Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cletus8269

wanna blow $150

9 posts in this topic

on somethin other than prostitutes or drugs... check out the boys at MIT are up to this time.

The cheapest space camera available to the public.

thumb-660x495.jpg

The two students (from MIT, of course) put together a low-budget rig to fly a camera high enough to photograph the curvature of the Earth. Instead of rockets, boosters and expensive control systems, they filled a weather balloon with helium and hung a styrofoam beer cooler underneath to carry a cheap Canon A470 compact camera. Instant hand warmers kept things from freezing up and made sure the batteries stayed warm enough to work.

Of course, all this would be pointless if the guys couldn’t find the rig when it landed, so they dropped a prepaid GPS-equipped cellphone inside the box for tracking. Total cost, including duct tape? $148.

The balloon and camera made it up high enough to see the black sky curling around our blue planet. The Canon was hacked with the CHDK (Canon Hacker’s Development Kit) open-source firmware, which adds many features to Canon’s cameras. The intervalometer (interval timer) was set to shoot a picture every five seconds, and the 8-GB memory card was enough to hold pictures for the five-hour duration of the flight.

The picture you see above was shot from around 93,000 feet, just shy of 18 miles high. To give you an idea of how high that is, when the balloon burst, the beer-cooler took 40 minutes to come back to Earth.

What is most astonishing about this launch, named Project Icarus, is that anyone could do it. The budget is so small as to be almost nonexistent (the guys slept in their car the night before the launch to save money), so that even if everything went wrong, a second, third or fourth attempt would be easy. All it took was a grand idea and an afternoon poking around the hardware store.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are the two most awesome dudes on the face of the Earth. Total ingenuity right there. :lol:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome!

*waits for news story about how people start doing this all the time, until a plane hits one and gov't regs start getting people in trouble for it*

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how far did it travel from the launch point though?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
how far did it travel from the launch point though?

dunno, doesnt say. says that they drove a while to make sure that it landed in central MA and consulted wisconsin U's weather balloon trajectory site to figure a rough estimate.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room