I don’t think I can put into words how cool I think this project is. James Meehan strung together a helium-filled balloon, a radar reflector, a Garmin GPS receiver, an Aiptek Pencam, a ham radio, and a computer system built from off-the-shelf components, and launched it all as an amateur weather balloon. It travelled nearly 80,000 feet into the air, sending reports back the whole time; the reports contained location information, allowing James and his team to track it while it was in the air, find it when it landed, and retrieve all the pieces (including the pictures taken by the camera). He called the experiment “Balloon 1.0,” which leaves me optimistic that there’ll be a few more iterations to come.


Balloon v1.0 — “This is the story of how I designed, built, launched, and recovered a high-altitude weather balloon.” This “weather” balloon project is really fascinating. I was especially interested in its ability to take pictures, reminding me of an

• Pinged by Cantoni.org on Feb 26, 2003, 11:29 PM