Our team consists of seven
undergraduates from many different engineering majors at Texas A&M
University and two mentors. The team worked throughout the summer to design and fabricate a payload
suitable for a balloon flight to be launched in September 2006 by Louisiana
State University (LSU).
Our project is one of 12 individual payloads piggybacking on a platform sent up by LSU’s polyethylene film balloon. Our design involves sending up a camera to 100,000+ feet and taking pictures of the earth’s surface along the way. The course of the balloon allowed the camera to drift up and away from the starting point, thus allowing images of a broader area of the earth. These pictures were then be retrieved from the camera and integrated with Google Maps API or Zoomify viewer to observe current land features of areas the balloon floats over.
Requirements and constraints for the project include a limited amount
of power as well as space and weight constraints. Each small payload may
only receive 0.5A of current at a given time and 14W of power overall.
The payload is bound within a 15x15x30 cm area, and must withstand a 10
g vertical, 5 g horizontal shock. The maximum weight of the payload is
1kg (2.2 lbs).