"Receiving those live images, I had this feeling of being up there with it," he says.

DIY Raspberry Pi: High-altitude Balloon Camera

Dave Akerman, 53

Project: Pi in the sky balloon camera

Key Ingredients

1 x helium balloon
1 x Pi
1 x GPS chip
1 x radio transmitter
1 x Pi camera add-on
4 x lithium batteries

To see how one puts together a near-orbital flight, check out Dave Akerman's website.

SENDING a Pi into near-space is a lofty achievement in itself, but that wasn't sufficient for computer programmer and amateur high-altitude balloonist David Ackerman.

After breaking the UK amateur record for an unmanned balloon flight in 2011, Ackerman subsequently added a Pi on board, using it to transmit back stunning live images of the earth 25 miles above South-west England, using the Pi's add-on camera.

"Receiving those live images, I had this feeling of being up there with it," he says.

The fiddly bit?

"It took many hours to write the code for this," says Ackerman, who needed to combine lengthy routines to communicate with each component, plus write an algorithm to help the Pi decide which were the best photos to transmit back to earth.


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