Public Lab Research note

Potholes in New Orleans Balloon Mapping Experience

by Rgaude | May 10, 2021 15:15 10 May 15:15 | #26542 | #26542

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After mapping out the area around our school we wanted to talk about our experience:

"We were unable to balloon map due to a lack of helium, so we used a kite instead. We launched three separate times with varying results. All launches and landing went very well due to the amount of wind and multiple people working together. We did not see the images from the first flight, but the second flight's images were unusable due to the flailing movement of the camera. The third flight's images were great because we changed the camera's housing, so we used these pictures for the map knitting. Next time, I would like to try using the balloon to take pictures, but our current mapping has allowed us to get a good aerial view of our school and the surrounding area. Mapping could allow us to spot and organize potholes, but these flights taught us that we would need to take the pictures at a much lower altitude to get a detailed view of the road surface. Overall, it was a very enjoyable and positive experience." -Robby Gaude

"It was exciting for the first time performing map knitting and being creative with what we had and were given to gather intel on the environment around us. Of the three flight attempts using the kite to gather images for the knitting process, the third one proved to be the most optimal process as it contained the most clear, concise, and vibrant images, there was a wider range we were able to reach than the other two, and there was a safe landing of the kite and other tools used in the knitting process. The whole thing was an anxious experience as it was the first time doing a lot of new things but it was a fun and interesting one. As for how it moved us forward it allowed us to have a better grasp and understanding of potholes from a different point of view. Another thing is that we could play around with multiple altitudes to possibly have higher quality images." -Torron Brown

"I really enjoyed the whole process of discussing and actually performing our balloon mapping experiment. This was my first time actually ever experiencing something like this. All our flights were successful. With the wind condition every flight went well. We were able to deploy the kite at high enough levels to get great pictures. Pictures good enough to better help us understand the environment around us from an aerial view. Although the project went well there are a few things I wasn't too fond of. The process of bringing the kite back down was a pain. Bringing the kite back down was a lot of stress & strain on the 4 of us. Other than that I enjoyed this whole process. I would definitely look into this in the future." -Jeremiah Jackson


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