High-(*10*) Balloon Tracker Does Landing Prediction with Pi Pico

[Dave Akerman]’s ongoing top altitude balloon (HAB) paintings is phenomenal, and we’re all enriched via the truth that he paperwork his paintings like he does. Recently, [Dave] wrote about (*5*)his balloon tracker in accordance with the (*8*) Pi Pico, whose features introduced a pair fascinating options to the desk.

In some way, HAB trackers have a rather easy task: learn sensors reminiscent of GPS and continuously relay that knowledge to any person at the flooring in order that the balloon’s location will also be tracked, and the {hardware} recovered when it in the end returns to Earth. There are a large number of alternative ways to do that monitoring, and one factor [Dave] enjoys is getting his palms on a brand new board and creating a HAB tracker out of it. That’s precisely what he has carried out with the (*8*) Pi Pico.

(*1*)Nothing builds familiarity like if truth be told the usage of a component, and the Pico had some helpful issues to give a contribution to a HAB tracker application. For one factor, the Pico has an onboard buck-boost converter that permits it to be powered from a rather large voltage vary (~1.8 V to 5.5 V), so operating it without delay from batteries is each imaginable and fascinating from a tracker point of view. But a actually helpful characteristic used to be imaginable due to the huge quantity of reminiscence at the Pico: dynamic touchdown prediction.

[Dave] does touchdown prediction previous to release in accordance with environmental stipulations, however it’s at all times higher if the HAB tracker too can calculate its personal prediction in accordance with precise seen occasions and stipulations. An ordinary microcontroller board like an Arduino doesn’t have sufficient reminiscence to retailer the specified knowledge upon which to do such calculations, however the Pico does so simply. [Dave]’s new board transmits an up to date touchdown web page prediction in conjunction with the entire remainder of the telemetry, making the retrieval procedure a lot more dependable.

Want to look a fully other solution to HAB restoration? (*4*)(*20*) out a payload guided via steerable parachutes.