The Earthshine Project is a High Altitude Balloon Project created by Mike McRoberts and sponsored by Earthshine Electronics.
Starting off with the first launch, Earthshine 1, the payload will be a testbed for the equipment and practise for more advanced future payloads.
The kit going into Earthshine 1 so far is :-
- Flight Computer - Atmega328 - Central control processor for the project
- Camera - 2 x Canon A560 Powershot Mounted on a servo for tilt control. Recording both stills and video. Controlled via the Canon CHDK. One permanently looking up to capture a time lapse of the balloon expansion (and maybe video of burst?)
- Temperature Sensors - DS18S20 digital 1-wire sensors to record internal payload and external temperatures.
- GPS - Falcom FSA03 GPS Module
- Backup GPS - GPS Tracker with SMS - backup for GPS co-ordinates in case the GPS/Transmitter/Flight Computer combo fails
- UV Sensor - To record UV levels throughout the flight. Still trying to source something suitable (and cheap)
- Pressure Sensor - Honeywell SSC Series Absolute - 0 to 15psi
- Datalogger - Temp, GPS, pressure, UV levels will all be logged into an SD Card
- Radio Transmitter - RadioMetrix TX2 433MHz module transmitting GPS co-ordinates
- Receiver - Yaesu FT-790R
- Beeper - Piezo Beeper, set to beep every 5 seconds once payload is on the ground. To enable easy location if hidden from view.
- Aerial - Whip and Yagi
- Battery - Energizer Lithiums
- Payload Box - EPS box from eBay
The Atmega328 will have the job of parsing the NMEA data from the GPS module and transmitting it over the RF Module to the ground. It will also read data from the temp, pressure and UV sensors and log them to the SD Card. Periodically it will control both the camera and the servo to take several photos looking at 0, 45 and 90 degrees from the horizontal both up and down as well as video sequences.
I have never done this before so I am relying on the experience and expertise of the rest of the UKHAS veterans. JCoxon has so far given a lot of assistance at London Hackspace in demystifying the RF Module techniques.
The payload will also be carrying a scientific experiment. A friend of mine (and Author) from the Orpington Astronomical Society, Tony Buick, will be sending up a set of UV transparent glass vials containing Tardigrades to see if they can withstand the rigours of near-space.
Projected Launch Date - Aiming for January 2011