Experiments on eco-mapping using DIY balloons
are underway here in Kharkiv, Ukraine [ref_1], by me and my friends. I want to report these – first retrospectively, and then prospectively.
The Kharkiv group of enthusiast is working since 2012 to adopt the micro-balloon mapping for the realities of this part of the world, i.e. Ukraine [ref_2].
The aim is to provide local conservationists with the affordable non-invasive tool for monitoring the fragile ecosystems in national parks. Also, it is our plan to adopt the balloon mapping, as well as air pollution monitoring, for the regional waste management authorities and eco-activists .
Kharkiv initiative is inspired by PublicLab
I’ve came across the Public Lab and the PLOTS project after the interview by Ms Dosemagen [ref_3] . The materials of the PublicLab website appeared quite inspiring and helpful. By the April 2013 we here have made our first balloon aerials using the Canon A-490 camera.
Reports already available
Step-by-step we proceed with the reporting our results. At the moment three posts are published at PublicLab.
The report [Egg-shaped balloons] is about relatively simple ovoid balloons we use in tandem to fly a camera. The design of envelope is relatively simple, of eight similar gores.
The report [Small aerostat] describes the more sophisticated “blimp-shaped” design we use for training.
And short info about the [chalk meadow national park in Dvorichna] describes our “test-ground” for balloon-mapping.
Related videos on YouTube
- Low-level aerial by tethered balloon Hobby-flying the tethered balloon. Camera is suspended to the balloon in the oblique position. Unlike the drone, the balloon does not produce much noise. The soundtrack is recorded by the camera aloft; one can hear the dog barking in the nearby village. The footage was taken by July, 2013 in Eastern Ukraine.
- Small aerostat at night In this video we experiment with night lighting. Small aerostat is DIY, 20 cub.feet. The footage was made by March, 2014 in Eastern Ukraine.
- Eco-balloon in Ukraine, March 2013 Piloting the balloon by the fishing rod in the forest. The presence of the balloon does not disturb the wild nature -- the frogs continue their vocalization and the nightingales don't stop their spring song.
[ref_3] How to create your own aerial map. BBC world service, 7 August 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9555369.stm