A group of student makers took kite arial photography to a new level: weather balloon photography. They certainly are undercutting NASA’s budget, spending very little on their project, and fabricating most of the structure and electronics themselves.

Check out Gareth’s previous entry on the project.

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Mail Online has a decent writeup. Nice of them to copyright the photos for the students, isn’t it?

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

Under the guidance of teacher Jordi Fanals Oriol, the budding scientists, all aged 18 to 19, followed the progress of their balloon using hi-tech sensors communicating with Google Earth.

‘Meteotek was our experiment to see if we could accurately measure the Earth’s atmospheric conditions at 30,000 metres, take pictures to prove the experiment and then recover the instruments attached to the balloon after its deflation,’ said team leader Paretas, 18.

‘We were overwhelmed at our results, especially the photographs. To send our handmade craft to the edge of space is incredible.’

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Their use of Google Earth was integrated into the project and provides some nice mashups of their data.

It’s great to see the progress of their build in photos and text on their blog. Their site also provides a choice to use Google translate, which helps people from other cultures access their work.

Thanks Tom!