Lab Journal

Smartluck #5: How many balloons can lift up a camera, sensor, and basket?

July 28, 2010 by Michael

Apparently, three 30” diameter balloons were not enough.


We had our 5th Smartluck lunch today, where a group of people tested the balloon experiment, while another group stayed inside and discussed ways to visualize data. It wasn’t easy getting the blown-up balloons out of the door (we popped 2 balloons accidentally in the course of the experiment). We ended up testing the balloons a total of 3 times today, one trial being unsuccessful. The first two trials contained less weight, which is why the balloons rose into the air with no problem. During our last trial, we added the air quality sensor, and tested it with that. Unfortunately, while we were out there, there was a greater amount of wind that pushed the balloon horizontally and didn’t allow it to rise very high. We ended up getting a lot of footage from the camera, but only about 2 minutes of it was actually very good. It is clear that we need to stabilize the camera more as it wobbles a lot. How can we do this without it affecting the flight of the balloons?

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