload then there's no payoff. No payoff = bummer.
Also, don't expect anyone to fund this project, this is an endeavor you will be undertaking by yourself. Asking for funding for an individual project like this is like me asking you for $50 for me to build a new type of blender. Awesome, but not likely to happen.

Here are some sites to get you started, good luck!
http://hackaday.com/2010/03/17/arduino-balloon-tracking/
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=993165
http://vpizza.org/~jmeehan/balloon/
http://www.sbszoo.com/bear/construction/traker/utrak1.3/utrak-V1-3.htm
JoshingTalk (author)  mikeasaurus6 years ago
Hi mikasuarus,

Thanks for your help and research. I am based over in the UK so that changes allot of what you have said but I still appreciate the help.
If you take a look at my blog, you will see that the GPS tracking has been covered.
www.joshingtalk.com
We are alos looking at putting in an arduino based tracker as well.

As for the gas, the amount calculated can be done using this predictor and if you click 'Balloon Burst Calculator' it provides details of how much gas to use.
I have researched it and found that I can get the required 3 cm3 of gas for about £100.
http://habhub.org/predict/#!/uuid=1344712fb5136340d078c4c35de3ee5fb5c594a1

As for the funding, we have set up a funding page here:
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/investment/balloon-to-the-edge-of-space-189
It seems that I've raised nearly half the required amount, so something is working. I find it best to go to friends and family and get them to speak about it to others, snowballing the project via chit chat.

As I say, we are already nearly 6 months down the line, making this project so allot of areas have been researched and covered but I appreciate your help and links.
Keep checking the blog for updates!

Josh.
Kiteman6 years ago
Make sure you take plenty of images and post a proper step-by-step Instructable of the equipment and flight.