Oral Presentation Only

EyePod-Mini: Constellations, Urban Launches and Buoy Landings

  • Hank D. Voss (Taylor University)
  • Jeff Dailey (NearSpace Launch, Inc.)


Small and low-cost balloons using EyePod-Mini radios are ideal for urban and long duration launches for improving the learning experience. The EyePod-Mini is an all-in-one data and tracking pod with a mass of 150 g including 2.2 AHr batteries. It is significantly less than the mass of the balloon and fits into the balloon neck (3 cm). It communicates with Globalstar satellites for 24/7 global coverage via the internet. An additional low power 900 MHz module and a 2m APRS ham module are also available for real time data and tracking that also fit in the 3 cm tube. Another EyePod option is its design to float in water as a buoy surface monitor and tracked or as a live ground probe in remote regions for additional geo-learning. Because the probe is small it is ideal for balloon constellations making many measurements over an interesting set of time and space coordinates. Multipoint measurements help visualize the dynamics of the atmosphere to better understand weather fronts, thunderstorms, eclipses, and turbulence to improve models and learning. External instrument Pods can be attached to the EyePod mini as well and the data wirelessly connected to the EyePod links. Use of two small balloons for a launch ensures good linear altitude data collection for ascent and decent (no free fall). Small balloons with small radios are ideal for urban launches near water and forest since the experiments can continue to work as ground probes with the satellite link and solar array charging. It is reasonable to launch the EyePod-Mini without the expense of chase and recovery in difficult terrain. Because the EyePod-Mini is a rod like spear without attachment cords it is much easier to recover with treetop landings. For lake landings data can be acquired on the surface as the payload drifts to the shore for pick-up. Because the Globalstar link works globally, long duration flights are possible with useful data over oceans and remote areas.

How to Cite:

Voss, H. D. & Dailey, J., (2015) “EyePod-Mini: Constellations, Urban Launches and Buoy Landings”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2015(1). doi: https://doi.org//ahac.9761



Published on
26 Jun 2015