It went where?!
One of the most crucial portions of this project is the recovery of the balloon, which will take a bit of technology. Since I’m a programmer I couldn’t resist building the tracking application myself.
The tracker is an Android app that will be installed on an old phone and placed in the styrofoam cooler during the flight. The tracker uses the phones built in GPS to then track it’s position and report it back in the following ways:
- A file on the phone will record every position it observes, so if there’s no cell or internet connection, I’ll have a copy of where the balloon was to see later.
- If the phone has cellular coverage it will send me a text message with it’s position, battery remaining, as well as it’s speed and altitude.
- Finally, if the phone has internet connectivity it will submit information contained in the text message to a web server that will then plot it’s position in real time on a Google map.