The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Project: To the Edge of Space with Raspberry Pi

We have what we consider to be the Ultimate Raspberry Pi project . . . we send a Raspberry Pi instrument package to space, and telemeter live data back to earth, including live video over HAM radios. We do the telemetry with an innovative technique we call Ethernet over Ham, where we use the 2.39 GHz Ham band right below commercial WiFi.

We have had 5 successful launches, and are preparing for the launch of Eagle VI in Early February, 2017. Watch the video and see a live demonstration of our raspberry pi based system. Enjoy!

20 thoughts on “The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Project: To the Edge of Space with Raspberry Pi”

    1. Hi PUAL.
      I’m BCS. from Thailand. I comin to your webside.
      I am tying cotrol many servoS by Visual Basic6 with Arduino board. But i can control one servo only. I can’t seperate serial command from VB6.
      Witch is VB command servo1,servo2,servo3,etc. I try to use
      HSCHROLL object in vb6 to control that servo.
      Do you have some Idea for me?(vb6 code)

    1. Steven, if you take a look at the drawing you reference, in the lower right corner should see the word Fritzing. This is the name of the program used to generate the drawing. You can download the program at: Fritzing.org . Great stuff!

      Wes

  1. Wow this is so wonderful. I’m learning about the Arduino with my kids and look forward to getting into Raspberry Pi in the future too. You are an excellent teacher and we really enjoy your videos. When will you post videos from the Eagle flight program, or have you already? Can’t wait to see them!

  2. I am learning “Arduino” tutorials from your You Tube Videos, Thank you very much. You are a great techer which remind me of my father.

  3. Hi, I’m a teacher from the UK and am looking to attach a pi zero to a weather balloon to take footage of the edge of the atmosphere. Obviously I will need clearance from all the appropriate organisations to do this and I know I would ordinarily have to retrieve the pi to view the footage with my class etc…. but my question is, how exactly would I go about using your technology / innovation to beam a live steam of the camera? Any advice would be gratefully received.

      1. Hi Paul! This is absolutely amazing! I am hoping to do this very thing sometime in the near future. can you elaborate a little on the ethernet over HAM? what equipment did you use on the PI and at the mission control center?

        1. The issue of Ethernet over Ham is a very tricky one as there are lots of legal subtleties. It depends on where you are and what license privileges you have as to what you can legally do. Hence, it is beyond the scope of what I can give advice on as I dont want to have you do something that ends up getting you in trouble. You need to be very careful that you are not exceeding maximum gains on antennas for the band you are in and the license privileges you have.
          PJM

          1. Thanks! I’m in Tennessee so the laws shouldn’t be too different than what you have in Texas. I will start looking from that perspective.

  4. I only have one question…. Where were you when I was in high school? Awesome tutorials.

  5. Hi Paul,

    Could you please tell me if you use the XBee radios you described in “Python with Arduino LESSON 14” for your HAB projects? I’m interested in getting into HAB with my son, but I do not have an amateur radio license. Do you think the XBee radios would work for HAB? The XTend model seems to have a lot of range. I ask about the XBee’s because they seem like they would be easy to use.

    Your videos are great!
    Thanks!

    1. No, problem is the Xtend is on a frequency that is VERY crowded, and hard to get good long range communication. We use the HAM band at 2.39 GHZ which is dead quiet and allows long range communication with a high gain antenna. Be sure to understand FCC regulations on doing something like this. I do have the Xtend radios, but did not have good luck with them

      1. Paul, thank you for the information. I’m really curious about your receiving antenna control system that uses gps telemetry to automatically track the balloon. Is that a custom built system or one that you purchased? Any additional details you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

        1. It is a custom setup. It is a high gain parabolic dish connected to a pelco pan/tilt stage. The pelco is controlled with a raspberry pi, with a relay shield. The whole trick then becomes to take to GPS points, antenna location and balloon location, and turn those lat/lon/altitude values into a heading and pitch to point the antenna to get it precisely pointing at the balloon. A lot of math in that one.

  6. hi, paul, i have been learning from you for months, this ultimate project is just too cool to be true.. i really thank you for ur elaborate tutorials, it is very easy to follow for beginners like me..and i want to accomplish this to the edge of space project like you…but people in China tell me it is impossible to get permission to fly a ballon like that…..so i am looking forward to doing it in America.. so CAN you tell me the specific precedure of applying for such permission in the US?

  7. Wonderful series this ! Enjoyed every lesson with the same zeal.
    Much as it is, I have been wanting to do something similar for my girls (14 and 11) – They have been wanting to go to space and see earth from there. Cant really afford a airlines ticket, leave alone a space flight. So I was thinking of engaging the girls in sending a balloon to flight and having it record everything. Recovery would be difficult so I would like to go real cheap on the payload.
    Had a question – do you think a Pi Zero has enough oomph to be the brain? Any cheaper gps and camera options?

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