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Thread: Teensy Goes to Space!

  1. #1
    Member capricorn one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Los Angeles

    Teensy Goes to Space!

    Hey all,

    In just a couple months I'll be sending up about 10 teensy boards on a weather balloon and wanted to let the community know, in case maybe there is a particular kind of data that may be useful to other teensy developers that I can add to my test setup.

    The purpose of the test I unfortunately cannot share at the moment, but may be able to in the future. However, to get some idea of what we'll be doing, the parts boards that will be going up will be taking data from a sensor using the i2c interface and writing that data to an SD card for storage. There will be ~10 units in the box, partially for statistical reasons, and partially for redundancy in case of any single event failures.

    The balloon itself will be going to an altitude of ~120,000 ft, and will remain at that altitude for about 16 hours. The temperature at that altitude is going to be the biggest challenge, and we're not really sure if we're going to be really hot or really cold. Obviously when we're not facing the sun it will be cold, but when we are, without air to pull the heat away, the surface of our enclosure will get very hot, and will transfer some of that heat to the PCB mounted on them.

    I'll post more details on this soon, and eventually will share what data I can here, at the moment, that's probably just going to be the internal temperature reference of the teensy as it is monitored throughout the flight. Whether or not it survives the whole flight, or fails due to temperature problems, we should have a good amount of data during ascent up to 120k ft, including atmospheric pressure to tell us altitude. I am going to try and implement the watchdog features on the teensy to possibly recover from any of the issues that may occur, but that may still not be good enough, which is why we are sending multiple units.

    Anything else anyone is interested in, I would be happy to consider adding to the software or possibly the electronics if you can think of a good reason to do so.

  2. #2
    Pretty cool...keep us posted!


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    The Raspberry Pi folks (in particular Dave Akerman) have been ballooning for several years. It may be that some of the lessons they have learned will apply to your project. Their flight plan generally involves rising, popping (the balloon) and falling, recording video throughout the ride.

    I'm wondering whether it would be seen as excessive to include an IMU boardlet on a few of the Teensys... A frequent contributor here is "Onehorse", who has built and sells IMUs for the teensy:

    Whatever the project turns out to be, it sounds interesting. Good luck, and we look forward to how it goes.

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