The Centurion House4Hack crew is building a High Altitude Glider and accompanying launch balloon which are slated to be catapulted 40km into the stratosphere on June 14th.
According to Adam Oxford of HTXT.Africa, the X-UAV Mini Talon V-tail will carry an on-board camera, an Atmel-based Arduino board to control the autopilot and an array of weather sensors.
“It’ll be floated up on helium balloons, and will deploy a parachute to control its descent via remote control,” Oxford explained.
“[Centurion House4Hack] partnered with local weather balloon specialists HABEX to put together the equipment needed. As far as we know, however, no-one in South Africa has managed to successfully land a glider launched from that kind of altitude before.”
Project participant Gert van den Berg told HTXT that the team already owned much of the required equipment, with the rest sponsored by local hobby shop High Flyer.
“We’re hoping to get [and stream] some spectacular video,” said van den Berg.
“From at least 20km up. Ideally, we want a controlled landing at a known location too.”
It should be noted that the Centurion House4Hack crew has already begun testing various components at temperatures of -75 Celsius, using dry ice from a local ice cream supplier.
Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.