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First flight of the StratoSpera amateur stratospheric balloon project
Paolo Amoroso
post Nov 23 2010, 07:28 PM
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On September 4, 2010, with a group of friends we successfully completed the first flight to 27.6 km above central Italy of the StratoSpera amateur stratospheric balloon project. An unexpected event that threatened to turn the flight into a failure gave us this eerie photo, which shows the burst balloon that got tangled to the parachute lines during descent. It looks like an alien creature, a fictitious space jellyfish.

Here are some images and information:

* short report in English
* StratoSpera site
* photos and videos, including anaglyphs (be sure to click "Articoli precedenti" at the bottom to view more posts)

Until 2007 we didn't know such a thing was possible. Then we read about the SABLE-3 amateur high altitude balloon project, which was a source of inspiration together with later projects such as the ones by UMSF members.
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djellison
post Nov 23 2010, 07:45 PM
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You appear to have been attacked by a giant edge of space squid. ARHGHGHGH runaway smile.gif

Extra special kudos for this : http://www.francescobonomi.it/minihab/stra...eplanet_big.jpg - very VERY good indeed!!

What camera did you fly, what orientation did you have it in and how did you trigger it?
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Paolo Amoroso
post Nov 23 2010, 08:27 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 23 2010, 08:45 PM) *
Extra special kudos for this : http://www.francescobonomi.it/minihab/stra...eplanet_big.jpg - very VERY good indeed!!

Thanks. Note that a small hole near the center due to missing images was patched with copies of nearby areas.

QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 23 2010, 08:45 PM) *
What camera did you fly, what orientation did you have it in and how did you trigger it?

The camera was a Canon IXUS 80 IS with custom firmware, programmed to take images according to mission events (e.g. video during launch, photos during ascent above a certain altitude, etc.). The camera was mounted with the lens parallel to the ground inside the gondola, with the gondola-balloon lines slightly tilted so that the lens was aimed slightly toward the bottom. We overinflated the balloon to shorten flight time and prevent it from going toward Lake Trasimeno, which simulations showed dangerously close to the flight path. The rapid ascent shook the gondola quite a bit as you can see in the videos, so the camera didn't actually keep any intended attitude for most of the flight.

This presentation provides some more hardware technical details and images.


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djellison
post Nov 23 2010, 08:48 PM
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Ahh - so were you speaking to the camera via USB from the board running the RTOS, or was it just guesstimated times before launch in a script? By custom firmware, I'm assuming CHDK.
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Paolo Amoroso
post Nov 23 2010, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 23 2010, 09:48 PM) *
Ahh - so were you speaking to the camera via USB from the board running the RTOS, or was it just guesstimated times before launch in a script?

I don't know the details, but I think the camera run a script and it was not directly driven by the onboard computer.

QUOTE (djellison @ Nov 23 2010, 09:48 PM) *
By custom firmware, I'm assuming CHDK.

Yes.


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