Oral Presentation

High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) All Sky Camera

Authors: Raquel I. Graves (Taylor University) , Kate A. Yoshino (Taylor University)

  • High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) All Sky Camera

    Oral Presentation

    High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) All Sky Camera

    Authors: ,


The High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) at Taylor University utilizes latex balloons to explore the near space region. Through HARP, the Model ASC-N1 All Sky Camera from Moonglow Technologies can be used to observe both day and nighttime skies without the blinding effects of the Sun and with a wide field of view. The All Sky Cam offers a hemispherical, 1900 field of view allowing a unique perspective to these launches. Taylor University is believed to be the first to launch such a camera into the stratosphere. The first launch of the ASC payload was made during the daytime at 11:42 AM on March 9, 2013. The camera worked well in the harsh stratosphere conditions with a few minor issues such as frost forming on the glass encasement surrounding the camera lens. The fish-eye view of the camera was large enough to have a picture of the balloon, the last pod on the HARP in the dark near space, the sun, the glowing circular limb of the Earth, and the ground all in one shot. A solar cell, pyranometer, and temperature sensor helped gather data that would help with future launches. Unfortunately, no stars were seen due to the scattering of the sunlight, turbulence, and the rotation rate of the HARP platform. The second launch was on the very early morning of April 22, 2013 during the Lyrids meteor shower and not quite as successful as the daytime launch. The shutter speed was automatically slowed due to the low to no light conditions extending the exposure time of the lights from Earth and moon. No stars were seen due to this exposure time and the unusually high turbulence experienced. For the third flight on June 05, 2013 at 9:02 AM, a new camera, the HackHD, was used instead. This was a test run to see how this camera would react in Near-Space. The launch went well with a promising result from the new camera. The main goal of future launches will be to capture images of the nighttime sky, Earth limb without the blinding effects of the sun, and a meteor shower in ways that have never seen used before using the HackHD.

How to Cite:

Graves, R. I. & Yoshino, K. A., (2013) “High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) All Sky Camera”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2013(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ahac.5593



Published on
01 Jan 2013
Peer Reviewed