If you are thinking of, or have already launched weather balloons into the lower atmosphere and beyond you will already be aware of the problems of relocating your equipment as it falls back to earth.
Mike Bales has created a new solution to this problem by creating the Tracksoar, that takes the form of the smallest, lightest, ready to fly open source APRS tracker.
Watch the video below to learn more about the Tracksoar APRS and how it can help you track your equipment, camera and weather balloon.
Have you ever wanted to take your own stunning photos of the curvature of the earth and the blackness of space against the pale blue of the sky? Have you ever wanted to gather data on atmospheric conditions near the edge of space? The Tracksoar is the smallest fully integrated APRS tracker available to make this possible. It works with nearly any airborne platform that can carry a payload of 60 grams or more. The goal is to reduce the number and weight of required electronic components to allow for the least expensive and easiest high altitude balloon launch possible.
The Tracksoar can provide near real time location, altitude, and atmospheric data from your airborne craft to the internet. It is small and light enough to fly in your model rocket, airplane, helicopter, quad rotor, or weather balloon. Since it’s open source, the Tracksoar is customizable for your specific project, and with a daughter board you can add most any extra device to expand its sensors, input, or output capabilities.
The Tracksoar boasts a 300mw transmitter, barometric pressure, relative humidity, and temperature sensors. Built on existing and proven open source hardware and software, the Tracksoar is powerful and flexible. Powering the Tracksoar is trivial, it can run from anything between 1.5 and 4.5 volts. In laboratory tests it has been able to run at least 12 hours off 2 AA batteries. In keeping with our goal to make the Tracksoar as customizable as possible, the Tracksoar includes SPI / I2C headers for adding new capabilities. FTDI and ICSP programming interfaces are also available for modifying and updating the Tracksoar firmware. Tracksoar will ship with a wire antenna, but also has the option for an N connector so you can add any antenna you prefer.
For more information on the new Tracksoar APRS jump over to the Kickstarter website for details via the link below.