June 22, 2017 at 3:15 am #3411
This is my first post here. You all seem super knowledgeable about stuff related to HAB projects. So my question for you guys is, how would I go about trying to stream live video from a weather balloon? This will be my 4th weather balloon launch. I know for transmitting gps coordinates temperature and altitude you can use aprs radio. Another question that I have is What type of radio license if any should I go for if I want to live stream video.
Any suggestions that you guys have would be greatly appreciated.
Shepherd KruseHide replies
June 22, 2017 at 9:36 am #3412
I hate to have to shoot down an ambition, but…
Firstly, the setup required to stream live video is another level of complicated compared to transmitting small text strings over APRS. We’ve managed to pull this off ourselves in the UK, but it took several failed test flights and a team of six people, all with years of experience of high altitude ballooning, amateur radio and electronics, working simultaneously to maintain even a patchy signal. For an example of what we managed to accomplish, check this out from our facebook.
Furthermore, the bandwidth required is immense and simply not available on public frequencies, which means you’d either need to convince a public broadcaster to let you take over their network, or convince the FCC to give you a commercial broadcasting license and your own frequency (at great personal expense, I’m sure!)
I don’t want to discourage you from conducting further launches, but live video from a balloon is something that we’re only just getting to grips with ourselves and it’s been enough of a struggle that I’d feel bad if I didn’t warn you your chances of being able to do this are very slim.
One thing that’s a lot more straightforward (relatively speaking, of course) is sending back still images. If you’re interested in using APRS for better tracking, I recommend looking into the Pi in the Sky system, which allows you to integrate a Raspberry Pi camera to send pictures back from the payload in flight. It’s not video, but it’s closer than most get!
Hope that helps,
June 23, 2017 at 1:06 am #3413
Thanks for your reply Alex,
So, say I was able to get a TV station to sponsor the event and stream the video on there channel. Do you think that it would be possible? I am hoping to film video for the eclipse coming to the US in August.Hide replies
June 23, 2017 at 8:33 am #3414
With enough time and money, anything is possible, but I have to clarify, this isn’t a matter of a TV station sponsoring the event, you’d need to get them to agree to shut down programming and give you access to their frequency for several hours at a time – not just on the event, but several times beforehand when you’re testing. That is a huge financial loss they’d be incurring without a real guarantee of any reward.
Can you drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss this further?
All the best,
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