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MakerTT: Raspberry Pi Camera Module photographs the Earth from the edge of space

Raspberry Pi Camera Module takes a ride on a HAB, photographs Earth from the edge of space.

@CharlesJGantt
Published Tue, May 28 2013 1:30 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:23 PM CST

The Raspberry Pi Camera Module has been officially released for two weeks now and makers and hackers around the globe have already began to do amazing things with the $25 module. Maker Dave Akerman strapped the camera module and Raspberry Pi board to a foam enclosure shaped like the Raspberry Pi logon and sent it into the sky via a weather balloon.

MakerTT: Raspberry Pi Camera Module photographs the Earth from the edge of space 1 | TweakTown.com MakerTT: Raspberry Pi Camera Module photographs the Earth from the edge of space 2 | TweakTown.com

Akerman mounted the Raspberry Pi and Camera module combo into a high density foam case that he shaped into the form of the Raspberry Pi logo. Alongside the Pi and Camera was what appears to be an Arduino Pro mini, which may have handled the GPS sensor duties. Akerman also included two radios for better track-ability and data telemetry.

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The flight lasted three hours and managed to fly to an altitude of 38.9km or about 24 miles into the sky before popping and falling back to earth. Akerman had some trouble finding the payload, but eventually managed to recover the device after getting a phone call from a bystander who happened to stumble upon it. Click Source #2 below to see an animated rendering of the flight path.

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This is the first time a Raspberry Pi Camera Module has photographed the Earth from the edge of space, but with the cost of the Raspberry Pi and Camera Module combo being so low, I am 100-percent certain that this is not the last time we see similar High Altitude Balloon flights.

I have a Raspberry Pi Camera Module sitting on my workbench at this moment and am running it through its paces. Stay tuned to TweakTown for a complete hands-on and demo of the camera module soon.

A web developer by day, Charles comes to TweakTown after a short break from the Tech Journalism world. Formerly the Editor in Chief at TheBestCaseScenario, he now writes Maker and DIY content. Charles is a self proclaimed Maker of Things and is a major supporter of the Maker movement. In his free time, Charles likes to build just about anything, with past projects ranging from custom PC cooling control systems to 3D printers. Other expensive addictions include Photography, Astronomy and Home Automation.

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