Oral Presentation Only

Active Camera Stabilization from High Altitude Balloons

  • Max A. Bowman (Adler Planetarium)
  • Jeremy Seeman (Adler Planetarium)
  • Ken Walczak (Adler Planetarium)


Many applications of High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) require maintaining a bearing in a non-inertial frame of reference, for example keeping a camera continuously pointed at the sun from a HAB payload in motion. Maintaining a consistent bearing is especially difficult on a HAB flight because it is hard to accurately measure and compensate the relative motion of the payload. In addition, friction, conservation of angular momentum, and errors in relative bearing measurement complicate the solution. This project aims to solve these issues using a combination of accelerometer data, gyro data, and a motor-driven platform. It was launched as part of the Far Horizons project at the Adler Planetarium, whose mission is bringing real space exploration down to Earth and into the hands of students, volunteers, and the public. The initial design was built for use in the 2017 Eclipse mission, but will also be used in missions such as mapping light pollution from a HAB platform. The system expands the capabilities of general HAB missions and can be open-sourced to provide the HAB community with a solution to a unique problem in High Altitude Ballooning.

How to Cite:

Bowman, M. A., Seeman, J. & Walczak, K., (2017) “Active Camera Stabilization from High Altitude Balloons”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2017(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ahac.5558



Published on
27 Oct 2017
Peer Reviewed