Hardware

An evolving list of the hardware we have used

Balloon and Payload Core :

  • Sent Into Space Launch Kit (Advanced)
  • Raspberry Pi Model A+
  • 64GB Micro SD Card
  • Pi Expansion board, Pi In The Sky (PITS)
  • Pi Expansion board, LoRa Expansion, with 2 LoRa modules

Sensors:

  • Those incorporated in the Launch Kit black box and the PITS
  • Raspberry Pi Cam
  • Adafruit Accelerometer
  • Adafruit FLORA Lux Sensor
  • Adafruit Barometric/Pressure/Altitude/Temperature Sensor

Ground station:

  • Raspberry Pi model B
  • 8 GB Micro SD Card
  • Pi Expansion board, LoRa Expansion, with 2 LoRa modules
  • FUNcube Dongle Pro+

Explanations:

We started off with a comprehensive and useful launch kit, containing all the necessary equipment to send a balloon into near space. The Pi is the core processing unit in the payload, which will manage the peripherals and communication. The PITS adds one-way communication to the ground, with a secondary GPS to backup the one in the black box. It also provides a  basic image transferral protocol, which hopefully can be expanded to include some sensor data. The LoRa expansion board allows two-way communication, and a greater bandwidth of communication.

Although the black box contains some sensors, these cannot be sent live. The PITS contains temperature sensors, but none of the others. Hence we have added the extra peripheral sensors. As we have two methods of sending data, and usually more than one of each type of sensor, we hope to obtain accurate and complete data to simulate the environment.

The ground station requires a LoRa module board to communicate with that on the balloon, and also a dongle to detect the signals from the PITS’s radio transmitter.

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