This ATmega328P position-reporting board can track high-altitude balloons

Atmel | Bits & Pieces


The ArduinoTrack flight controller uses the APRS network to report location data. 

High-altitude balloons are unmanned, helium or hydrogen-filled balloons that are released into the stratosphere, generally ascending to heights between 60,000 to 120,000 feet. While the most common ones are deployed to monitor weather, they are often used as a platform for experiments in the upper atmosphere as well. Modern apparatuses generally contain electronic equipment like radio transmitters, cameras or satellite navigation systems that relay data. However, what if you wanted a way to track your balloon without sending that data over a cellular network?

Tracker

That’s exactly what Zack Clobes and the team behind the Project: Traveler project set out to accomplish with their position-reporting board that uses the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) network to report location data, all while easily fitting on an Arduino in the form of a shield.

The Project: Traveler group has been using the aptly-named ArduinoTrack flight controller in one form or another since 2010. After successfully completing eight flights on the platform…

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