RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images
and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.
Man and Son Launch Cellphone and GPS to 100,000' Videos for Engineers
The Final Frontier... but it's not just for rocket scientists anymore. With increasing frequency, amateurs are
managing to launch platforms bearing payloads of cameras, GPS units, altimeters, thermometers, radios, cellphones,
along with various and sundry other gizmos into the lower atmosphere where the earth's curvature and the blackness
of space is readily apparent. This flight by father and son team Luke and Max Geissbuhler was launched from a
field in New York an amazingly simple craft with the following goal:
"In August 2010, we set out to send a
camera to space. The mission was to attach an HD video camera to a weather balloon and send it up into the upper
stratosphere to film the blackness beyond our earth. Eventually, the balloon will grow from lack of atmospheric
pressure, burst, and begin to fall.
"It would have to survive 100 mph winds, temperatures of 60 degrees
below zero, speeds of over 150 mph, and the high risk of a water landing. To retrieve the craft, it would need to
deploy a parachute, descend through the clouds and transmit a GPS coordinate to a cell phone tower. Then we have
to find it.
"Needless to say, there are a lot of variables to overcome."
It was a resounding
success with an ascent to 100,000', then a parachute descent into a tree just 25 miles away.
Here is an
idea for some budding entrepreneur: Create a line of amateur space exploration kits with varying degrees of
complexity. My guess is that it would catch on like the model rocketry craze of the 1960 space race era! You can
cut me in on the profits for supplying the idea.
This archive links to the many video and audio files
been featured on RF Cafe.