Raspberry Pi launches new software to support High Altitude Ballooning

Raspberry Pi has just announced two software packages to help groups and individuals get into High Altitude Ballooning. Created in conjunction with HAB enthusiast Dave Akerman, one package is installed on the Pi going up into near-space and the other is used to track it when it comes back to Earth.

Pytrack goes on the Space-bound Pi and has the following features:

  • Learners can create their own tracker in a simpler programming language, rather than simply configuring the existing software
  • The core mechanics of the tracker are exposed for the learner to understand, but complex details are abstracted away
  • Learners can integrate the technology with standard Python libraries and existing projects
  • Pytrack is modular, allowing learners to experiment with underlying radio components

SkyGate is a complete tracking application that goes into a Pi with touchscreen and has the following features:

  • Live tunable LoRa reception and decoding
  • Live tunable RTTY reception and decoding (with compatible USB SDR)
  • Image reception and previewing
  • GPS tracking to report your location (when using compatible GPS USB dongle)
  • Data, images, and GPS upload functionality to HabHub tracking site
  • An Overview tab presenting a high-level summary and bearing to payload
  • Full customisation via the Settings tab

You can read more about the two pieces of software here and install them using the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3-pytrack
sudo apt install skygate

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