Friday, December 7, 2012

NearSys has updated its BalloonSat Mini flight computer to version 4.0. This version is more convenient to program and to interface sensors. Rather than programming the flight computer through a serial adapter cable, the flight computer now incorporates a DB-9 connector. Interfacing sensors is easier because sensor arrays are available with simple to solder connectors that plug right into the flight computer’s I/O port.

Like the older versions, the BalloonSat Mini v4.0 also operates a camera. The flight computer can operate any electronic camera with a by-passed shutter switch. Cameras modified to work with the BalloonSat Mini v4.0 are available from NearSys.

The BalloonSat Mini v4.0 has memory to record 256 sensor readings. Since it can collect data from two sensors, the BalloonSat Mini v4.0 can record one reading per sensor per minute for the entire ascent of a typical high altitude balloon. However, it will not begin recording data until after the BalloonSat crew removes the Commit Tag.

The BalloonSat Mini v4.0 kit is available from NearSys for $23.50. The kit contains all the necessary parts except for solder. Directions for the kit and sample code are available from the NearSys website at, http://nearsys/catalog/balloonsat/mini.htm.

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