Raspberry Pi Zero Beams Back Video From 100,000 Feet

The Project Horus team regularly launches high-altitude balloons in Australia. Despite their desire to do so, however, they have not released a live video. So far. The Horus 55 broadcasts video back to the ground from over 100,000 feet use of the Raspberry Pi and some software-defined radio equipment. Be sure to watch their video below.

You may think this is easy, but there are many technical obstacles. First, the transmitter needs a little power, but the thin atmosphere creates cooling problems. It also required a really good receiving station and the project wanted to transmit this video to the Internet, which they managed to make.

The balloon carried a Raspberry Pi Zero W for video capture and compression. The LimeSDR Mini provided a 70cm DVB-S transmission, along with a power amplifier to reach around 800mW. The power dissipation in the payload is about 6 watts and requires a special radiator system to operate. The payload is powered by eight lithium primary AA cells, which perform well at low temperatures.

As you will see in the video, the bubble eventually burst, so if you imagined yourself on board, it’s a little embarrassing. There is also a second video discussing the preparation for the flight, which is worth checking out.

Balloons have a long history, although we don’t think there are any Balloons from the era of World War II send back video. We remember another a balloon that had a Raspberry Pi on board it didn’t work out so well.