What is weather balloon feasibility?

I am currently looking to prototype a weather balloon that is capable of recording sensor data and can be recovered by transmitting gps location via the electron. My only question is the feasibility of doing this for both technical and legal issues.

The technical issue is how the electron will handle the lower temperatures in the air as well as other challenges higher altitudes may create that I am not thinking of.

The legal question is that I have found some places that essentially say that weather balloons cannot transmit cell data. Any insight on this?

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If the Electron will not work you can try to use this Satellite Iridum modem. I have one but have not set it up yet. Data is much more expensive which I guess is to be expected.

There are a lot of things to look out for, but it can be a lot of fun & you can learn a great deal.

Check out this report of a balloon flight - if you click around the site, you can see the evolution of the payload as they learn lessons and adapt. They use APRS and other amateur radio capabilities to track & recover, I think.

You may be able to restrict the electron’s operation to below a particular altitude, to avoid practical/legal/compliance issues.

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Interesting, thanks for the link… Unfortunately, it looks like do to current regulations this cannot really be done with the electron. (I would consider doing it as a side project by myself, but I am working in conjunction with a school to do this for a summer camp.)

I really want to use Particle as the platform for the camp, so it looks like I am back to the drawing board for project ideas!

Hey @stepintostem - A friend of mine is currently working on a series of weather balloon projects, and you might be able to learn something from his progress or reach out to him if you have questions.

They currently use cheap cell phones in their weather balloons and have done a bit of research on temperature control as well (tested with heating pads, etc). I’m guessing a lot of the same ideas apply to using an Electron microcontroller.

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