Okay, so sending a probe into space may be a bit misleading. A more accurate description would be sending a probe into the upper atmosphere using a high altitude balloon. But when you see the curvature of the earth, with the backdrop of space behind it, it looks like the probe is in space. High altitude ballooning has become much more accessible due to the low cost of materials. Last year, we were able to be the first school in Nova Scotia, to successfully launch and retrieve a high altitude balloon. This year we want to repeat the project with more sophisticated technology on board. We also want to find ways to involve more people and organizations in the community.
The technology being used for this project is called Arduino. It is a programmable micro controller built originally in Italy. The board is about the size of credit card and cost about 5 dollars to purchase a Chinese clone. These boards are programmed using a free software interface which uploads coded commands to the Arduino board. The Arduino board then controls a variety of electronic components and sensors. As an additional bonus, you can strip parts from any electronic waste to use in your project. This makes projects more affordable and encourages students to recycle electronic devices that are at the end of their life cycles.
Funded by Annapolis, NS (November 2016)