Pegasus High Altitude Balloon project

Nice homebrew project – they launch a camera, gps, phone, and small embedded linux device on a high altitude ballon. The story, charts, and pictures are on the website.

” Once the balloon was released I received two sms messages – one at about 350m and then another at 650m and then silence for 2 1/2 hours. After a hour of packing up and then sitting around Tim and I decided to start driving towards where we thought it would go (using the two sets of coordinates that we had recieved and drawing a straight line) After driving for a bit we decided to turn back and just as we were a message came through. After the initial excitment we read the message which said that the gps coordinates were… NULL. The gps hadn’t got a log but we knew that the payload was in once piece. We went back home and attempt to use an internet based phone locator service however due to privacy worries the phone has to acknowledge thats its being traced. So we though perhaps by phoning up vodafone they could help – as I was on hold a message came through with some coordinates (obviously a satellite had popped above the horizon). Put these into Google Maps printed out the location – jumped in the car and drove 80 miles to go and retrieve it.

Once we got to the road where we thought the payload was and found them to be fields. First using a handheld gps lined up the latitude and then walking along lined up the longitude. However this spot was a cabbage field so Tim and I spread out and he spotted something that looked red in the adjacent field. We ran over to find the payload totally intact and took this back to the car where I quickly opened it up – turned everything off. We then set off and I logged into the various devices via my laptop and downloaded all the pictures and log files.”

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