We love the Raspberry Pi and would do anything to elevate its status when it's rightly deserved but we can't top the efforts of the Project Horus team who recently launched a Pi Zero into the Earth's stratosphere. Not only did they take our favorite SBC to a new level but they also used it to stream a live video of the journey to viewers around the world.
The project is officially called Horus 55. It relies on a main component known as the DVB-S Payload, developed by makers Mark VK5QI and Peter VK5KX over the past year. It's attached to a weather balloon and designed to transmit flight data in real-time. Inside is a Raspberry Pi Zero W, making this one of the best Raspberry Pi projects we've ever seen leave the troposphere.
The Pi Zero was used to capture video input for transmission back to the ground station. It didn't take much to make the unit mobile, the Raspberry Pi system was powered using eight AA batteries.
According to the Horus 55 website, the flight video was live-streamed to YouTube where hundreds of viewers got a first-hand view of the experiment. Once the balloon ruptured, the payload came crashing back to Earth. Viewers were able to see part of the descent in real-time. The unit landed on private property, but the owners were kind enough to allow the team to retrieve their hard work.
The project results were posted and show some interesting details including the Pi temperature fluctuations alongside the altitude. The Raspberry Pi Zero maintained a temperature between 20°C and 40° C between ground level and an altitude of over 100,000 feet. Check out the full flight video from the team on Vimeo.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.