I am wondering what external hardware it would take to send my raspberry pi into the stratosphere like the two people from Britain who sent theirs up in a weather balloon. I would like to know, how I would do it, what software & external hardware I would need and I would like to know how I could take the photos wirelessly(obviously) and get them sent in real time(possibly) back to my main PC or a cloud server.

  • 2
    The two people from Britain will sell you an add-on board like the one they use: Pi in the Sky. Just please not over my house.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 11:07
  • Just wanted to add my support to the Pi in the Sky project - it's the go-to solution for sending up high-altitude balloons and they have guides and stuff.
    – recantha
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 17:27

2 Answers 2


Neither GSM nor WiFi will work at weather-balloon altitudes.

If you have a ham radio licence and live in a country (such as the USA, but not the UK) where airborne ham transmitters are allowed, then APRS is a good solution.

Elsewhere, low-power ISM FM transmitters are the best solution.

Have a read of www.ukhas.org.uk

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    Well, wifi can work with right antenna setup. We managed to stream video from balloon last year using rotating antenna that tracked the balloon. However this is quite complicated setup. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 14:24

I'd say that you need temperature sensor or whatsoever connected to the GPIO pins. And I suggest that you start learning Python for a easy way to talk to the GPIO. So you can control them through Python. It's not that difficult to read and write codes for it to give you the data you need.

ModMyPi has also good tutorials that you can read. https://www.modmypi.com/blog/ds18b20-one-wire-digital-temperature-sensor-and-the-raspberry-pi

Two ways I'd make my stuffs wireless.

  1. Using the GSM.
  2. WiFi connection that has bigger antennas.

I hope this answer have been useful in any way for you!

  • Thanks mate, I know python already but all of this goes over my head haha, how would I be able to run it over a cellular network? Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 6:27
  • Cellular network is probably not a good idea for high altitude ballooning - you lose the signal beyond a certain height so your tracking and image feed will be lost.
    – recantha
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 17:26
  • So how would I do it without having bigger antennas? I would like the information broadcasted, or at least stored on a server so I can look at the photos for later use Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 23:21
  • Kyle: I could think of using a FM device or so, for sending the information. But I haven't looked at the top range for it.
    – kuzeyron
    Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 16:20

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