System Architecture of a High Altitude Live-Streaming System

  • Natalie Condzal (University of Maryland)
  • Nikhil Nair (University of Maryland)
  • Matthew Wise (University of Maryland)
  • Ruben Turner (University of Maryland)
  • Sanya Doda (University of Maryland)
  • Alexis Burris (University of Maryland)


Modern methods of surveillance can be achieved through various methods including drones, satellite imagery, and aircraft surveillance. However, many of these methods have design flaws; most notably, these design flaws include power usage issues, detectability, and range of coverage. Through the use of a payload and ground station with dish and satellite hardware on a high-altitude balloon flight, one can live-stream aerial footage and greatly reduce security risks. Using a high altitude balloon as the basis for flight not only increases aerial range but also flight time since the batteries are only used to power the hardware required for streaming. The payload also enables lower package visibility as the payload would not be easily caught using radar or similar technologies. We propose a system with the overall goal of providing a reliable high data rate communications link for low latency telemetry and video throughout a high-altitude balloon flight. This system is composed of commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts including Ubiquiti hardware to ensure ease in duplication for industrial use. To ensure a multi-layered encryption and self-monitoring system, we would use two or more different languages to ensure constant, reliable, and encrypted communications on top of proficient rendering and visualization. This paper presents a detailed outline of our system architecture coupled with our test plan and preliminary results to ensure flight-readiness of our live-streaming system.

Keywords: HAB, Surveillance

How to Cite:

Condzal, N., Nair, N., Wise, M., Turner, R., Doda, S. & Burris, A., (2022) “System Architecture of a High Altitude Live-Streaming System”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2020(1). doi:

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Published on
18 Aug 2022