Weather Balloon Project

Back in October 2017, the Computer Science department were lucky enough to be involved in a fantastic project, organised by the wonderful and inspiring ‘Sidmouth Science Festival’.

A handful of Sidmouth students (with help from the amazing 2.timesDo team) wrote several programs to conduct experiments (to test their hypotheses) as the weather balloon ascended high into the edge of space. Altitude, temperature and pressure were just a few of the measurements taken.

Students later presented their findings to the wonderful pupils of Sidmouth Primary, who also conducted experiments on the same weather balloon. These pupils tested their hypothesis that air would expand as the balloon’s altitude increased, by attaching a red party balloon, half filled with air and watching its size increase (using the weather balloon’s camera feed) over time. They also test another hypothesis that water would freeze the higher the balloon rose, by attaching a syringe filled with water to the balloon, again watching its appearance change through the onboard camera.

A brilliant effort from both schools and a wonderful experience for all involved.

It’s amazing what a bunch of enthusiastic students can do with a raspberry pi, a weather balloon and some string (…oh and the ‘ok’ from aviation)…watch this!

The student team:
James Cuffley
Brenan Crabb
Alex Tinnion
Luke Wheeler
Holly White
Ellie Wiles
Ryan Travis
Alex Hammond
Josh Gill