Balloon 2 – Sensory Equipment

Matthew Barousse   January 8, 2009   Comments Off on Balloon 2 – Sensory Equipment

Balloon 2 is on a tight schedule. We’re launching the 31st of January, and not everything is put together yet. Because of this, vital systems are being pushed for completion first. Still, others are hard at work with sensors and data collection tools, trying to get them ready in time as well.

As for Sensors – Joseph has been working on trying to get the temperature and pressure sensors up. The on board temperature sensor is working great now, and he’s been busy getting the external temperature sensor and a pressure sensor on-line.


Here’s a shot of the external temperature sensor board. It’s an i2c based Maxim 6633 – the same chip as the internal sensor. The header is carrying i2c clock and data signals, as well as power and ground.


This is our pressure sensor. It’s an analog device, so it’s plugged into a header that interfaces with the PIC’s ADC (Analog to Digital Converter).

Jeremy and Nick have also been working a good bit on getting the cameras up and taking pictures/video with remote commands. It’s starting to look good, and they have a board wired up and are currently testing. They are using a 2222n transistor and raising TTL logic line high on the PIC that is connected to the Base pin of the transistor. This allows current to flow from the Collector to the Emitter, simulating a button push to either turn on the camera, or start recording video. Here’s a shot of the test setup.


It’s coming along great, and everything is on track for a January 31st launch. Here’s one last picture – the board powered up and transmitting a basic location beacon: