Very cool use of COTS and brains

Very high geekdom indeed -- from the UK Telegraph:

four_spanish_teens_space_photo.jpg
Teens capture images of space with ­£56 camera and balloon
Proving that you don't need Google's billions or the BBC weather centre's resources, the four Spanish students managed to send a camera-operated weather balloon into the stratosphere.

Taking atmospheric readings and photographs 20 miles above the ground, the Meteotek team of IES La Bisbal school in Catalonia completed their incredible experiment at the end of February this year.

Building the electronic sensor components from scratch, Gerard Marull Paretas, Sergi Saballs Vila, Marta� Gasull Morcillo and Jaume Puigmiquel Casamort managed to send their heavy duty £43 latex balloon to the edge of space and take readings of its ascent.

1.5kG payload -- onboard GPS and radio system so they could track it in flight and recover the camera after it landed.

I bet those kids will have their pick of nice job offers down the road. There are a lot more photographs over at Make Magazine.

Here is the groups blog and their Flickr page both in Catlan. Their Blog has a direct link to Google Translate.

And yes: #1) - £56 is about 80 bucks. #2) - COTS is the way to do good and cheap science. You use Commercially Off The Shelf components. Nothing that needs to be engineered or is otherwise comprised of unobtanium.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 17, 2009 8:30 PM.

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