Weather Balloon - 4K Space Recording

Article Date: 28-03-16

As an Aquarian, my nature is very scientific and inquisitive. I'm always wondering about something or zoning out thinking of life elsewhere. One of the other projects I wanted to do a while back was a space balloon. I'll probably never get the chance to go into space in a life time. So I'd rather do the next best thing and get to see some awesome footage of space then capture it to upload to my youtube channel. The design of this will hopefully be 360' coverage in 4K video.


  1. 4K Video Footage (Maybe 15-20 mins) - recording 360' viewing angle multiple angles
  2. GPS / SatNAV / SMS Tracking
  3. Parachute safety system
  4. Live recording video footage (or really fast photographs to stich images maybe bursts of 30fps)
  5. Blackbox- to record altitude etc
  6. Weather balloon. Altitude should read approx 30km


  1. Obviously, the only problem with 4K is the expense. I'd love a bunch of GoPro Hero 4K cameras, although I don't think they'd like the idea of me butchering their cameras to record 4K footage. So I may have to look at other options. Ideally though I'd like 4K. I may end up setting up a donation page to help with funds. Then if the project is successful give away the devices to other entrpreneurs
  2. Disk space. Using a "video size calculator" - A single camera recording 4096x2160 @ 30fps with a colour model of RGB 4:4:4 and depth of 12 bits/colour. Would use in the region of 36gb /minute of disk space uncompressed. Working on an estimate of 15 cameras for the 360' video. This would mean a total of 540GB per minute of footage. Most space videos work in the region of 2hrs - 2.5hrs. So 2.5hours = 150 (mins) x 540 (gb/min)= 79TB :/
  3. Compression. Looking at the above calculations. I'm considered with multiple options....
    1. building a large array using SD cards
    2. Performing some form of compression
    3. Reducing the number of cameras I have (most likely, can probably half this)
      1. Edit, read the WIKI - - There was a statement "In June 2015 a combination of six cams oriented as the sides of a cube to create 360° panoramic videos was announced for the second half of 2015."
      2. So. I can get away with 6 cameras to record the footage. 6 cameras with a 170' field of view works out at 216gb /MINUTE (for all 6 cameras). Which means 150 x 216 = 32.4TB
  4. Storage space. Space balloons need to be as compact as possible. I mean REALLY compact. Posssibly modding go pro cameras and removing the 4K lenses and the CCD Sensors. Then modding 6 of them to find on a protoboard so that it's basically, the sensors and the lenses, nothing else.
  5. Battery life Need to survive about 3 hrs of footage.Ideally put them on wifi recording



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