A quite ambitious project where the main idea is to send a payload up with a latex weather balloon to take pictures on its journey.
Preferably there will be a telemetry system that will send the payload’s GPS coordinates as well as altitude, temperature aso. down to ground level.
I’ve only just started on making a concept circuit, so the project has quite a long way to go.
The payload will primarily consist of:
-Microcontroller Arduino Duemilanove/UNO
-GPS-receiver For now I’m using a GPS-received stripped from an USB-GPS. It works, but I don’t know what its maximum operating altitude is.
-Some sort of gyro, sensing the position of the payload At the moment the sensor module from a Wii NunChuck
-Radio transmitter At the moment an XBee, but the range is limited too about 100m. Hopefully I can utilize the XBee Pro or something even more powerful
-Camera Preferably a Canon camera compatible with the custom firmware CHDK. I can then use the Arduino to remotely trigger it through a customized USB-cable.
-GMS/GPRS device If the telemetry gets broken or doesn’t work as it should, I need to be able to find the payload when it comes down to the ground. By sending an SMS with the GPS-coordinates within certain intervals, it should work as a backup ‘telemetry’ system. At the moment I’m looking at the Arduino library SSerial2Mobile. If I can get my hands on a Motorola C168, I think it should be a quite straightforward task.
-Temperature sensor I just got a couple of LM35 sensors the other day, and they should be ok for internal and/or external temperature measurements. They’re rated for -55C to +150C, so hopefully the range is ok.